Secret Path Live was an incredibly moving and impactful night for so many people, made even more special thanks to the generous support of the Buy One, Give One (BOGO) ticket purchasers. The BOGO ticket included one complimentary ticket for a Legacy School student or Indigenous youth who could not otherwise afford to attend the show. Through their generous support over 100 students and educators were able to attend, with five groups travelling over 1000km to attend.
Students came from:
- Dennis Franklin Cromarty – Thunder Bay, Ontario (1345 KM to Toronto)
- Fort McLeod – Blackfoot First Nation, Fort McLead, Alberta (3648 KM from Toronto)
- Kapapamahchakwew – Wandering Spirit School, Toronto, Ontario
- Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate and Vocational School, Kitchener, Ontario
- North Spirit Lake First Nation – Ontario (1392 kilometers from Toronto)
- Pictou First Nation – Nova Scotia (1,610.8 km to Toronto)
- Saugeen First Nation – Ontario (226.5 KM from Toronto)
- Venina Secondary School – Attawapiskat, Ontario (1,054 km from Toronto)
When the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF) realized how many people were willing to travel great distances to bring students to the show, we knew we needed to provide an opportunity for the students to meet one another. A student “meet and greet” took place prior to the show across the street from Roy Thomson Hall. Students played games, ate pizza, and shared their stories. Students also took turns pinning their names to a map of Canada to show just how far everyone had travelled to attend this special night. For many students attending this was not only their first concert but also their first night away from home. In some cases, it was their first night to ever leave their community.
Some of the artists performing later that evening surprised the students, taking the opportunity to visit and connect with them. Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene/Secret Path Band), Peter Dreimanis and Leah Fay (July Talk) and Johnny Fay (The Tragically Hip) all stopped by to welcome the youth to Toronto and to the Secret Path Live concert.
The original Secret Path band; Kevin Hearn (Barenaked Ladies), Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene), Josh Finlayson (Skydiggers), Dave Hamelin (The Stills), and Charles Spearin (Do Make Say Think) performed Secret Path with special guests Buffy Sainte-Marie, Tanya Tagaq, Serena Ryder, July Talk, William Prince, Whitehorse, Sam Roberts, Tom Wilson, Sarah Harmer, and Andy Maize. The concert was a moving tribute to Chanie Wenjack, Gord Downie and to the thousands of children who were taken from their homes and forced to attend residential schools.
The evening and the experience would not have been possible without the support of our sponsors and BOGO ticket holders. Miigwech, thank you to everyone who made this night a reality!
Student and educator testimonials;
We attended the concert yesterday and for us, it was amazing. It was not just the music – it also left a few questions and curiosity in our mind. We are trying to gather as much information as possible about Gord Downie and his life, the reconciliation efforts, albums & more importantly about Chanie Wenjack, the little boy who have lost his life in order to go back to his family.
The kids and I want to thank you for providing a meaningful event for everyone. It is a night we will never forget. The kids had fun at the meet and greet and were deeply moved by the live performance. I was even more humbled to be a part of this amazing organization and am fired up to make a difference. We extend our gratitude to you and DWF for a memorable and powerful evening where we came together to reflect on why reconciliation is so important. Chanie and Gord’s lives have indeed inspired us to “Do Something”.
I found Secret Path Live to be a magical experience, where love and truth found its way from well-known and wonderful musicians to an audience ready for what it brought them – hope for the future.
We enjoyed the concert and how engaged they were with the crowd. Our students enjoyed the message that was shared and loved seeing the information shared down in the lobby.
The energy at the event was nothing short of magical.
Very well done! A powerful story that should be told to as many children and youth as possible – Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike.