The Secret Path: Ahead By A Century
Available on CBC Gem
When the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada released its final report into the history of Canada's residential school system, it made 94 recommendations to repair the harm caused by residential schools - and move forward with reconciliation. Among the recommendations: the need to educate Canadians on residential schools and their impacts. At the Country Day School in King City, Ontario a high school drama teacher and Tragically Hip fan Scott Garbe saw an opportunity to make a difference with the school’s spring 2017 senior performance. After Scott heard about Gord Downie’s cancer diagnosis, he knew he wanted to produce a play based on some of Gord’s songs. When Secret Path was released in October 2016, Scott felt that Chanie Wenjack’s story needed to be a big part of the show. Several months later, after hundreds of hours of workshops and rehearsals, it’s finally time to premiere the play: Ahead By A Century. On the day of the dress rehearsal, Scott invites a very special guest to watch scenes from the play: Tim “Redfeather” Thomas, a 74-year-old Mi'kmaq elder. After the performance, Redfeather tells that cast about his own experiences as residential school. In that moment, the stories the students tell in the play become very, very real. The Secret Path: Ahead by a Century features performances by students and interviews with the teacher, cast members and Redfeather, set to the to the haunting and powerful music of Gord Downie’s Secret Path.