Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Bobcaygeon Honours Late Tragically Hip Singer Gord Downie with Candlelight Vigil

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Bobcaygeon Honours Late Tragically Hip Singer Gord Downie with Candlelight Vigil

Article excerpt

Bobcaygeon honours Downie with vigil

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BOBCAYGEON, Ont. - When Dave Bailey first heard last year that Gord Downie had terminal brain cancer, he knew he needed to head to Bobcaygeon, Ont., after the Tragically Hip frontman died.

The Pickering, Ont., native wasn't sure if anyone would be gathered, but he figured he would head straight to the source of one of band's hit singles.

"I thought, 'What can I do?'" Bailey said. "I could donate to cancer society, and I have, but I got to do something to memorialize him so I figured drive to Bobcaygeon and watch the constellations reveal themselves one star at a time."

Downie, the Hip's lead singer, died Tuesday at age 53.

The song "Bobcaygeon" is from the Hip's 1998 album "Phantom Power" and earned a Juno Award for best single in 2000.

Bailey was one of around 50 people who gathered near the water Wednesday night in the town in eastern Ontario's cottage country to commemorate Downie.

Candles were placed on the ground and illuminated local musician Richard Kyle, who strummed along to famous Hip songs "Wheat Kings," "Ahead by a Century," and of course, "Bobcaygeon," on his black acoustic guitar.

Kyle planned on playing a few Hip songs in dedication to Downie regardless of whether anyone would show up.

"I've been a fan of the band since '89, when I really started getting into them," Kyle said. "I've met everybody in the band a bunch of times. They're a big influence musically and how you should treat people and how you should relate to other people and get along."

Residents of Bobcaygeon remembered Downie for putting them on the map by writing the hit song about their town.

"He's mythologised our town in a way that is incomparable," local business owner Sacha Douglas said. "We feel a great connection to him, always have.

"There's not a whole lot of towns in Canada of this size that you can ask anybody in Canada, 'Have you heard of Bobcaygeon?' And everyone will have heard of it. It's quite remarkable, actually. …

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