CBC to air third doc in Gord Downie trilogy

CBC has announced the broadcast premiere date for Finding The Secret Path, a one-hour documentary featuring never-before-seen footage of the last year of Gord Downie’s life.

The third documentary in the public broadcaster’s trilogy on the late The Tragically Hip frontman, the film’s release marks the first anniversary of Downie’s death and 52nd anniversary of the death of Charlie Wenjack, the 12-year-old Anishanaabe boy whose story Downie fought to bring to the national stage.

Finding the Secret Path will premiere on Friday, Oct. 12 at 9 p.m. on CBC (9:30 NT), the CBC TV streaming app and cbc.ca/watch. An encore broadcast of the documentary will air on CBC News Network on Oct. 14 at 8 p.m. ET.

Wenjack died in 1966 while trying to escape a residential  school in northern Ontario. The documentary includes reflections by the Wenjack family and Indigenous leaders including Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde, Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation, and former Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Grand Chief Sheila North.

The two previous films in the series are available to watch online.

The Secret Path premiered Oct. 23, 2016 on CBC and streamed worldwide at cbc.ca/secretpath. Set to Downie’s Secret Path album, the animated feature told the story of Wenjack and marked the 50th anniversary of the morning his body was found frozen beside the railroad tracks only 12 miles into his journey.

Gord Downie’s Secret Path in Concert was broadcast a year later on CBC on Oct. 22, 2017. Filmed at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto with more than 30 members of the Wenjack family in attendance, the one-hour special captured Downie’s Secret Path live performance with musicians Kevin Drew and Charles Spearin (Broken Social Scene), Kevin Hearn (Barenaked Ladies), Josh Finlayson (Skydiggers) and Dave Hamelin (The Stills), interwoven with intimate backstage moments and footage from The Secret Path animated film.

CBC has also launched a collection of inspiring and thought-provoking short documentaries at cbc.ca/arts/secretpath, which highlighted Canadians who have been inspired by The Secret Path, to undertake their own unique acts of reconciliation.

Finding The Secret Path was written and directed by Mike Downie, a documentarian and Gord’s older brother, and produced by Mike Downie and Stuart Coxe. The documentary was executive produced by Gord Downie, Mike Downie, Patrick Downie, Patrick Sambrook, Stuart Coxe and Craig Baines.

Proceeds from the Secret Path project are being donated to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund.


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