Published Dec 22, 2016Gord Downie has been named the Canadian Newsmaker of the Year by the Canadian Press — marking the first time an entertainer has taken the title.
The title has been given out annually since 1946 and is usually awarded to a political figure, though athletes, criminals and fallen soldiers have also received the label.
Downie had a monumental year in 2016, revealing his terminal brain cancer diagnosis to the world in May. Since then, the Tragically Hip released Man Machine Poem, toured the album (unleashing a war against ticket resellers in the process) and played a triumphant homecoming show in Kingston (calling out Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to repair Canada's relationship with its First Nations people in the process).
Having accomplished more in one summer than many artists will in their entire career, Downie did anything but slow down. He released Secret Path in the fall, played solo shows, and inspired tangible steps towards reconciliation — receiving praise from the Assembly of First Nations for doing so.
We can't argue with the Canadian Press' pick.