TORONTO -- Face masks emblazoned with the Tragically Hip's popular song title “Courage” have raised more than $40,000 in support of Canada's music industry.

The Kingston, Ont. band started selling the COVID-19 non-medical cloth masks last summer for $15 each on its web store and funnelling the proceeds to the Unison Benevolent Fund.

The organization provides counselling and emergency relief services to the music industry, which has been slammed by the pandemic as live musicians and their crew have been unable to tour.

A statement from the band last August said the mask was created “by popular demand and sad necessity” as Unison experiences a huge surge in requests for assistance.

The Hip's “Courage (for Hugh MacLennan),” sung by Gord Downie, was one of their biggest hits, and has since become part of the Canadian cultural canon for its inspiring melody and lyrics.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 13, 2021.