Music Icons: Gord Downie Spirit Hat

When the Tragically Hip set out on their final Canadian tour, frontman Gord Downie was is rare form. His costumes were amazing—suits of metallic, iridescent leather and spectacular hats fashioned by Toronto-based milliner Karyn Ruiz. 

After the tour, Gord embarked on his last project called The Secret Path, the story of a young aboriginal boy named Chanie Wenjack who died trying to escape his residential school. National Chief Perry Bellegarde ultimately bestowed a great honour on Gord for this work—the Lakota spirit name Wicapi Omani which roughly translates to "Man Who Walks Among the Stars". 

The story behind our 'Gord Downie Spirit Hat' Art print

My inspiration for this piece draws on the work of Karyn Ruiz, Gord's spirit name, and his personality. The hat illustration and feather arrangements are inspired by Karyn's style. The feathers themselves consist of peacock, owl and eagle. The eagle feather is a nod to Gord's aboriginal work and the title bestowed upon him. The owl feathers are for his wisdom and masterful poetry. And the peacock feathers are for his on-stage persona and the way he carried himself throughout his career.

Design Features
  • Photo illustration of a bowler-style hat and custom feather arrangement

Museum quality prints

  • Individually printed on heavy photo paper using a 9-colour ink process
  • Museum quality inks and paper (Giclée) won’t fade or yellow for at least 200 years

Ready to hang

  • Dry mounted on acid-free foam core stops warping or discolouration
  • Gallery-style, solid hardwood, 100% Canadian-made frames
  • Thick acrylic is as clear as glass yet won't break during shipping
  • Hanging hardware installed—ready to hang out of the box

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