male musician on stage with electric guitar, bathed in blue light

Music for the planet: An Eco-lyrics workshop!

FREE poetry and song writing workshop!

Can music inspire climate action? According to George Johnson, the answer is a resounding “Yes!” Johnson’s group is planning to use songwriting as a way to connect Kamloops residents to the climate challenges facing us.

An “eco-lyric song-writing workshop” will be held November 4, from 10 am to 12:30 pm, at the TRU Arts and Education Building (2nd Floor), to be followed at a later date by a performance event. Participants are asked to register in advance by email.

Says Johnson, “We want you to create spoken word, poetry, songs and music videos that celebrate the beauty of nature and our connection to it, that champion change towards sustainability, that express our climate anxiety and grief. The recent floods, drought, and now wildfires leave no doubt that we are in the midst of a climate crisis. We need to tackle this now, and it will mean difficult decisions and massive changes to our way of living. A cultural shift away from a consumer society to a more sustainable one will be hard, but we believe that inspiring art, and in particular songs can lead the way and challenge us to rise to the occasion.”

Experienced musicians and poets as well as those who have not yet dabbled in songwriting before are encouraged to attend the free workshop.

“Participation prizes will be awarded to express our appreciation of lyric-writing efforts by all ages, from high school to university students to those of us who are only young at heart,” says Johnson.

Topics can include: Nature’s beauty and our connection to it; Eco-anxiety; Species extinction; Positive transformation; Sustainability; Extreme weather; Ecosystem rights; Indigenous land stewardship; Food, Water, Right to a healthy environment.

For inspiration check out George and Ben Johnson’s Climate Crisis – Official Music Video with Intensive Care on YouTube.

A Festival to showcase the songs and poetry will be held at Thompson Rivers University during the COP 28 World Environmental Conference, which takes place in Dubai from Nov 30 – Dec 12, 2023. Details will be announced soon – stay tuned!

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