For the first time in his impressive career, Séan McCann will be visiting Chilliwack and taking stage at the Rotary Hall Studio Theatre.
A founder of the legendary folk band, Great Big Sea, the Canadian crooner went out on his own in 2013 after coming clean about his addiction issues, which he traces back to sexual abuse he suffered as a teen at the hands of a priest.
“A secret can kill you,” says the East Coast musician. “But a song can save your life.”
It’s those life-saving songs McCann plans on sharing with audiences during his 2018 North American tour, which rolls through town on Saturday, Mar. 3.
“My show’s all about singing, and singing together,” says McCann. “Almost like a campfire (singalong) that tells the story of a life.”
Since freeing himself of his addictions, McCann has worked steadily on his mental health and has become a well-known mental health advocate in the past few years. And for McCann, a bit part of that process has been his music.
“Music is medicine, it’s therapeutic, raises our spirits, and helps us overcome obstacles,” McCann says matter-of-factly. “And these shows are my meetings: this is where I share my truth and singing songs is how I do it.”
But McCann says the show’s not just about him singing: the concert, An Intimate Night with Séan McCann, is a partnership.
“My shows are very interactive,” says the musician with a chuckle. “Nobody’s going to get out of there without singing, so they had better warm up and get their voices ready (because) we’re going to sing together: we’re going to make harmony happen.”
Although his career has spanned more than three decades, McCann admits he’s never been to Chilliwack, but says he’s always wanted to play here.
“I grew up listening to Chilliwack,” he explains. “I still have four of their albums, and they were my favourite Canadian band for at least a few summers. To finally being able to perform in Chilliwack is like something otherworldly. It’s like finding Yoda.”
At the centre of his music and show is McCann’s desire to help people escape their darkness, even if only for a little while.
“I hope (audience members) walk away with songs in their hearts and lighter minds,” says McCann after a slight pause. “There’s a lot of negativity in the world today, and I want to give people a break from that and offer them a different perspective.”
An Intimate Evening with Séan McCann begins at 7:30 p.m., on Saturday, Mar. 3. Tickets are $45, and are now on sale at The Centre Box Office, or online at ChilliwackCulturalCentre.ca.