The Victoria Royals are proud to announce, in partnership with The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund, that Friday’s game against the Seattle Thunderbirds will be Downie Wenjack Fund Night.
As part of the night, Mike Downie, the Co-Founder of the Downie & Wenjack Fund as well as the co-creator of the graphic novel and film, The Secret Path, will be in attendance. Downie, along with his late brother Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip and artist Jeff Lemire, created the graphic novel and film to tell the story of Chanie Wenjack, an Ojibway boy who died while running away from his residential school in October of 1966.
During Friday night’s game, a selection of Downie Wenjack Fund merchandise will be available for purchase at the Royals Team Store with 100% of the proceeds going to the Fund. Royals players will wear a special Downie Wenjack Fund sticker on the back of their helmets.
In a special pre-game ceremony, Mike Downie will be presented with a custom-painted goalie mask by local artist Travis Michael, who has painted all of the Royals’ goalie masks since 2014. Michael designed two identical masks for this night. The masks pay tribute to Gord Downie’s past as an artist and goalie as well as reflect the story of The Secret Path.
One of the two masks will be available online at CHL Auctions: http://auction.chl.ca. All proceeds raised from the auction will go towards the Fund.
Earlier this year, the Royals announced that they had partnered with The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund for the 2017-18 hockey season. As part of the partnership the team has already raised over $7,000 from various fundraising efforts, including the sale of Royals’ game-worn jerseys.
The Downie Wenjack Fund was established as part of Gord Downie’s legacy to bring awareness of the true history of Indigenous People and to generate discussion to forge new relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians.
The Fund’s initiatives are aimed at giving voice to Indigenous issues, fostering understanding and helping to create a positive and ongoing impact on Indigenous lives. These iniatives include The Downie Wenjack Fund Legacy Room Project and the provision of ReconciliACTION Grants to community-based, grassroots, reconciliation projects across Canada.
Those interested in further information, or looking to donate to this important cause, are encouraged to visit www.downiewenjack.ca.