shane koyczan

Interview with Penticton’s Shane Koyczan

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What were your hopes for this performance?

“In the arts community, lines are being drawn between people who are part of [the Olympics] and people who aren’t. People are upset about cuts to arts funding. My hope was to galvanize us again because the arts community has always had a strong united front.”

CTV

We Are More: Transcript of opening ceremony poem by Shane Koyczan

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Thanks to the Vancouver Sun for posting Shane’s poem. Here’s the link.

This was one of the most surprising and inspired choices from last night’s ceremonies.

kd lang steals show in opening ceremonies

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kd lang’s performance of fellow Canadian Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” absolutely stole the show, hitting just the right balance between celebration and mourning last night. I’ve never seen the song rendered so soulfully. One of the most memorable moments of an often truly inspired opening ceremonies, and especially moving given the moment of silence given to the Georgian Luger, Nodar Kumaritashvili.

Below is a version recorded earlier in concert since the OL version is not available …

I thought the Georgia Straight really nailed it with this list of remarkable events in the Opening Ceremonies. I especially agree with the choice of slam poet Shane Koyczan:

Vancouver Olympics opening ceremonies: the top five surprise artsy moments
By Janet Smith

Usually Olympics opening extravaganzas are about pomp and ceremony—big stars and obvious symbolism.

So imagine the Straight ‘s arts section’s surprise to see some genuinely eccentric, even subversive choices on the roster at last night’s big bash at B.C. Place Stadium—and no, we’re not talking about Bryan Adams.

Here, then, are the top five moments that made us proud:

1. A visit by Brock Jellison, former Tap Dog, head of Vancouver’s Ruckus Company Productions: great to see this rock ‘n’ roll rebel in tap shoes.

2. A surprise appearance by Shane Koyczan, representin’, unimaginably, for the city’s thriving slam-poetry community—a gang usually relegated to coffee houses.

3. Jean Grand-Maître’s inventive choreography: hard to know if it translated to the folks watching it live at B.C. Place, but the Alberta Ballet maestro crafted some truly transcendent moments.

4. One-time cowpunker k.d. lang singing Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah : sublime, in the most un-extravaganza-ish way.

5. Mohawked fiddler-bad boy Ashley MacIsaac stomping his combat boots and kicking up his kilt .

Georgia Straight