Spoken word poet Shane Koyczan was seen around the world during the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Olympics and is now coming to Nelson's Capitol Theatre.

From the Olympics to Nelson’s Capitol Theatre

Spoken word poet Shane Koyczan comes to Nelson on Wednesday.

Shane Koyczan used to spend a lot of time explaining what he does for a living.

That was before the Penticton-based slam poet was asked to perform in the cultural finale of the 2010 Olympic Opening Ceremony. Some 13 million Canadians saw him on television, standing on giant pedestal at B.C. Place, as he paid homage to the diversity of our country with his poem “We Are More.”

“That gave people a reference point for what spoken word is,” Koyczan says. “It made it a lot easier to do what I do. Agents call me everyday, and I actually have the luxury to say ‘no’ to them.”

It’s easy to label the 35-year-old an overnight success. But Koyczan knows the time he put in. For over a decade he performed small venues and at slam poetry competitions where his only payment was exposure.

“I really had to work at it for a lot of years and live on very little,” he admits, “it seemed hopeless at times.”

But now that he’s a recognizable face across the country, finding a paying audience for his work is no longer a problem. He’s spent the past year working with his band The Short Story Long to record their second album.

Released last month, Koyczan calls Remembrance Year his best recorded offering to date. In fact, it’s made him brake his rule of not listening to his own material.

“I never like to hear myself. I don’t watch my YouTube videos or read the interviews I’ve given,” Koyczan says. “This is the first album I’ve actually continued listening to after it’s finished.”

And audiences are eating it up. Koyczan has sold out every show as he tours across Canada.

“The fans are so supportive,” Koyczan says. “What I’m doing, it’s still not a mainstream thing, and some fans really go out of their way to tell me they appreciate what I’m doing. It feels really good.”

Shane Koyczan and The Short Story Long stop at Capitol Theatre, April 18, 8 p.m. Tickets, $15, order by phone at 250-352-6363.


Just Posted

Smoke scraps MS Bike Challenge

The annual fundraising event cancelled its cycling Saturday because of poor air quality

Nelson’s mural festival: scenes from opening night

Crowds wandered the streets and alleys finding delightful surprises in unlikely places

Smoky skies force flight cancellations

Air quality in West Kootenay also a health concern

Castlegar bridge designed by architect of collapsed Italian bridge

Riccardo Morandi designed the Kinnaird Bridge, which is part of Highway 3.

Columbia River Treaty negotiators met in Nelson this week

Next session is in Portland in October

First responders, police march in funeral procession for Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday following a short illness

44 drownings so far this year in B.C.

Lifesaving Society urging caution to prevent deaths while on lakes, oceans and in pools

Some of B.C.’s air quality levels worse than Jodhpur, India

Okanagan, northern B.C. seeing some of the worst air quality globally

VIDEO: Ground crews keep a close eye on largest B.C. wildfire

Originally estimated to be 79,192 hectares, officials said more accurate mapping shows smaller size

Vancouver Island woman to attempt historic swim across Juan de Fuca Strait today

Ultra-marathon swimmer Susan Simmons to attempt to swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back

Canadians believe in immigration but concerned about asylum seekers: study

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada paid for study to understand Canadian attitudes

These are the highest-paid actresses of 2018

In its list released this week Forbes said all 10 earned a total of $186 million before tax

Safeway union urges rejection of mediator recommendations

Says mediator asks for too many concessions

Most Read