Internationally renowned spoken word artist, poet and author Shane Koyczan returns home to perform at Cleland Theatre Penticton.
In a realm where poets rarely intersect with stardom, the opening ceremonies for the 2010 Winter Olympics introduced the world to Koyczan. His 2017 B.C. tour will include performances in Kelowna, Courtenay, Duncan and Penticton at the Cleland Theatre on Nov. 4 at 7:30 p.m.
The world took notice when Koyczan’s influential, anti-bullying, To This Day Project video went viral in early 2013 with over 14 million views and counting. Powerfully engaging and authentic in attitude, his explorations are relevant to our changing times in the way that Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Gordon Downie and Leonard Cohen are to theirs. But unlike the musicians that he is often compared to, poets rarely infiltrate pop culture. Koyczan emerges in a new wave of 21st century poetry that dares to belong to the people and speak directly to them in their own voice.
Troll, a poem about cyber-bullying is dedicated to all of those who have lost friends or family through online abuse. Koyczan’s much lauded novel Stickboy became the subject of both an art exhibit and an opera. Stickboy at Ayden Gallery showcased 50 visual artists responding to the theme of bullying explored in the novel. The subject of bullying is an issue Koyczan addresses, and he has gained much acclaim right across Canada for his work. The event kicked off Vancouver Opera’s production of Stickboy featuring Koyczan as Librettist. Over 8,000 people saw the production and leapt to their feet to applaud the artistry.
“Kudos to Shane for his accomplishments as poet and librettist, and for generously sharing his story with the world,” said James Wright, general director of the Vancouver Opera.
Koyczan performed on dates with the David Suzuki Foundation’s Blue Dot tour, that took him coast to coast and saw him share the stage with a number of performers including Neil Young, Feist, Margaret Atwood, Raine Maida, Joel Plaskett, Jenn Grant, Chantel Kreviazuk and many more. Shane wrote the poem Shoulders specifically for the tour, and it comes from a collection of poetry entitled a Bruise on Light.
“When I first heard Shane perform Shoulders it brought tears to my eyes.” said David Suzuki. “Poetry, like music, connects people in a powerful way and Shane lifted the entire audiences to their feet with his incredible words.”
With his rhythmic verse in high gear, Koyczan navigates his audiences through social and political territory with a furious honesty and a tender humanity that has brought audiences to their feet in New York, London, Edinburgh, Sydney, Stockholm and Los Angeles, just to name a few. He has received five-star reviews for his performances around the globe. Winner of the U.S. Slam Poetry Championship and the Canadian Spoken Word Olympics, Koyczan is an extraordinary talent that has blown the dust off of the traditional designation “poet.”
Koyczan’s 2017 Fall tour is presented by the Kootenay Concert Connection, and is coming to Penticton’s Cleland Theatre. Tickets will be available for sale May 5 at the box office at 325 Power St. or by phone at 250-490-2426 ext. 6. Doors at at 7 p.m., show at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 including all taxes and service charges. For more information go to www.shanekoyczan.com