Poet and spoken word artist Shane Koyczan at the Key City Theatre in Cranbrook, November, 2017. (Barry Coulter photos)

Poet and spoken word artist Shane Koyczan at the Key City Theatre in Cranbrook, November, 2017. (Barry Coulter photos)

Renowned poet Shane Koyczan returning to Cranbrook’s Key City Theatre

In a realm where poets rarely intersect with stardom, the Opening ceremonies for the 2010 Winter Olympics introduced the world to Shane Koyczan. With a collective “Wow”, across Canada and beyond, we found the poet of our generation. After having to cancel his October 2021 show in Cranbrook due to the pandemic, Koyczan returns to the road now that capacity restrictions have been lifted in B.C.

The world took notice when Shane’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 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 Shane as Librettist. Over 8000 people saw the production of Stickboy, and leapt to their feet to applaud the artistry. James Wright, General Director of the Vancouver Opera said, “Kudos to Shane for his accomplishments as poet and librettist, and for generously sharing his story with the world. CBC’s, The National said “Koyczan is a symbol of hope … Canada’s best known spoken word poet.” Vue weekly commented that Shane K “unapologetically taps emotion: the deep real feelings we generally aren’t encouraged to express in public.”

Shane 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, Shane 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 5 star reviews for his performances around the globe. Winner of the US 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”.

Shane Koyczan’s May tour is presented by the Kootenay Concert Connection in association with 2Day FM, and is coming back to the Key City Theatre on Tuesday May 10th at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets Will be available for sale Friday, March 4, at the Key City Theatre box office or by calling 250-426-7006 or online at www.keycitytheatre.com. Tickets are $32.50 including all taxes and service charges. For more information go to http://www.shanekoyczan.com/