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Ryan McMahon performing at final show of the North Island Concert Society’s season

McMahon has carved out an almost 20-year career as an independent artist in Canada’s music scene
Ryan McMahon. (Photo contributed)

The North Island Concert Society’s final show of the season is taking place Saturday, April 2 at the Port Hardy Civic Centre.

Ryan McMahon will be performing that night with the show starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at Café Guido, Island Dawn’s in Port McNeill, and from Gail Neely in Port Alice. This concert is free for those with non-refunded season tickets from 2019-2020. Proof of double-vaccination and masks are required for this concert. For further information please call 250-956-0452.

McMahon was born in 1979 in Chemainus, BC. The only child of a longshoreman and a future educator, McMahon began entertaining early. His circles of family were tickled by his early renditions of the theme song from Davy Crocket: King of the Wild Frontier. The same relatives were not so thrilled by his discoveries and emulations of the early stage stylings of Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor. Whether the attention he received was positive or negative, it was during these early days that McMahon was hooked into evoking emotion from those around him.

Now in his forties, McMahon has carved out an almost 20-year career as an independent artist in Canada’s vibrant music scene. He’s always been a genre fence sitter, hanging out on the edges of country just enough to say he isn’t; McMahon is both a whisper and a scream. “Ryan sings to anyone and everyone who has ever got drunk, smoked, cried, loved or been loved,” says producer Andre Wahl. McMahon’s life goal has always been to craft songs that speak to the human condition. “I didn’t know who I was until I found music. I found that the person I was becoming in my songs was far more confident and self-assured than I was myself. Writing songs was my way of relating to people on a broader scale than I could otherwise.”

Over the course of his career, McMahon has toured Canada countless times, released five full-length albums, and seen his music licensed nationally and abroad. He has shared the stage with an extremely wide-variety of artists, including Lisa Loeb, Buffy Ste. Marie, and Nickelback. He’s had the honour of participating in many music festivals in Canada, the USA, and in Europe. In 2012, Ryan snagged 3 awards (out of 5 nominations) at the Vancouver Island Music Awards (Male Vocalist, Record and Artist of the Year)!

In 2012, McMahon co-founded Lion Bear Fox with song-writing colleagues Cory Woodward and Christopher Arruda, and the band was immediately named as one of the Top 20 Finalists for the 2013 Peak Performance Project in Vancouver. The opportunity gave McMahon and his band mates the chance to shine light towards their charity, the BandWagon Project (mobile recording studios that visit various lower mainland care facilities).

Legendary Canadian TV/Radio personality Terry David Mulligan may have summed up McMahon best: “The complete package. Singer. Songwriter. Performer. Troublemaker. Passionate human being. For me… priceless.”

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