CANADIAN FESTIVAL OF SPOKEN WORD

The 10th annual Canadian Festival of Spoken Word (Montreal, 2013) celebrated “Diverse Languages” and was the first ever-bilingual national festival, with over 160 artists in attendance at over forty events during the six-day gathering. In addition to its flagship slam competition; the artistic programming focused on translation, youth outreach, indigenous languages, digital media and community building. A myriad of high-energy cabaret events and slam competitions, daytime workshops and panel discussions were hosted, bringing poets together to build awareness and celebrate the vitality of spoken word; past, present and future. Festival directed by Moe Clark.

The festival:

- welcomed 120 slam poets and 40 feature spoken word artists from across Canada to Montreal, providing alternative stages to perform, dialogue and learn from the workshops offered;
- collaborated with the Literary Translators Association of Canada to translate one poem from each slam poet (120 in total) that were performed and projected during the festival. Check out their published work in http://www.cfswanthology.org/
- placed importance on bilingualism and the need for more dialogue between different language speakers, while offering space for these conversations to happen;
- highlighted Indigenous Languages in collaboration with “The Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages” to host “Indigenous Languages Panel: History and Spirit”. 9 speakers from 8 different nations contributed perspectives on indigenous language preservation, education, transmission, poetic voice, history and spirit;
- created accessible space for over 90 youth to come and share their poetry and performance in our “Youth Roots Day”;
- featured performances by: Lady Syn Trada, Sheri-D Wilson, Ian Ferrier, Louise Halfe Sky Dancer, Tanya Evanson, Ivy, Queen Ka, and Jacques Newashish, among others.

Moe acted as artistic director for the festival to curate artistic content and graphic design, organize media outreach, liaison with venues, artists and volunteers, as well as organize budgets and grants. She worked with mentorship from established artists in the field and in collaboration with a dedicated group of volunteers and friends.