‘That Night in Sarnia’ promises to be nothing less than memorable

Gord Downie, the lead singer of the Tragically Hip rock band, announced in May that he was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. The group's final concert, telecast from their hometown of Kingston, will be shown on inflatable screens August 20 at Sarnia's Canatara Park.

For fans of Tragically Hip, the legendary Canadian rock band, the night of Saturday, August 20 is one of those “where were you” events that is destined to live on in memory.

In fact, it’s officially labelled as “That Night in Sarnia,” which may be the kind of moniker that is so simple that’s it’s elegant in itself.

A bit of background may be helpful.

Gord Downie, the Tragically Hip’s lead singer, announced in May 2016 that he had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, which prompted the group’s final nationwide tour.

Subsequent to that announcement, Aaron Zimmer of Blackburn Radio helped spearhead a committee of representatives from K106.3 (Blackburn’s rock station), The Station Music Hall and Apex IT Solutions, to organize the August 20 event, which will be in Canatara Park.

The CBC Television broadcast of the live concert will be shown on two 30-foot inflatable screens.

While the all-ages event is free to the public, funds will be raised from donations as well as sales of food and beverages (alcoholic and non) as well as t-shirts.

Funds raised will be split between the Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research and the local Bluewater Health Foundation, which has earmarked donations to go to Bluewater Health’s Cancer Care Assessment and Treatment Centre.

Zimmer said the decision to direct the local proceeds to Bluewater Health sends an important message.

“It’s important that while we acknowledge and support Gord Downie and cancer research on a national level, we also support local efforts,” he said.

Kathy Alexander, executive director of the Bluewater Health Foundation, said the organization is proud to be serving as a way to bring more awareness to the importance of cancer care and assessment. “Having cancer is an overwhelming and scary experience, which is why it is so important that patients and families of Bluewater Health get access to the best possible treatment and support available close to home. We are so grateful to be receiving such a special gift raised during this important and emotional night for our community and the country.”

The event kicks off at 6 p.m. with a series of Tragically Hip videos and concert footage, followed by live music from Sarnia’s own The Room at 7 pm.

The concert is set to start at 8:30 p.m. and attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, blankets and bug spray.

Get the Lambton Shield Daily Brief in your inbox:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.