April marks National Poetry Month in Canada and it’s the perfect opportunity to experience some of the many events and activities planned by the local poetry community.
Victoria is the only city in Canada with a Youth Poet Laureate, Morgan Purvis-Bellamano, who is also a director of the Victoria Poetry Project and a member of the VicSlam team.
The Victoria Poetry Project is a hub for spoken word, featuring Tongues of Fire (bi-weekly open mic with featured artists), VicSlam (monthly slam competitions) and Victorious Voices, the high school slam poetry championships, coming up April 7-9 at the Victoria Event Centre. Sign-up for regular updates at victoriapoetryproject.ca.
Victoria’s Poet Laureate Janet Rogers is partnering with the READ Society in an April fundraiser entitled Litartcity. More details will be released on the City of Victoria website – victoria.ca.
Sooke poet Wendy Morton, the creator of Random Acts of Poetry, invites you to Get Poemed at the Greater Victoria Public Library downtown, April 26. events.gvpl.ca. Morton was also the founder of the poetry reading series now called Planet Earth Poetry – Friday evenings at the Moka House on Hillside – where emerging and established poets share words at an open mic and featured reading. planetearthpoetry.com.
Poet Garth Martens, the 2011 recipient of the Writers’ Trust’s Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers, releases his first book of poetry Prologue for the Age of Consequence (about the tar sands and industrial projects of Alberta, and the men who work in them) at a launch and reading April 3 at Russell Books. russellbooks.com.
On the theatre front, Giggling Iguana Productions returns to Craigdarroch Castle with another site-specific work Sherlock Holmes April 3-12. thecastle.ca
Kitt & Jane Present Spirit Week April 2/3. A conglomerate of Victoria’s favourite performers craft a mad-cap evening of competitive fun. Snafu Dance Theatre (Kitt & Jane) won the Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals annual lottery, and will be touring Canada this summer. Help them fund the tour. ticketrocket.org.
ACTivate, A Festival for Inspiring Theatre! April 4-6 is a play writing (and reading) competition featuring one-act plays from Langham Court Theatre, St. Luke’s Players, Where’s Noonan and Glenlyon Norfolk, Pacific Christian and Victoria High schools. Tickets via langhamtheatre.ca.
Pick-of-the-Fringe winners Paper Street Theatre will boldly go where no improvisers have gone before in A Science Fiction Thriller April 9-12 at Intrepid Theatre Studio. What lurks on the edges of the cosmos? One thing is sure – it’s a different show every time. paperstreettheatre.com
Intrepid Theatre has reintroduced a presentation series – The Deep End which promises to bring some innovative, exciting, edgy and current shows to Victoria. Winners and Losers is scheduled for April 11/12. Kelly Nestruck, theatre critic for the Globe and Mail, named Winners and Losers one of his most significant arts events of 2013, calling it “jaw-dropping.” ticketrocket.org.
Joan is Theatre SKAM’s tribute to local arts patron and “grandmother of all fans,” the tireless Joan Mans who passed away in 2010. April 17-20. skam.ca.
Janis La Couvée is a community builder, writer and arts advocate.