words aloudThe Words Aloud Spoken Word and Storytelling Festival presents its 14th year of outstanding performances by Canadian writers and performers from Nov 2 -5, 2016. Main stage events will occur once again in the Durham Art Gallery, with satellite events in Owen Sound.

Known affectionately as "Words Aloud," this festival's mandate is to bring in established, mid-career and emerging artists from across Canada in order to give local audiences the opportunity to experience first-hand a diverse range of cultural and creative voices and performance styles. 2017 Artistic Director Terry Burns says, "We have an incredibly vibrant writing and performance scene in Grey and Bruce counties, as well as many curious and enthusiastic readers. Words Aloud's role in this environment is to welcome artists from other regions and cultural communities, and so provoke conversations about what poetry, storytelling and spoken word are or can be." This year's guest artists come from British Columbia, New Brunswick and Manitoba, in addition to elsewhere in Ontario.

words aloud 2The festival opens on November 2 with a special "Canada 150" presentation by Janet Rogers and Marta Singh, called Speaking of Home: Two Canadian Perspectives. Janet is a well-known aboriginal poet, spoken word artist and radio host, and Marta is an Argentinian-Canadian storyteller who performs for both adults and children. Janet and Marta will share work which addresses preoccupations with identity, belonging, and reconciliation. This event will take place at the Owen Sound & North Grey Union Public Library.

Main stage performers at the Durham Art Gallery will include award-winning page poets Bruce Meyer, Carolyn Smart, Sue Sinclair, Angeline Schellenberg, and Kate Cayley, with Janet Rogers, Brendan McLeod, and Jillian Christmas on hand for some high energy, accomplished spoken word. Aaron Bushkowsky and Marta Singh will contribute their storyteller skills.

Other satellite events at Words Aloud will continue the focus on diversity and alternative voices: the children's storytelling event (Nov 4) will feature, once again, Marta Singh, and the Peterborough Poetry Collective will present a public spoken word event with guest Brendan McLeod (also on Nov 4). As always, Words Aloud will also offer writing workshops: Angeline Schellenberg on the art of revision, Aaron Bushkowsky on character creation and development, and Jillian Christmas on playing with point of view and perspective.

Every year patrons visit Words Aloud for the first time, and leave at the end of the weekend with new outlooks on writing, reading, stories and spoken word. If you haven't visited before, let this be the year you dip your toe in the Words Aloud pond and take in one or two events, or just dive right in and immerse yourself in the whole weekend. You'll be glad you did. Tickets and information available from

source: media release, Words Aloud Spoken Word & Storytelling Festival


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