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Community Matters

Shane Koyczan, Writer and Spoken Word Virtuoso to Speak in Fort McMurray

May 1st, 2016

Supplied by the Wood Buffalo Regional Library

June 1, 7:30pm @ Keyano Theatre

Formerly known as Northern Insights, the Wood Buffalo Regional Library is very excited to introduce their new ‘WBRL Centre Stage’ speaker series.

Our first speaker, Shane Koyczan, was born in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories and grew up in Penticton, BC. He was a performer at the Vancouver Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies in 2010. At the opening ceremonies Canada met the poet of our generation.  Powerfully engaging and authentic in attitude, his explorations are relevant to our time in the way that Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Gordon Downie and Leonard Cohen are to theirs.

Shane Koyczan, has emerged in a new wave of artists that dare to belong to the people and speak directly to them in their own voice. As a spoken word artist and author with six self-published titles, Shane shapes his words and delivers them in a multitude of mediums including music, performance and video.

His first published collection, ‘Visiting Hours’, was the only work of poetry selected by both the Guardian and the Globe and Mail for their Best books of the Year lists in 2005. Destined to become a future classic, Visiting Hours in now in its third edition.

Koyczan followed up on the success of Visiting Hours with Stickboy, a novel in verse that chronicles the dark and lonely journey of a bullied child gripped by helpless rage. Koyczan shines a light into the bleak world behind some of the most incomprehensible acts in our culture, and also shows the healing power of love. Written for anyone who has ever been a child, Stickboy continues to be hailed by teachers, academics, and mental health experts alike for its deft handling of the subject of bullying.

The world took notice when Shane’s influential, anti-bullying, To This Day Project video went viral in early 2013. It was released as a project to acknowledge and support national Anti-bullying day. Since the video’s release Shane has presented at Ted Talks, where the audience leapt to their feet in applause.  

That TED Talk led him to collaborate with TED-ED to create a classroom tool that provides teachers a way to discuss anti-bullying with students.

Shane Koyczan however, is best known for his award winning spoken word performances. With his rhythmic verse in high gear, he navigates his audience 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, 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 truly an extraordinary talent that has blown the dust off of the traditional designation “poet”.

Tickets are on sale at the Keyano Theatre Box Office or online at  The Library will hold a draw to win 4 sets of tickets from April 1 to 15. Ticket cost, $40 per person, or $35 for students.

The show will run from 7:30 to 8:30pm, followed by a 25 minute Q&A session. After his time on stage, Shane will be available for book signings.

WBRL is also very happy to announce that Syncrude Canada Ltd. has agreed to partner with us and have come on board as our presenting sponsor of WBRL Centre Stage.  Syncrude has supported the Library on many initiatives over the years, and once again they have proven to be a very valued partner.


Tags: education, event

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