Penticton artists to honour Cohen’s legacy

Penticton poets, musicians and artists are honouring the legacy of Leonard Cohen with a night of tribute.

Leonard Cohen's 14th studio album

Acclaimed Penticton poet Shane Koyczan is often asked who his influences are and Leonard Cohen is always in the top of the list.

Koyczan called out to his fellow Penticton artists and musicians after the news of Cohen’s death to see if they were interested in putting together a tribute show. They all agreed with little hesitation.

“He means that much to so many other people. His work means that much,” Koyczan said. “It has become a part of our lives.”

The Canadian icon had a large role shaping Koyczan as a poet, artist and a person.

“I grew up not being a very social person. I just didn’t have that ability, just based on what I went through in school and the experience that I had. So growing up reading and books became a large part of  my escapism and things like that,” Koyczan said. “When I finally got into university and when I finally got into the writing program I was finding the voices that spoke to me in a way.

“He just really helped shape my voice. He really taught me to look for beautiful things in ugly things. It’s strange because words is what I do for a living and it’s hard to really put into words how much this person did for me, having never even met them, having never crossed paths.”

Koyczan likened the feeling to the day Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain died.

“When he died it was sort of the same thing, where it was this heavy gut punch. If you’ve ever been in a relationship where you really love a person and it goes south and it ends and it ends badly. That emotional feeling manifests in a physical way and I had a very physical reaction to hearing the news about Leonard Cohen,” Koyczan said.

Cohen passed away at the age of 89, but Koyczan hopes Canada can reflect and encourage the love of arts in the here and now.

“Canada has this horrible tendency where we tend to mourn our arts rather than celebrate them,” Koyczan said. “I was always hearing people saying ‘I got to see Leonard Cohen before he dies.’ That’s a really morbid sort of way to look at things and I was always like why not I got to see Leonard Cohen, period, end of sentence,” Koyczan said.

The deep impact Cohen had on many became apparent to Koyczan when  nine artists jumped on board including Maiya Robbie, Alexandra Goodall, Stefan Bienz, Tavis Weir, Mia Harris, Jared Jackel, Daryl Oneill, Teresa Wiltse, and Warryn Berry.

“I know so many people, Leonard Cohen was the voice that talked them down from the ledge or got them through another day or helped them cope with some deep torment that was going on in their lives,” Koyczan said. “There are so many people, even in the small community of Penticton.”

Koyczan feels it is Cohen’s honesty that resonated with so many.

“He relates on a very human and personal level. That’s one of the things that I’ve tried to do with my work,” Koyczan said.

The show is fundraising for the Penticton Art Gallery and the Dream Café.

Tickets are $30 on sale at the Art Gallery and t he Book Shop, 242 Main St.

The tribute night takes place Dec. 17 at the Cleland Community Theatre.

 

Just Posted

Special memorial service to say goodbye to murdered teen

A memorial service and celebratio of life was held Tuesday for murdered teen Elijah-Iain Beauregard

Juno-Award winning musician Bill Bourne to perform in Keremeos

Concert at the Grist Mill and Gardens starts at 7 p.m. on July 19

10th year for Great Naramata Cherry Pit Contest

The event is a fun-filled way to celebrate the local harvest

Man arrested in Kelowna following Shuswap vehicle thefts, pursuit

Suspect wanted in Alberta allegdly also stole several vehicles near Sicamous over the weekend

VIDEO: B.C. MLA Michelle Stilwell takes first steps in nearly 30 years

‘It actually felt like walking. It’s been 27 years… but it felt realistic to me’

Firefighters have doused a Peachland house fire

Fire crews are still on scene investigating the cause of the BBQ which made its way to the home

False report of dead body leads police to sex dolls at Manning Park

Princeton RCMP breathed a sigh of relief, momentarily, when they discovered a… Continue reading

Ironman returns to Okanagan after seven-year absence

Subaru Ironman Canada is coming back to Penticton in 2020

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Okanagan College campus flies Syilx flag

The Okanagan Nation Alliance flag was raised at a ceremony at Vernon campus on July 16

Dog recovering after being drenched in hot coffee, B.C. man charged

Man was taken into custody, charged, and released pending a court date

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Science expedition to Canada’s largest underwater volcano departs Vancouver Island

Crews prepared for a two-week research mission to the Explorer Seamount

Most Read