words aloud 2020Since 2004, the Words Aloud Festival of Spoken Word and Storytelling has brought to Grey and Bruce counties some of the finest poets in Canada and from abroad. But as with all arts organizations, our plans have been upended by COVID-19. This has provided the festival with an opportunity to reflect on its past and consider its future. After much deliberation, we have decided to take several steps in order to continue presenting our audiences with the most dynamic poetry around. Please bear in mind that these changes are all provisional, as we need to remain flexible under ever-changing circumstances.

First, we are taking a hiatus in 2021 and will return in 2022 under the shorter name of Words Aloud; look for a re-branded festival with different activities and a new focus. Second, we will no longer take place in November but in April. Next, our events will be concentrated now on Owen Sound, and we are proud to have solidified our partnership with the Owen Sound and North Grey Union Public Library as our charitable sponsor. Finally, we are under new administration: former committee members who made the festival what it is today have moved on to embrace new challenges, and we wish them every success. Yvonne Pelletier will be the Interim Coordinating Director, Carolin Brooks will be the Library Liaison, and Richard-Yves Sitoski shall be Interim Artistic Director. Current expressions of interest for committee and volunteer roles are always welcome.

The festival wishes to extend a hearty thanks to all who have attended and who have performed in the past. Lovers of live poetry can access previous performances on our YouTube channel. We look forward to new challenges and new experiences. In times of crisis, art becomes all the more important. It is, we are convinced, the thing that will save our spirits. It helps us, to paraphrase Mary Oliver, to create the world every morning. We are looking forward to seeing what we can create—and we hope you will join us as we evolve.

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source: media release, Words Aloud


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