NEW VIDEO: 'Shoulders' by Shane Koyczan and The Short Story Long

NEW VIDEO for David Suzuki Foundation 'Blue Dot Tour':

'Shoulders' By Shane Koyzcan and The Short Story Long

Lyrics by Shane Koyczan
Music by Shane Koyczan and The Short Story Long
Music produced by Corwin Fox and Shane Koyczan

Directed by Johnny Jansen and Amazing Factory Productions 
Animated by Johnny Jansen
Edited by Johnny Jansen
Art by Gareth Gaudin and Janine Johnston

Special thanks to, 
Comox Valley All Sorts Choir
Desmog Canada
David Suzuki Foundation & The Blue Dot Tour- Join the movement

Vancouver Opera News Release

Innovative murals and provocative posters confront the issue of bullying, in preparation for The WORLD PREMIERE production of STICKBOY

A revolutionary new opera
Composed by Neil Weisensel • Libretto by Shane Koyczan

Vancouver, BC ~ Four of Vancouver’s most prominent mural artists are provoking thought and discussion on the issues of bullying with powerful outdoor paintings on construction hoardings and exterior walls of buildings in Vancouver. The murals are part of an awareness campaign leading up to Vancouver Opera’s world-premiere production of Stickboy, a revolutionary new opera composed by Neil Weisensel with libretto by world-renowned spoken-word artist Shane Koyczan.

VO, in collaboration with marketing communications agency DDB Canada Vancouver, has commissioned Nick Gregson, Carson Ting, Ben Tour and Ola Volo to create the murals on construction hoardings on the Downtown Eastside and the Cambie corridor, and on the exterior walls of two eastside buildings. The four artists were invited to respond to the story of the opera, and were asked to interpret the “monster” that lives inside the opera’s central character, a young and sensitive boy who reacts violently to repeated acts of bullying over a prolonged period of time.

Work begins Thursday October 9, 2014 on three of the four murals. The mural by Ben Tour has been completed. They can be viewed while in progress and after completion until the end of the run of Stickboy on November 7, 2014, at:

Hoarding at 101 East Hastings Street (corner of Columbia Street), Vancouver – Nick Gregson
Exterior of 1000 Parker Street, Vancouver – Carson Ting
Exterior of Bomber Brewing, 1488 Adanac Street (corner of McLean Drive), Vancouver – Ben Tour
Hoarding at 3106 Cambie Street (corner of West 15th Avenue), Vancouver – Ola Volo

View and create online
Sketches and drawings of their work, along with the work of other artists who have been invited to create smaller-scale works, can be viewed at Visitors may post comments, tell their own stories about bullying, and contribute their own works of art.

Provocative Posters
The awareness campaign developed with DDB Canada Vancouver also includes series of provocative posters located in three Canada Line stations, which use confrontational statements to inspire reflection and empathy for those who are bullied, as well as to build awareness of the world-premiere production of Stickboy.

The posters at Vancouver City Centre, Yaletown/Roundhouse and Broadway/City Hall confront passersby with aggressive statements that amount to bullying. Each statement is followed by a tagline telling the reader that they have just been bullied for 30 seconds; imagine what it feels like to be bullied for years.

“The issues of bullying, and more broadly of how we treat those who are ‘different’ from us, are profoundly important to our community and to the world,” says James W. Wright, Vancouver Opera’s General Director. “We believe that the mural artists, and others who contribute their work online, will bring additional depth and a variety of voices to the discussion of the issues that the opera so eloquently raises.” Added Wright, “We hope that the posters, too, provoke reflection and discussion, for they are meant to illustrate, with force and immediacy, that bullying occurs everywhere and touches everyone.”


BESTiE Listed in Georgia Straight's Best Bands of 2014

Photo Credit: Georgia Straight

Photo Credit: Georgia Straight

WITH ITS DEBUT LP, No Bad Days, BESTiE managed to pair the happiest postpunk Afro-groove hybrid we’ve heard in these parts for a while (if ever) with the goofiest cover art in history. Speaking on behalf of his bandmates—Andrew Janczewski (guitar), Daniel Ruiz (drums), and Rob Cameron (bass)—vocalist Tristan Orchard popped his head through a hole in my pocket to answer our stupid questions...

Read the full article interview with BESTiE and check out the other bands that made this years' list, click here






Recorded with Cayne McKenzie (We Are The City) and Hannah Epperson and mixed by Aidan Knight, Silence Is A Song I Know All The Words To is the latest chapter in the story of internationally acclaimed artist Shane Koyczan. It is available today along with the companion piece graphic novel of the same name. 




Also out today is the video for album track “Troll”, featuring the artwork of Gareth Gaudin who also illustrated the graphic novel. “Troll” is dedicated to all of those who have lost  friends or family through online abuse.

“It's sad to think that we live in a world where so many are careless with their words, or still do not realize that the things they say have weight. Hiding behind invented identities doesn't free anyone to behave inhumanly... any more than wearing a mask grants someone the right to impose physical abuse on another. I've received thousands of letters asking me to address this issue, and have been very reluctant to speak up because I didn't want to draw the attention to myself. I then remembered being in school, and the pattern of silence that gave others quiet permission to continue torturing myself and others. We live in a society that asks us to keep quiet... to allow the world to spin unimpeded. Our silence is a commercial for a peace that will never be achieved unless we do speak up... unless we stand in the way of fear and hate showing others that there is a path that leads away from tyranny. We choose who we allow into our lives... we can choose who to evict.”

Shane Koyczan is also pleased to announce 2015 tour dates commencing March 21. They will include performances in Victoria, Vancouver, Nelson, Edmonton,Saskatoon, Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, London, Waterloo, Montreal, Halifax and more. In the meantime the BC based artist will be a guest on David Suzuki’s Blue Dot Tour in October.

 Shane then returns to home for a very special art exhibit Stickboy at Ayden Gallery on October 17, which runs to November 9, 2014. This exhibition will showcase 50 visual artists responding to the theme of bullying explored in Shane's novel Stickboy.  This event kicks off Vancouver Opera’s production of Stickboy by composer Neil Weisensel and with Shane as Librettist. This visually stunning world premiere is an adaptation of Stickboy which will feature visuals designed and animated by Giant Ant. The Opera premieres at the Vancouver Playhouse on Oct 23 – Nov 7th.

In 2013, Shane Koyczan collaborated with Giant Ant studios and more than 80 animators to create the anti-bullying viral video success To This Day, which has had more than 13 million YouTube views. He performed a customized version of To This Day “For the Bullied and the Beautiful” at the 2013 International TED Conference in Long Beach, California and now this extraordinary work has been adapted into an equally moving and visually arresting book. Thirty international artists, as diverse as they are talented, have been inspired to create exceptional art to accompany To This Day. Each page is a vibrant collage of images, colors and words that will resonate powerfully with anyone who has experienced bullying themselves, whether as a victim, observer, or participant.

Born of Shane’s own experiences of being bullied as a child, To This Day expresses the profound and lasting effect of bullying on an individual, while affirming the strength and inner resources that allow people to move beyond the experience. A heartfelt preface and afterword, along with resources for kids affected by bullying, make this book an invaluable centerpiece of the anti-bullying movement. To This Day comes out on September 30.

WestEnder Vancouver: Shane Koyczan Channels His Inner Bully

September 10, 2014 by Chris Sivak, WE Vancouver

Discussion around the topic of bullying is far too often incapable of progressing past it’s surface element of jeers and tears. Whether it be the anecdotes in our story telling, or the reality in our schools – we don’t often engage with the concept of being terrorized at a young age to the degree where we try to understand how it can create baggage the victims end up carrying for the rest of their lives. 

Though it’s something that we’ll likely never fully eradicate – a war on bullying seems to have that same intangible quality as a war on terror or a war on Christmas – the swing of society’s discussion about bullying should at least leave one feeling hopeful that we are heading in the right direction.

Part of Vancouver Opera’s fall lineup addresses the subject with the premiere of Stickboy, a collaborative effort featuring the music of composer Neil Weisensel and the prose of spoken-word poet Shane Koyczan. Weisensel is a very active composer with more than a dozen film and television scores to his credit, while Koyczan has become somewhat of a household name after performing his piece, “We Are More” during the 2010 Olympics.

Performing contemporary opera is relatively uncommon and commissioning new works is, by comparison, quite rare. But VO seems to be bucking that trend. Recent productions of John Adams’ Nixon in China, Tan Dun’s Tea: A Mirror Of Soul, and 2010’s commission of Lillian Alling, written by eminent Canadian composer John Estacio, seem to point to an artistic organization looking to develop and promote new works as well as established repertoire.

Koyczan’s novel in verse, Stickboy is the literary work from which VO’s commission derives it’s story. 

“It’s my experiences growing up – what I went through.” says Koyczan. “It’s how I started out being tormented at school, crossing that line, and becoming someone who torments others.”

See the full article at WE Vancouver 

David Suzuki Blue Dot Tour Ticket Giveaway- Go Backstage with David Suzuki

Now’s your chance to win one of 3 sets of tickets to a Blue Dot Tour event near you. Each winner receives:

  • Two tickets to the Blue Dot Tour event in the community closest to you
  • Backstage passes to meet David Suzuki
  • A prize packages full of goodies from our national sponsors — Roots, Ascenta Health and Nature’s Path

It’s simple to enter and easy to share.  Earn bonus entries for sharing widely with your network.

Here’s how:

  • Get 10 extra entries by signing up as a David Suzuki Foundation member
  • Earn three more entries every time you Tweet about the contest!
  • “Like” David Suzuki on Facebook for three extra entries
  • Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for two extra entries each

So if you haven’t picked up tickets yet, or if you’re just dying to get backstage, here’s your chance!

Hope to see you there!

Wake Owl Round 3 Winners of Vista Music Prize- New Canadian Music


(Toronto, ON - September 2nd, 2014) – Vancouver psych-folk duo Wake Owl have been named the winners of the third round of the Vista Prize – an innovative online initiative that rewards top performing emerging Canadian artists with cash prizes to help them advance their careers in the music industry.

Nominated for Breakthrough Artist of the Year at the 2014 Junos, Wake Owl – singer and songwriter Colyn Cameron and multi-instrumentalist Aiden Briscall – will take home the top prize of $10,000. The group’s debut LP The Private World of Paradise was released in March and earned strong reviews from critics, including NCM’s Noah Siegel, who praised its overall sonic texture and  “killer songwriting”. Fans seemed to agree: over the course of the summer Wake Owl’s music averaged between 4000 and 12,000 streams a day, and the group’s social media fan base propelled them into the top spot on the NCM leaderboard.

 The second place winner is synth-pop quartet DIANA, who will receive $5,000. The buzz surrounding the Toronto group has been building for months, and their daily stream numbers have been steadily moving upwards cracking 6000 plays in late August, one year after the release of their hotly anticipated 2013 debut album Perpetual Surrender, which NCM’s Kerry Doole called “mesmerizing”.

 Launched in July of 2013 and sponsored by Vista Radio Ltd., the Vista Music Prize is administered and hosted by New Canadian Music, a division of Slaight Music Inc. The NCM website comprehensively tracks releases and measures the social popularity of Canadian artists each week, and the prize runs every quarter, awarding $10,000 to the first place winner and $5,000 to the runner up.

Combining data from over thirteen different social media platforms, the Vista Music Prize aggregates both fan and play counts in order to rank emerging Canadian artists in terms of their online popularity. Music fans are then encouraged to vote for their favourite artists on Facebook, and a panel of judges evaluates submitted music. The scores from each category are totalled to determine the first and second place winners.

 The next round of the Vista Prize is now underway with six contestants including Bahamas, Basia Bulat, Comeback Kid, Half Moon Run, BadBadNotGood, and Emilie-Claire Barlow. Fan voting is set to start shortly on NCM’s Facebook Page.



Vancouver Opera: STICKBOY to offer Youth & Student ticket pricing

Affordable opera tickets for young audiences.

NEW! For the first time ever, VO is making available a limited number of $19 seats at each performance of Stickboy (except the October 29 Under-19 school matinee performance*) for people under the age of 19. They are available now from the VO Ticket Centre, 604-683-0222. (Not available online.)

Get OUT (Opera Under 35)

VO continues its popular Get OUT! (Opera under 35) Program: a limited number of selected $35 seats will be available to people age 19-34 for all performances (except the October 29 Under-19 school matinee*). These are available now, exclusively by phone 604-683-0222 or in person at the VO Ticket Centre, 1945 Mclean Drive, Vancouver. (No online sales for Stickboy Get OUT tickets.)

 U-19 and  Get OUT tickets must be picked up at the VO Ticket Centre or at the theatre. Valid photo I.D. required.

*Tickets for the October 29 Under-19 school matinee are available only to school groups by arrangement with VO. For information, call the VO Ticket Centre 604-683-0222.

 Parent Advisory:

Some content might not be suitable for younger audiences. The production includes coarse language and the depiction of violence.

For more information on Stickboy at the Vancouver Opera, click here

David Suzuki Foundation Announces Blue Dot Tour- Featuring Shane Koyczan on select dates

David Suzuki announces national Blue Dot Tour Suzuki to be joined by star-studded lineup including Neil Young, Shane Koyczan, Jim Cuddy, Emily Haines and Jimmy Shaw from Metric, Feist and many others

David Suzuki announces national Blue Dot Tour

Suzuki to be joined by star-studded lineup including Neil Young, Shane Koyczan,

Jim Cuddy, Emily Haines and Jimmy Shaw from Metric, Feist and many others

The David Suzuki Foundation is excited to announce the Blue Dot Tour, a cross-country celebration featuring David Suzuki and a star-studded lineup of Canadian performers, artists and leaders. The Blue Dot Tour will visit 20 communities from St. John’s to Vancouver between September 24 and November 9.

 “This is the most important thing I’ve ever done,” said David Suzuki. “I am so honoured that these incredible Canadians are joining me to celebrate the simple yet powerful idea that all Canadians should have the right to drink clean water, breathe fresh air and eat healthy food.”

In what may be David Suzuki’s final national speaking tour, the Blue Dot Tour will combine engaging community events with spectacular concert experiences featuring some of Canada’s most iconic performers, artists and leaders.

Visit today for dates, line-ups, tickets and VIP experience packages.

ET Canada Exclusive: BESTiE Reveal Their Brand New 'Sriracha' Video

Toronto, ON – July 10, 2014 – BESTiE is getting the summer sizzling with the sunny new video for their song Sriracha, which premiered this week on Along with the new video, the band released a remix of their track Foolish Hearts, by Kalibo – a new tropical electronic act from Vancouver. Listen here. BESTiE is also bringing their captivating live performance to festival stages in Canada this summer, with a run of tour dates in July and August (details below).

The video for Sriracha was shot by the band and directed by lead singer Tristan Orchard – who has previously worked as a filmmaker and worked on the group’s past videos. Filmed in Colombia – where the band’s drummer, Daniel Ruiz, is originally from – the band shot most of the video on the fly, improvising and casting people on the street along the way. The track comes from the band’s recently released debut album, No Bad Days (April 22, 2014), and will be featured on an episode of Esquire TV’s Best Bars In America. Fans can also keep an ear out for the album track Fell In Love With A Stripper, which will be featured on ABC’s The Fosters.

Vancouver Opera presents STICKBOY

Music composed by NEIL WEISENSEL. Libretto by SHANE KOYCZAN.

October 23, 24, 25, 28, 29 (student matinée), 30, November 1 (matinée), 1 (evening), 4, 5 (matinée), 6, 7, 2014

Evening performances 7:30pm • November 1 matinee 1:30pm, November 5 matinee 2:00pm.
All performances at the Vancouver Playhouse, tickets available now! Vancouver Opera

The inner life of a young boy is at the heart of this moving and meaningful new opera by world-renowned spoken-word artist Shane Koyczan and composer Neil Weisensel. Bravely autobiographical, beautifully poetic, visually innovative and musically memorable, Stickboy confronts the uncomfortable reality of a society struggling with its own fear and insecurity, a society that seeks conformity and uniformity at the expense of those who are different.This visually stunning world premiere will feature animation by Giant Ant, the producers of Mr. Koyczan's monumentally popular video "To This Day", with set design by Drew Facey.