Mike Downie is a multi-award-winning documentary filmmaker and the co-founder of the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund. A celebrated and inspirational storyteller, Downie takes his audiences on a ride that explores how our stories define us, remind us of our past, and shape our future, both as individuals and as a nation.
Downie shares memories from growing up in a small town, leaving home to work in a mine, and watching his brother — celebrated musician Gord Downie — rise to fame, to travelling the world and directing award-winning documentary films.
One story in particular has been life-changing for Downie — Chanie Wenjack, an Ojibway boy who died while running away from his residential school. Downie told the tragic tale to his brother Gord and the two vowed to find a way to share this story with the world. The result was the multi-media project Secret Path that has captured the hearts and minds of Canadians across the country.
Downie is a writer, director, and producer of numerous award-winning documentaries including Secret Path, Invasion of the Brain Snatchers, One Ocean, and The Hockey Nomad. His most recent project, The Covid Cruise, told the February 2020 story of the Diamond Princess cruise ship as it became a microcosm of the coronavirus pandemic in the early days of the global crisis.
Before his career in film and television, Downie worked as a deep shaft miner in Northern Ontario; a medical researcher at McGill University; a junior economist in Toronto; and as a windsurfing instructor in the US Virgin Islands. He holds a Bachelor of Science with Honours from Queen’s University, and an MBA from York University’s Schulich School of Business.
“Gord and I spent our lives learning, again and again, the power in a story, everyone’s story.”