Isaac Bond is among those competing the All-Star Slam being held at the Cowichan Valley Performing Arts Centre next Tuesday. The event kicks off the Victorious Voices youth arts festival which also acts as the high school spoken word championships for Vancouver Island. Derek Ford Photographer.

Top poets set to slam in Cowichan for first time

Vancouver Island youth have a lot to say – and they’ll say it with passion at the Victorious Voices youth arts festival which brings top spoken word performers to Cowichan Valley for the first time.

The weekend festival is the Island’s high school poetry slam championships and the biggest of the year.

“Victorious Voices continues to expand, find new audiences, and give more platforms for youth to share their words. We’re excited to be able to bring three of Canada’s top spoken word poets to the Cowichan Valley this year,” said festival director Jeremy Loveday. “They will blow your heart and mind wide open”

The festival runs from April 18th-20th and it all kicks off with the Cowichan Valley All-Star Slam at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre on Tuesday which features some of Canada’s top spoken word talent.

The competition is a head-to-head battle between Victorious Voices Festival artists Isaac Bond (Saskatoon), Rabbit Richards (Montreal), Johnny Trinh (Toronto) and Maita Cienska (Victoria’s Youth Poet Laureate).

Student judges will pick the winner and tickets are only $5 for students and free for chaperones and teachers.

The centerpiece of Victorious Voices remains the Vancouver Island High School Poetry Slam Championships where ten high school poetry slam teams will compete for the title next Tuesday and Wednesday in Victoria.

A poetry slam is a competition where poets are judged by audience members on a scale of 0-10. Poets have 3 minutes and must perform original work, without costumes, props or music.

Victorious Voices is a team competition, and teams are required to perform group pieces as well as individual poems. Audience members are invited to boo the judges, cheer wildly, and participate in call and repeat chanting throughout the night.

“Forget the false notion that youth are apathetic! Come listen to young people speak passionately about the issues and experiences they care about,” says Jeremy Loveday, Founder and Director of Victorious Voices. “We’ll have dozens of youth performing and hundreds of teenagers out to support and cheer on their peers”.

The festival runs at venues across Victoria.

For a full schedule and location details see