Special Olympics Yukon is about to introduce its public event of the season, presented by Goldcorp – and it’s looking hip!
Yukon music lovers will be treated to a two-hour set of Tragically Hip tracks by Vancouver-based cover band The Hip Show.
Special guests and local favourites Major Funk and the Employment will kick off the evening with their signature danceable tunes. So, get ready to get down.
The Hip Show guitarist, Joe Foley, is looking forward to bringing some of The Hip magic to the Yukon. He says the audience can expect a mix of hits and deeper, less well-known tracks.
“It’s a full-on Hip experience. We bring you up, put you down and move you around.”
Foley sees a connection between the Special Olympics and what The Tragically Hip stands for.
“It’s about self-empowerment and has become so much more than it used to be. The Special Olympics are a positive for all of society. These people get missed if you don’t pay attention to them. We’re so happy to be a part of it.”
The Tragically Hip made headlines last year when leader Gord Downie was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. He’s been branded Canada’s unofficial poet laureate by many, including the Washington Post.
“Gord Downie is the Leonard Cohen of our generation. He’s a force,” says Foley, describing The Tragically Hip as “Canada’s Band”.
Foley says Downie has plays an important role in helping Canadians learn about themselves as a society.
“He taught us our history. Canadian history. I didn’t know about residential schools until Gord talked about it. He’s opened our minds as a country. What happens if one day we wake up and there’s no Gord? He’s gonna be missed.”
Downie helped highlight the need for reconciliation with Canada’s First Nations with the release of “Secret Path,” a multimedia project highlighting the experience of Chanie Wenjack, who died after fleeing a residential school.
He also founded The Gord Downie Secret Path Fund for Truth and Reconciliation through The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at The University of Manitoba.
The idea of hosting a fall event has been in the works for a while says Serge Michaud, executive director at Special Olympics Yukon. He’s hoping for a big turnout.
“Our goal is to have a show like this every year.”
Michaud says the level of support the project is getting from Yukoners gives him a positive outlook.
“We’re so appreciative of how giving our community is. It’s humbling.”
The show is happening at the Yukon Convention Centre next to the Coast High Country Inn. Doors open at 7 p.m. on Saturday, September 30, with the show starting at 8 p.m.
Tickets can be bought though the Special Olympics Yukon website. Funds go to help Yukon athletes with intellectual disabilities succeed in the sports that they’re passionate about.
There will be a cash-only bar, and people of all ages are welcome at the event.