Shane Koyczan @ Alberta Rose Theatre
There are some artists who happen to be in the right place at the right time… that moment when the door is still slightly open and there’s just enough space to sneak through. Then there are those artists who find themselves standing in front of a closed door, but instead of waiting for it to open they kick it in to go through. In the rise of Spoken Word’s popularity, that open door cannot be discussed without saying the name Shane Koyczan.
In 2010, the world caught a glimpse of Koyczan’s prodigious talent with his presentation at the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. This stand-out performance helped shine a light on this street poet from Vancouver’s downtown east side.
Shane had been an artist, inches away from living on the street, who even in those troubled times was putting out work like To This Day, a video that’s garnered 24 million views and is used worldwide in classrooms as a teaching tool, as well in speech and forensic competitions. His second book, Stickboy, was adapted into an opera by Vancouver Opera. His voice has been sought after by luminaries like George Miller, who worked with Shane on Mad Max: Fury Road. Koyczan also created the piece, Shoulders, which he toured with David Suzuki as part of The Blue Dot Tour.