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Local artist teaches youth how to live different

Artist Tirrell Thomas and his younger brother Shamus have been part of a Live Different Tour, which has taken them to venues across Canada. They just completed their 149th show.

Artist Tirrell Thomas and his younger brother Shamus have been part of a Live Different Tour, which has taken them to venues across Canada. They just completed their 149th show.

ALTONA  - 

Tirrell Thomas has had a busy year.
The performing artist who originally hails from Altona, has been touring across Canada, as part of the Live Different tour.
Live Different was established as a Canadian charity in 2000 and is passionate about making a difference in people’s lives through their youth empowerment presentations, humanitarian Builds program, community projects, and Academy program.
Over the years, they’ve spoken to over 1.3 million students, visited over 3,000 schools from coast-to-coast, and completed over 500 projects internationally, including homes, schools and clinics.
Thomas is the main artist in the touring group, and after performing 129 shows, he says the tour is nearly over.
“I was asked to be part of the Live Different Tour in November 2016. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, but I was at a place in my life where I knew I wasn’t feeling very productive or doing what I was made to do.”
Thomas reflects on how far he’s come since he changed his life, and began creating inspiring music at 15.
“I used to be a bad person, but I had come to a point where I needed to change or I would have gone to jail,” he says.
“I chose the better path and worked on myself as an individual which made me stronger. The struggles made me who I am and I also learned not to let fear hold me back. I learned that I can be unstoppable in whatever I do. The words “dream, believe, pursue” have so much power.”
There have been many validating moments during the tour.
“A few people showed us suicide notes, but made a choice to live life because they knew their life was worth it. We go into places with love and encouragement for the people across Canada. Kids see that things can happen when you chase your dreams without fear, so I am hearing that there are artists all over the country starting to make music. And the number one thing is we have a comeback rate of 100 per cent.”
Thomas says his next goal is to become a professional motivational speaker.
“The people talk about having higher self-esteem and confidence to talk to people about life situations and struggles. We love to be there at that moment because we know how it is to be alone; everyone needs that grasp of love. We have the opportunity to be there for a short time, and spark a fire in their hearts.”
The most important message he wants to bring to others is that everyone has a choice and can take control of their life.
“Other opinions won’t ever slow me down. Every single morning I can wake up knowing I’m living my dream.”
Thomas’ younger brother Shamus joined him for four months of the tour, and they are currently raising funds to cover their living expenses.
Their goal is $2,400 each.
He says it was exciting to see his brother become an inspiration to others.
“Shamus also had the opportunity to speak in front of crowds and encourage people.”
If you would like to support this important organization, and be a part of the positive changes happening in youth across Canada, go to https://www.canadahelps.org/en/pages/shamus-thomas-live-different-internship-help-me-im/