Posted by: practicalglobalrelations | February 15, 2010

Shane Koyczan: Defining Canada

Friday night’s Winter Olympic Opening Ceremony proved Vancouver to be close behind in the running, if not right next to, China’s Ceremony in summer of 2008.

One of the more memorable acts was Shane Koyczan, a slam poet who wrote and performed  “We are more.” Koyczan’s speech connected the audience by verbalizing what it means to be a Canadian, while also attempting to define Canada. However, one of the most intersting things about this speech is that Koyczan was first discovered on YouTube for his compelling poetic speaking ability. With the social media world growing as rapidly as it has been, occurences such as this do happen.

In just under two minutes, Koyczan was able to successfully show what aspects of being a Canadian make the country so intriguing. He also shows that Canada, an already strong nation, has grown past what it used to represent. Koyczan says “We are more than a laundry list of things to do and places to see.” Canadians have hope for the continuing success and growth of their country, and others will see that when they travel to Canada.

Koyczan throws out some strong promotional messages for Canada such as, “A nation that can give you variety. We are choices.” I personally have never associated Canada with a bad image- but it was statements such as these that forced me to be intrigued by the strong values of the culture being presented.

“Keep exploring, we are more. We are the surprise the world has in store for you, it’s true. Canada is the what in what’s new. So don’t let your luggage define your travels.” I love the last line in this part of Koyczan’s speech because it is reminding us to keep an open mind about other countries and to realize the positives and benefits that Canada has to offer.

I could not think of a better way to start the Opening Ceremonies in Vancouver than hearing an ode to the country from a passionate citizen.

This video is a product of YouTube.

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