March 7, 2018 by Speakers' Spotlight

Congratulations to Mike Downie for His Win at The Canadian Screen Awards

Congratulations to our speaker, Mike Downie, who accepted the win for Best Original Music, Non-Fiction for their film, The Secret Path, at the Canadian Screen Awards last night. The Canadian Screen Awards (a merger of the Gemini and Genie Awards) celebrates exceptional achievements in Canadian film, television, and digital media. Mike accepted the award on behalf of his brother, Gord Downie, lead singer of The Tragically Hip, who collaborated with him on this project.

The Secret Path is the story of Chanie “Charlie” Wenjack—an Ojibway boy who died while running away from his residential school (The Canadian Government sponsored these religious residential schools as a way to assimilate Indigenous children into Canadian culture).

The film’s format is a hybrid of a music album, a graphic novel, and film (with artist Jeff Lemire), that has captured the hearts and minds of Canadians. Using Chanie’s story as a starting point, Downie helps audiences understand Canada’s troubling legacy of residential schools, to explore how to reconcile with the past and bring healing as individuals and as a nation.

This is not Downie’s first win at the Canadian Screen Awards. He won for Best Science Documentary for his film, Invasion of the Brain Snatchers in 2015. He has also won numerous awards for his documentary, One Ocean.

When he is not heading up Edgarland Films and/or writing, directing or producing films, Mike continues his movement as the co-founder of the Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund to forge reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples.