(Team Pearson College / Victorious Voices)

Fans of moving poetry and the spoken word should keep their schedules clear next week, as Vancouver Island’s largest poetry slam is returning to Victoria for its 10th consecutive year.

Victorious Voices is a spoken word festival that highlights stories, poems, and performances of youth in the community and runs from April 8th – 10th.

The competition will include recitations by young poets from local schools and from across Canada. This year, 12 teams from across the island will compete in the High School Poetry Slam Championship.

“I usually tell people ‘you’ve probably never heard poetry like this before’ and I mean it,” said festival producer Elysia Glover in a statement. “Every year I am blown away by the creativity and vulnerability the youth bring to the mic.”

“They’re saying things we all need to hear in ways that make us think.”

Besides the performances, the festival will also host workshops by professional authors and poets that delve into the importance of storytelling and techniques in writing.

Humble beginnings

The festival was started by Victoria City Councillor Jeremy Loveday one decade ago, after he noticed a lack of creative outlets and forums for youth writers on the island.

“When I was in high school, there wasn’t anything like this and it definitely would have helped me to have had a positive creative outlet like Victorious Voices,” said Loveday, festival founder and Artistic Director in a statement.

“What started as a humble idea of providing a platform for high school poets has grown into the biggest spoken word festival on the Island.”

Stretching beyond Victoria, this year’s festival will include performances by CBC Poetry Prize Winner Alessandra Nacaratto and World Poetry Slam Champion Ian Ketku of Toronto. The nationally acclaimed poets will also be stopping by 4 local schools as part of the festival.

Victorious Voices

  • When: April 8th to 10th, full schedule of events available online here.
  • Where: Multiple venues including: Victoria Event Centre, 1415 Broad Street | City Studio Victoria, 709/711 Douglas Street | Caffe Fantastico, 965 Kings Road

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