Reboot Alberta

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Shane Koyczan Defines Canada at the Olympic Opening

Watching the Olympic Opening Ceremonies puts to bed any lie that Canada has no culture.  A magnificent production by any and all standards that spoke to our pride as we often do: quietly and confidently.  

Of the many highlights one was special for me. It was the Slam Poetry of Shane Koyczan at the end.  His piece "We Are More" should become as well known and revered by Canadians and as self-defining about who we are as a nation and as a people as our beloved Flanders Fields.



  1. For all those interested in Slam poetry (now), the Friends of the Library in New Sarepta, AB is holding a SLAM poetry day in October.

    We want to make our little village the SLAM capital of Alberta.

    Get writing those poems and contact me for more information as it comes along.

  2. I agree, I thoroughly enjoyed the Opening Ceremonies and was so impressed with Shane Koyczan. It was terrific listening to this young man express what I feel about Canada. I have not heard of Slam poetry and found it to be very interesting.

  3. Anonymous12:11 am

    I also liked Shane's message very much. But I was embarrassed that this had to be included at the opening ceremonies. A country that is truly confident of its identity has no need to explain itself.

  4. I loved it...and the full poem is even better. How wonderful to include it in the opening. One of my highlights (next to the brilliant kd).

  5. Anon @12:11 I hear what you are saying but I don't feel the same way about Shane's poem as if it "had to be included." We Canadians are a quietly and comfortably confident people. We don't need or want to be vainglorious or full of booterism to know and vallue who we are. We don't need to compare ourselves to others for validation. That retreat from comparison, especially with the States, is relatively new I admit.

    As Shave says we don't measure our greatness by the size of our buildings or lakes. We are more and less than that but how we internalize being Cnanadian is what we are.

    We get defined by others because we say "please and thank you" and that politeness is mocked by some but they also admire the "genteel and civilized" nature of being Canadian.

    What resonated with me in Shane's poem about us was much more profound and perspicacious. His core theme connects to my sense of being Canadian.

    "We are an idea in the process
    of being realized
    we are young
    we are cultures strung together
    then woven into a tapestry
    and the desing
    is what makes us more
    than the sum total of our history
    we are an experiment going right for a change..."

  6. Anonymous12:25 pm

    There are so many beautiful layers of meaning in this wonderful piece of writing. Consider, for example, the line "an experiment going right for a change.". How many ways can you read that? Four? Five? A true sign of great poetry is its capacity to inspire thought and emotion. This piece had to be shared. It deserves to become one of our all-time great themes. How wonderful that it found its way to a world stage as it did. This man can speak for me any time.

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