Kijiji and StubHub Ban Scalpers from Selling Tickets to Gord Downie's Halifax Show

Kijiji and StubHub Ban Scalpers from Selling Tickets to Gord Downie's Halifax Show
Photo: Stephen McGill
Following performances in Toronto and Ottawa, Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie announced that he was bringing his Secret Path live show to the East Coast for a date in Halifax. With all proceeds from the concert going to reconciliation efforts, Kijiji Canada and StubHub have banned the reselling of tickets to the show.

Tickets to the November 29 performance at the city's 1,023-seat Rebecca Cohn Auditorium sold out in minutes, with resellers listing tickets for triple the price or more shortly after.

"This is really troubling to our users, it is something we wanted to take a look at," Kijiji Canada communications manager Shawn MacIntyre told the CBC. "We're a Canadian company, so this is near and dear to our hearts as well. We didn't want to be associated with the reselling of the tickets to that event so we just removed them."

As one can see from the site's listings, many people are still looking to pay high prices for tickets since sale posts were wiped out. "Users were [also] disappointed that we allowed that or supported that," MacIntyre continued. "We do support the cause this is fundraising for, we don't want this to cast a negative light on that event. We made the decision to pull any ad that was posted."

StubHub will take the same action in removing any resale listings for the event. Of course, ticket resales were a contentious issue of Downie and the Tragically Hip's "Man Machine Poem" tour this past summer, with two-thirds of the tickets being purchased by bots and resellers.

"We review the factors that are there. Obviously it is legal to resell these tickets but [the action] is really not in the best interest of our community members," MacIntyre said. "We also have the position of wanting to have a free market wherever possible, where people aren't breaking the law. In this case, they obviously are not."

As previously reported, Secret Path was inspired by the story of Chanie Wenjack — a 12-year-old Ojibway boy who died from hunger and exposure while trying to escape a residential school 50 years ago. The album was accompanied by a graphic novel and an animated CBC television special, and has the potential to be worked into educational curriculums across the country.

Secret Path is out now through Arts & Crafts. Proceeds of record sales will go to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, which is dedicated to educating Canadians about the history of residential schools and moving towards a future of reconciliation.