How GEDfest is supporting the Calgary Cancer Centre
GEDfest is a celebration of the impact Gordon Edgar Downie of the Tragically Hip had on Canadian culture and music. Behind the music, dancing, and good times had at this event is a purpose. For Keith, the organizer of GEDfest Calgary, the purpose is to ensure better outcomes for Alberta’s cancer patients.
“It is meant to be a celebration that brings the community together under the spirit of live music and charity.” – Keith Dyck, organizer of GEDfest.
Gordon Edgar Downie, the lead singer of the Tragically Hip, passed away from Glioblastoma brain cancer on October 17, 2017. Each year since, on the closest Saturday to October 17, GEDfest takes place to support a cancer charity. With tribute bands, like Trickle Down, playing hits by the Tragically Hip and conversations brewing about the Gordon Downie’s impact on Canadian culture and the cancer community, this event is a time to reconnect and take part in a good cause.
Keith knew he wanted to support cancer care provided in Calgary, having seen the incredible work taking place at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre.
Keith’s first glimpse at the care provided at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre came when one of his dearest friends, Terry, was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.
When asked about Terry’s journey, Keith responded, “Through his battle with cancer, he talked about the Tom Baker Cancer Centre, the care he received there, and how amazing it was. He was given six months to live, and nine years later, he is a healthy, robust and beautiful man at 74. [Terry] would say, outside of his oncologist, the Tom Baker Cancer Centre saved his life.”
Keith’s wife, Julie, had also volunteered at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre.
With the new Calgary Cancer Centre opening up in 2024, Keith saw an opportunity to help advance cancer care for Albertans.
GEDfest, in Calgary, decided to support the new Calgary Cancer Centre through the OWN.CANCER campaign this year. Keith and Julie have made a commemorable effort to ensure that 100% of the proceeds from GEDfest go directly to the OWN.CANCER campaign.
“The Calgary Cancer Centre opening, we certainly want to be a part, albeit a very small part, of seeing that across the finish line.”
– Keith Dyck.
When asked what OWN.CANCER means to him, Keith explains, “It is about community ownership… it is up to all of us to OWN.CANCER.”
It is certain that GEDfest brings the community together, all in the spirit of taking back the power cancer has over us. We are grateful for the support GEDfest has provided to the OWN.CANCER campaign and the Alberta Cancer Foundation in years past. It is clear to see the positive impact it has on our Albertan communities.
Here is how you can support GEDfest:
- Attend the live event. (On the Saturday closest to October 17 each year)
- Donate to their portal through the OWN.CANCER site.
- Go to GEDfest.ca to learn more about the event and the people who created it.
- Follow GEDfest on social media.
“Music brings people together. So my function in anything I do is to help bring people closer in.” – Gordon Edgar Downie
At the Calgary Cancer Centre, we’re bringing together researchers, medical teams, prevention experts, patients and families in ways never before possible. Learn more about the OWN.CANCER campaign today.