Séan McCann performs at Malaspina Theatre Wednesday (Oct. 5) at 7:30 p.m.

Séan McCann performs at Malaspina Theatre Wednesday (Oct. 5) at 7:30 p.m.

Séan McCann tours Vancouver Island during his Recovery Tour

NANAIMO - Séan McCann, a founding member of Great Big Sea, performs at Nanaimo's Malaspina Theatre Wednesday (Oct. 5).

Séan McCann gathered the courage to cast aside his alcohol addiction, but soon after, he descended into isolation.

Even though it was his wife’s loving words that turned him from a dark path, he still felt alone.

“To help yourself is to lose your friends, your intimate group of friends,” said McCann.

Without the comfort of the bottle, he had to face past traumas.

As a teenager he had been sexually abused by the local parish priest.

McCann, a founding member of Great Big Sea, turned to one of the constant forces in his life to recover – music.

“I reached for my guitar instead of my bottle of scotch,” said McCann.“It’s the songs that have sustained me.”

He believes music heals.

“We are made of music. We are made of fire,” he said.

McCann has also started telling his “truth” and story openly.

“The only way to defeat a secret is to tell it,” he said. “That is why I have been so successful, that secret has no power over me.”

His recovery led to the creation of the album Help Your Self, and the You Know I Love You Songbook, which he published on social media sites.

“It resonated so much with people,” said McCann, adding he received an outpouring of love and connection from people who listened to the songs. “I learned the truth, that I am really not alone like I felt I was.”

McCann performs at Vancouver Island University’s Malaspina Theatre Wednesday (Oct. 5) at 7:30 p.m. during his solo Vancouver Island tour.

Tickets are $26.50 and are available by calling 250-754-8550 or www.porttheatre.com.

McCann’s other Vancouver Island tour dates include Duncan’s Show Room on Friday (Sept. 30); Sydney’s Charlie White Theatre Saturday (Oct. 1); Tofino’s Clayoquot Sound Theatre Sunday (Oct. 2) and Courtenay’s Sid Williams Theatre Tuesday (Oct. 4).

McCann said he likes to perform in more intimate venues so he can connect with audience members.

“I hope people’s voices are sore from singing and their hands are red from clapping,” said McCann about performing.

He wants people to be involved in the music, create connection, and form a community feeling during his shows.

For more information please go to www.seanmccannsings.com.

arts@nanaimobulletin.com