An estimated 12,000 people joined together to watch the CBC simulcast of The Tragically Hip’s final concert at Spencer Smith Park on Saturday, Aug. 20. Event organizers, the Burlington Downtown Business Association (BDBA) and the City of Burlington, partnered with The Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation and the Canadian Cancer Society, Halton to collect donations for local cancer care and research.
Burlington residents gave almost $4,000 for the event through cash or credit card donations at the park or online. More than $1 million was raised across the country through the Tragically Hip national tour, according to the Canadian Cancer Society.
Hundreds of Burlingtonians also added their personal thoughts to a “book of well wishes” set up at the event and available in the lobby of City Hall and Tourism Burlington office post-event. The book was officially closed at the community donation ceremony and sent to the agent for The Tragically Hip.
The CBC simulcast at Spencer Smith Park was financed through a cost-sharing agreement between the City of Burlington and the BDBA. A significant number of community partners also lent their time and talents to the execution of the event. Total costs for the event were approximately $22,000, under the projected budget of $25,000. The City and BDBA equally committed up to $12,500; the Hamilton Halton Brant Regional Tourism Office and Councillor Meed Ward’s office also contributed $1,000 each.
My Take: Burlington was part of a national moment, where people came together in parks, community centres, restaurants and living rooms to honour a beloved band and raise money to combat cancer. I was honoured to serve as co-chair of the event planning committee alongside Brian Dean, General Manager of the BDBA.
We’d both like to the thank our charitable partners, the city, local businesses, our volunteers and mostly the residents of Burlington for participating, signing the book of well wishes and donating generously to this event.