For the outsiders… Slam poetry

I heard about Shane Koyczan’s newest video from Okanagan College, where I work. Shane is an amazing slam poet, that you might recall from his memorable performance at the 2010 Olympics. He also happens to be an alumni of the college! And a resident of our lovely Okanagan Valley. He’s amazingly talented with the spoken word, and this video collaboration talking about bullying and the lasting effects on children is so worth watching… Pure poetry. Such an important message that I really felt in my heart.

If you want to hear more of his poetry, you can subscribe to a monthly poem at

I have to admit I’m a fan!
And just for your pleasure, here is his Olympic performance.

RIP: Stomping Tom. A Canadiana Tribute

Tonight I heard that Stomping Tom Connnors passed away. Now, I’m not a hockey fan (gasp), but I loved his song “The Good Old Hockey Game.” It’s one of those rare and special pieces of Canadiana, and it was no surprise that his last public statements were those of quiet patriotism. Jason’s favourite, BTW, is Bud the Spud. He wanted that noted!

Reflectively, I was thinking of other music that makes me think of Canada, and our shared identity, based on nature and multiculturalism. The first was my favourite short movie of all time: The Logdriver’s Waltz.

There is something romantic and historic about this video that speaks to me. It talks about our economy based on naturally resources and heritage of traditional lifestyles in nature. Thre is a multilingual multicultural component that I enjoy, and then there is the understated Canadianess of the whole thing.

And if I asked the girls about their favourite song about Canada (but I won’t, because they are in bed!) I know that they would say “Donkey Riding,” as it is basically their favourite song of all time. I don’t know how many hundreds of times we have listened to this song… And have to admit we all sing along.

Tonight, let those three songs be a tribute to Stomping Tom, and his joy of Canada.