If there's anything more Canadian than hockey, it's the Tragically Hip. Now both are coming together as hockey hall of famer Doug Gilmour takes a slap shot at raising money for his friend Gord Downie's brain cancer research fund.
After announcing that he had incurable brain cancer last May, Downie and the Hip hit the road for a farewell tour which culminated in Kingston and raised more than a million dollars altogether for the Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research. The money goes to Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto to support their work "investigating new drugs, surgical techniques and genetic therapies."
"I was very proud to be at their last show, being from Kingston, Ontario. That's our connection," Gilmour said during a visit to the HuffPost Canada studio. "Obviously, we're all devastated over what he's going though so we just jumped on board to help raise money for his fund."
Gilmour decided to reach out to his fans and the hockey community through an online fundraising effort he's dubbed "Courage: Let's Do It For Gordie."
Donations can be made via Boon-Town.com until December 30th and for as little as $10 participants are entered for a chance to watch a Toronto Maples Leafs game in a private box with Gilmour and his buddies, including a flight and hotel. Other items include the chance to win memorabilia from Gilmour's personal collection and even drive away with the hockey legend's Harley-Davidson.
"I tried to package up some prizes that would make sense, and the Harley was the last one," he says, noting it only has 7,000 clicks on it. "It's a 2011 Dyna Glide. It's gold and it's got a 'K' on it for Kingston."
Thanks to the shared hometown, Gilmour and the band go way back.
"I’ve known these guys for decades and we're very proud of them and this is the whole band, including Gord. [Hip guitarist] Robbie Baker and I played lacrosse together back in Kingston. I came back from St. Louis, my second year, his father was a judge in Kingston at the time."
"I played a golf tournament with my dad and I saw Judge Baker there and I said 'how’s Robbie doing?' He said, 'They started up a band and they're doing pretty well," Gilmour recalls. "I'm good friends with all of them."
Watch the video about to find out more about the "Courage: Let's Do It For Gordie" campaign, which runs until Dec. 30.