The Tragically Hip have announced dates for a farewell tour following news that frontman Gord Downie has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.
The group revealed news of Downie’s health issue on Tuesday, saying, “After 30-some years together as The Tragically Hip, thousands of shows, and hundreds of tours…we’ve decided to do another one. This feels like the right thing to do now, for Gord, and for all of us.”
The month-long 11-date run across Canada in support of forthcoming June 17 album, “Man Machine Poem”, will kick off in Victoria, BC on July 22 and wrap up in the band’s hometown of Kingston, ON on August 20.
Tickets for the Man Machine Poem Tour will be available on Friday, June 3 at 10am local time.
A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Sunnybrook Foundation.
The head of neurology at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, Dr. James Perry, told reporters at a Tuesday press conference that Downie has glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.
CTV News reports Perry said Downie developed symptoms in December 2015 when he had a seizure in Kingston that led to an emergency room visit. A brain scan revealed a tumour on the left side of his brain that would be impossible to remove completely.
Doctors were able to surgically “excise the bulk of the tumour” and Downie has since undergone 30 radiation therapies; that was followed by chemotherapy treatment that ended last month.
One bit of good news is that Downie’s tumour contains a certain protein that “confers longer survival,” Perry said. “Fortunately for Gord, he has a type of glioblastoma that is more amenable to treatment than most.”
An MRI scan last week revealed that the swelling in Downie’s head had decreased substantially. “And he is doing very well,” Perry explained, adding that since the tumour cannot be completely removed, “unfortunately, one day it will come back.”
One of Canada’s most beloved bands, The Tragically Hip formed in 1984 and have issued 12 studio albums to huge success in their homeland, earning 14 Juno Awards and inductions into both the Canadian Music Hall Of Fame and Canada’s Walk Of Fame.
Upon hearing news of Downie’s status, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted: “Gord Downie is a true original who has been writing Canada’s soundtrack for more than 30 years. #Courage”
Gord Downie is a true original who has been writing Canada’s soundtrack for more than 30 years. #Courage— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) May 24, 2016
The Tragically Hip
Man Machine Poem tour 2016
Jul 22 - Victoria, BC - Save On Foods Memorial Centre
Jul 24 - Vancouver, BC - Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena
Jul 28 - Edmonton, AB - Rexall Place
Aug 01 - Calgary, AB - Scotiabank Saddledome
Aug 05 - Winnipeg, MB - MTS Centre
Aug 08 - London, ON - Budweiser Gardens
Aug 10 - Toronto, ON - Air Canada Centre
Aug 12 - Toronto, ON - Air Canada Centre
Aug 16 - Hamilton, ON - FirstOntario Centre
Aug 18 - Ottawa, ON - Canadian Tire Centre
Aug 20 - Kingston, ON - Rogers K-Rock Centre
Tragically Hip singer Gord Downie diagnosed with terminal cancer