October 14, 2016 - 12:11 PM
TORONTO - Gord Downie has been added to the WE Day lineup in Toronto and will perform a song from his upcoming "Secret Path" solo album.
Downie will perform twice on Wednesday at the Air Canada Centre, first at the all-day WE Day Toronto event and then at the evening We Day Family concert.
The "Secret Path" album, which is accompanied by a graphic novel and animated film, is inspired by the story of 12-year-old Chanie Wenjack, who died in 1966 after running away from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School near Kenora, Ont.
Downie's performance will be followed by a speech from his brother Mike Downie, who introduced the singer to Wenjack's story, and a healing song performed by Pearl Wenjack, sister of Chanie Wenjack.
WE Day, launched by Canadians Craig and Mark Kielburger, is billed as "a celebration of youth making a difference in their local and global communities."
The event has grown from its Toronto roots to include similar shows across Canada and internationally.
"I believe that each of us has a unique story to tell, and am honoured to have the opportunity to share a meaningful message with thousands of young Canadians and their families, who like me, believe that change is possible," said Downie in a statement.
"Today's youth have the power to build a stronger nation — they have the potential to be a generation of leaders who lead us on a path toward change."
Other speakers and performers taking part in the WE Day festivities include YouTube star Lilly Singh, Macklemore, the Barenaked Ladies, Nelly Furtado, Rick Hansen and Margaret Trudeau.
WE Day Toronto will stream live at mtv.ca, while the evening WE Day Family concert will stream live at WE.org/watchweday.
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version stated the wrong date for the WE Day events.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2016