The simple impossible

Canada’s small-town country star Codie Prevost at Eaton’s Taffy’s

By Lisa Bennett

Theodore Roethke once said, “What we need is more people who specialize in the impossible.”

If that statement is true, then this world needs a whole lot more people like the Award-winning Canadian country star, Codie Prevost. Over the past several years, this talented young artist has made an unbelievably positive impact in his community. From raising money to help build a new Children’s hospital, to spending time in classrooms encouraging students to follow their dreams, to helping out the Battlefords Humane Society, to a full-on tour dedicated to fight bullying, the unlikely farm boy-turned-music sensation has already left an enviable legacy and he’s only just begun.

“I grew up in a small town and one of the things that I’ll never forget is—and it’s who I am, it’s where I’m from—is when somebody’s in trouble, or someone’s in need the town finds a way to come together to help out and to make the impossible seem not so hard to do,” Prevost says.

It’s that way of thinking that has lead Provost on a remarkable journey of inspiring and helping others.

Born and raised on a rural, 2,000 acre farm in Saskatchewan, Canada, Codie Prevost was taught that hard work is the ticket to success from a young age. He began playing the guitar at the age of 14 and by the time he turned 18, had already acquired a manager and was playing out every weekend. Then he did what no other 18-year-old in Saskatchewan had ever done—he wrote up a five year business plan and walked into Community Features (a Federally funded program that gives business loans to business in smaller communities to help keep the communities growing) to apply for a loan. Since no one that young had ever asked for a loan for a music-related business, the agency called a Board meeting with representatives from all over the Province. A very nervous Prevost went to the meeting a week later with his guitar and his plan. He played a couple of songs and waited nervously for another week for the Board to make their decision. They called him at his parent’s farm and gave him the news: he was approved.

“Getting that loan was like a dream come true,” Prevost recalls.

The loan enabled he and his manager, Al Lablanc to travel to Nashville to record his first album, The Road Ahead, released July 15, 2005.

Of all the incredible work he has done, the most urgently needed has been the work that he and Artist Stephen Maguire did on the Imagine No Bullying Tour. With 22 percent of kids age 12 to 18 being bullied in the U.S. during the 2012/13 school year, according to an infographic on stopbullying.gov, the anti-bullying message that Prevost and Maguire are working so hard to spread is a welcome and much-need one. Prevost met up with Maguire, an artist from Belfast, Ireland, after Maguire contacted him wanting to play at his CD release party. The pair hit it off and years later, Maguire organized a show called Imagine No Bullying and invited Prevost to join a group of musicians to play. Prevost happily accepted the offer.

A total of 10 musicians played the show and were met with resounding approval. The show was a startling success, so much so that Maguire received floods of emails and messages asking him to do more. He approached Prevost and together they came up with the Imagine No Bullying Tour. They partnered with the Canadian Red Cross and began playing across Western Canada, visiting schools along the way to help put an end to bullying.

“It’s life-changing when you get to go into those schools and be there one on one in the classrooms and play a big concert at the end of the day and try to make a difference that way,” Prevost says.

Prevost and Maguire are hoping to eventually bring the Imagine No Bullying Tour to the U.S. For now, however, he plans to help out at the multiple sclerosis walk in West Alexandria, Ohio, and more locally, to play for fun at Taffy’s in Eaton.

His music is a sultry, classy mix of brassy vocals and the kind of foot-tapping, good old-fashioned down-home music that has you singing along whether you sing or not. That is part of his goal.

“I try to get people involved in the show and leave them feeling something at the end of the night that they weren’t expecting,” Prevost says.

Codie Prevost performs at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 13 at Taffy’s of Eaton, 123 E. Main St. in Eaton. For more information, please visit codieprevost.com. For more information about bullying, please visit stopbullying.gov.

Reach DCP freelance writer Lisa Bennett at LisaBennett@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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Reach DCP freelance writer Lisa Bennett at LisaBennett@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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