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Executive director of Glasgow Square and Jubilee, Carlton Munroe, finding inspiration with Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie

Carlton Munroe pictured in his music room, which houses an extensive vinyl collection inherited from his father and the complete works of The Tragically Hip.
Carlton Munroe pictured in his music room, which houses an extensive vinyl collection inherited from his father and the complete works of The Tragically Hip.

SCOTSBURN - Carlton Munroe is finding inspiration these days from The Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie, who captivated the country while on tour with what doctors describe as an incurable brain tumour.

Munroe was recently diagnosed with the same cancer.

“The will and bravery that Gord has shown; he’s used this to do what he wants to do. It gave me a perspective on how to cope with it right from the beginning,” says Munroe.

Munroe, executive director of Glasgow Square Theatre and the New Glasgow Riverfront Jubilee, has been a fan of the Tragically Hip since he interviewed them in 1988. Over the years, he has travelled to almost two dozen of their shows. He’s got all the t-shirts and the records. The most recent show was this past summer, on Aug. 12, when he and his wife Taryn managed to snag last minute tickets that had opened up for one of the Toronto dates. Just one month and one day later, Munroe had his first seizure.

Now, the man responsible for the music he has loved so much, has also laid out the roadmap for how to face this new chapter.

“Gord is modelling strength, moving forward, and living fully; to use this as a period that can be one the most fulfilling and rewarding times of your life,” Munroe said.

He says he has other sources of strength to draw on, too, including his family.

“They’re the reason I get out of bed every day. And I can’t wrap my head around the number of people that have reached out to me with such beautiful comments,” he said. “Those things are keeping me going.”

Since his diagnosis, Munroe has made a new friend, Allan Dauphinee, who also has glioblastoma. Dauphinee is bucking the trend of his diagnosis. More than a year and a half since his surgery, there has been no recurrence of his tumour.

“He has been really one of the most inspiring things I’ve experienced in the last few weeks. We connected immediately. We talk almost every day. He gives me hope.”

Also in his corner is a group of family, friends, and co-workers calling themselves Carlton’s Crew, who have come together to organize a benefit for Munroe and his family.

On Jan. 14, The Big Bash for Carlton will feature music performances from many well-known East Coast artists, Pictou County musicians, a silent auction, a special autographed guitar raffle and much more, all to take place at Glasgow Square in New Glasgow from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. A second venue at Wrangler’s Bar & Grill will run concurrently, with music acts on stage there all day as well. Admission is by donation with a suggested donation of $20.

“The format is like that of a levee in hopes that, throughout the day, we’ll be able to accommodate all the people who wish to show their love and support for Carlton,” says organizer Michelle Ferris.

Another committee member, Karen Corbin Hughes, emphasizes that the goal is to raise as much money as possible. “We want the Munroes to be able to focus on Carlton’s treatment and recovery. We hope this benefit can take away some of that worry that comes with the many added costs they are facing at this time.”

While Munroe had been reluctant to accept the offer, he appreciates the support being shown his family and hopes everyone has a good time at the bash.

A Facebook group, The Big Bash for Carlton has been set up to provide more information, or you can email CareForCarlton@gmail.com.

Munroe was recently diagnosed with the same cancer.

“The will and bravery that Gord has shown; he’s used this to do what he wants to do. It gave me a perspective on how to cope with it right from the beginning,” says Munroe.

Munroe, executive director of Glasgow Square Theatre and the New Glasgow Riverfront Jubilee, has been a fan of the Tragically Hip since he interviewed them in 1988. Over the years, he has travelled to almost two dozen of their shows. He’s got all the t-shirts and the records. The most recent show was this past summer, on Aug. 12, when he and his wife Taryn managed to snag last minute tickets that had opened up for one of the Toronto dates. Just one month and one day later, Munroe had his first seizure.

Now, the man responsible for the music he has loved so much, has also laid out the roadmap for how to face this new chapter.

“Gord is modelling strength, moving forward, and living fully; to use this as a period that can be one the most fulfilling and rewarding times of your life,” Munroe said.

He says he has other sources of strength to draw on, too, including his family.

“They’re the reason I get out of bed every day. And I can’t wrap my head around the number of people that have reached out to me with such beautiful comments,” he said. “Those things are keeping me going.”

Since his diagnosis, Munroe has made a new friend, Allan Dauphinee, who also has glioblastoma. Dauphinee is bucking the trend of his diagnosis. More than a year and a half since his surgery, there has been no recurrence of his tumour.

“He has been really one of the most inspiring things I’ve experienced in the last few weeks. We connected immediately. We talk almost every day. He gives me hope.”

Also in his corner is a group of family, friends, and co-workers calling themselves Carlton’s Crew, who have come together to organize a benefit for Munroe and his family.

On Jan. 14, The Big Bash for Carlton will feature music performances from many well-known East Coast artists, Pictou County musicians, a silent auction, a special autographed guitar raffle and much more, all to take place at Glasgow Square in New Glasgow from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. A second venue at Wrangler’s Bar & Grill will run concurrently, with music acts on stage there all day as well. Admission is by donation with a suggested donation of $20.

“The format is like that of a levee in hopes that, throughout the day, we’ll be able to accommodate all the people who wish to show their love and support for Carlton,” says organizer Michelle Ferris.

Another committee member, Karen Corbin Hughes, emphasizes that the goal is to raise as much money as possible. “We want the Munroes to be able to focus on Carlton’s treatment and recovery. We hope this benefit can take away some of that worry that comes with the many added costs they are facing at this time.”

While Munroe had been reluctant to accept the offer, he appreciates the support being shown his family and hopes everyone has a good time at the bash.

A Facebook group, The Big Bash for Carlton has been set up to provide more information, or you can email CareForCarlton@gmail.com.

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