Chris Tse
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Chris Tse

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Band Spoken Word Comedy

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The best kept secret in music

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"We Day: Spoken word champion aims to effect change on global scale"

At 24, most young people Chris Tse’s age are just starting to get their life on track. But Tse has not only done that — with a journalism degree and spoken word title under his belt — he’s trying to make a positive change for others on a global scale.

The Coquitlam man is an inspirational speaker for Free the Children and is one of the main performers Friday on the We Day Vancouver stage.

Before embarking on the international travel that solidified his passion for social justice, Tse volunteered in soup kitchens in Whalley and the Downtown Eastside. That passion led to spending time in migrant worker camps in Mexico and working for Journalists for Human Rights in Ghana, reporting on human rights abuses and the progress of CIDA-sponsored projects.

“A lot of times people think that to work in developing countries they need to study development or economics but there is so much room for all types to make this work — whether you are a poet, photographer, dancer, architect, hockey player you can turn your passion into something good for others,” he said.

The message he wants to bring to We Day is simple: “Follow your passion. Learn about the world and see how you can make a difference.”

Tse is now touring with the Kenyan Boys Choir and hopes his rap-style poetry helps motivates young people to follow their passion.

We Day has been held in Canada since 2007, bringing youth together to inspire them to lead through service both locally and in developing countries throughout the world.

This year, nine We Days will be held across Canada, from coast to coast, and for the first time, two are also being held in the United States and one in the United Kingdom.

We Day Vancouver will bring 20,000 students and educators from more than 700 B.C. schools to Rogers Arena for a day of performances and world renowned speakers, including UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, Martin Luther King III, Sen. Romeo Dallaire and 10-year-old eco-blogger Hannah Alper. Musical guests include Hedley and Down with Webster.

The event is free but all of the students attending have been chosen by their schools after making a commitment to take action on at least one local and one global initiative.

“I’ve always been social justice minded,” Tse said. “Growing up in Coquitlam, it wasn’t a rough upbringing but every city has its issues and some friends from high school did end up doing drugs and getting involved in gangs. My parents raised me to learn about the world and see the disparity that exists.”

We Day was founded by brothers Craig and Mark Kielburger and is organized by Free the Children, an organization now operating in 45 countries to help end child labour. Craig, at the age of 12, had read about a Pakistani boy who died after being forced into child labour. Since that time the brothers have helped build more than 650 schools for children around the world.

The We Day events’ main sponsors are RBC and Telus.
- Vancouver Sun


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Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

Chris Tse has always been compelled to make a difference in the lives of young people. Today, armed with knowledge, brimming with creativity and a positive spirit, this inspirational speaker is doing just that.

A deep love of words and passion for human rights has led Chris who hails from B.C. and is of Chinese descent around the world as a poet, speaker and journalist. Early in life he developed a compassion for others that would propel him toward great achievements. As a teen, Chris spent time in Mexico in camps for migrant workers, witnessing firsthand the devastating poverty that so many people around the world face every day.

Chris was soon volunteering in countless soup kitchens and homeless shelters. His deepening knowledge and passion for social justice led him to the journalism program at Carlton University, where he realized how effective the written word could be as a tool for social change.

In his second year at Carleton University, Chris discovered his gift for spoken-word performance. Meeting people from around the world put him in touch with real-world issues that, for Chris, deserved a wider audience. A vibrant arts community showed him how these issues could be expressed.

Chris captained the Ottawa Capital Slam team to a national championship at the 2010 Canadian Festival of Spoken Word. He then placed second at the 2011 Poetry Slam World Cup in France. He has produced a book of poetry and an EP, both entitled An Ode to My Afro, and performed on stages from Vancouver to Paris to Kumasi. His work has appeared on CBC, CTV and in numerous newspapers across the country.

Chris spent time in South America, Europe, Asia and the U.S., using his spoken word as a channel for social issues and, after graduation, worked for Journalists for Human Rights in Ghana, reporting on human rights abuses and the progress of Millennium Development Goal projects.

Throughout his experiences, Chris maintained a desire to help empower young people. He coached basketball and volunteered with youth mentorship programs, but it wasnt until he attended a Take Action Camp to conduct a spoken-word workshophis first encounter with Me to Wethat his direction became cemented. He has never looked back.

Chris knows all too well that being on the right path is crucialright from the start. I grew up with some kids who took the wrong path, getting mixed up in drugs and gangs and ending up in jail or dead, he says.

As a motivational speaker and leadership facilitator for Free The Children and Me to We, Chris spreads his message in the most dynamic and unforgettable manner, upholding the timeless Voltaire adage: Stand upright, speak thy thoughts, declare the truth thou hast, that all may share; be bold, proclaim it everywhere: they only live who dare.