Two powerful and poignant narratives of The Tragically Hip’s 2016 Man Machine Poem tour will be released this fall via Universal Music Canada (UMC), the country’s leading music company. A National Celebration encompasses the band’s hometown concert in Kingston from August 20 while Long Time Running is the feature film documentary of the preparations for and completion of the tour.
Long Time Running was created in collaboration between the band, Banger Films, and SHED Creative Agency, a division of UMC. The film was directed by Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier (Watermark, Manufactured Landscapes) and chronicles the rehearsals for and progress of The Tragically Hip’s 15-date cross-Canada tour. Including reflections from Rob Baker, Gord Downie, Johnny Fay, Paul Langlois, and Gord Sinclair, it is a candid revelation of the time, unflinchingly displaying the grace, fragility, courage, and beauty of the band’s tour de force journey, coming, as it did, following the announcement of Downie’s incurable brain cancer diagnosis.
Long Time Running premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival ahead of its theatrical release via Elevation Pictures this past September and was broadcast October 20 by BellMedia, who will also air the television version this Sunday, November 12. Immediately following the broadcast, the director’s cut of this will be available for streaming at Crave TV in Canada. With worldwide interest in this remarkable account, Long Time Running will also be available internationally (ex-Canada) via Netflix as of the same November 12 date.
Available digitally via Elevation, UMC releases the physical DVD and Blu-Ray formats December 1, with the retail version of Long Time Running including a 10-minute featurette containing interviews not in the theatrical cut, including reminiscences from Leslie Feist and Sarah Harmer, among others.
A National Celebration will also be available as a standalone DVD, Blu-Ray, and digital offering from December 22. Mixed for Dolby 5.1, the audio is fully complete and true to how it was performed, with no post-production overdubs, drop-ins, or ‘corrections’ to the artists’ in-the-moment expressions. Containing all 30 songs from the night’s setlist, the recording captures an unparalleled, nation-linking occasion. Originally aired live by CBC across all platforms, the concert was experienced by an estimated one-third of Canadians, among the biggest events in the country’s broadcast history. Long Time Running and A National Celebration are available for pre-order from today.
The knowledge that parting was inevitable, in light of Gord Downie’s diagnosis, could not temper the sorrow shared by his countless fans when it was announced he had died October 17. The expressions of grief were profound and condolences were shared from every corner of the globe. The legacies he built personally and with his bandmates will continue to be lauded and cherished the world over. Introduce Yerself, Downie’s most recent solo album, debuted at #1 on this week’s Canadian Current, Consumption, and Digital Album charts.
For more than thirty years, The Tragically Hip have occupied a singular place in the Canadian musical zeitgeist, with a strong emotional connection for their fans which remains unrivaled and immutable. Possessing the enviable status of a band that enjoys mass popularity, with over eight million albums sold worldwide, they also command the admiration of their peers and merit the industry recognition bestowed upon them through numerous accolades, including 16 Juno awards – the most recent of which were 2017 Group of the Year and Rock Album of the Year honors. This year, the band members were named as recipients of the Order of Canada.