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Hip Hop music inspires healing intiative in Vernon

Healing Through Hip Hop aims to give artists a venue, and a voice

Healing Through Hip Hop is a project aiming to bring opportunities to underserved communities in B.C.

Mike Irish is an artist on a mission behind the project.

For the past eight months, Irish and his company, Well Versed, have been hosting open mics, writing workshops and shows throughout the Okanagan.

Seeing the wealth of talent that’s without an outlet to perform gave him the inspiration to create a new platform for artists to be showcased across the Interior.

Irish grew up in Whitehorse, Yukon, and his music career has led him to travel the world, settling in Vernon where he runs his studio MuseWorks Audio and promotion and education company Well Versed.

He has worked at various music tasks including as an artist, audio engineer and promoter.

The Healing Through Hip Hop initiative has already visited six cities to host open mics, writing workshops and shows for local artists.

Irish says the project goal is to create a space for artists to share their music, a community of other artists to connect with and a bit of knowledge on how to further their skills as songwriters.

“At Well Versed we believe that everyone has a story to tell, and hip-hop has a unique ability to give voice to these stories,” said Irish.

“It’s incredible to watch an artist dig deep into their resources, to deliver an intimate performance or create a powerful body of work.

“Even more beautiful when they use that power to deepen their commitment to themselves, to their path and their future.”

On his website, Irish says the magic of hip hop is all you need, that and a pen and a piece of paper, then by sitting down to express yourself you begin to metabolize your life experiences and emotions.

Irish says through this work, we can begin to develop a healthier relationship with ourselves and others.

“We want nothing more than to help create events, and ultimately community, where all are welcome to share their stories and share in that healing,” Irish posted.

For more information about the program online, check out

READ MORE: Open mic opens Vernon hip hop show

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Barry Gerding

About the Author: Barry Gerding

Senior regional reporter for Black Press Media in the Okanagan. I have been a journalist in the B.C. community newspaper field for 37 years...
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