Performers with arms around each other

The Canadian Festival of Spoken Word began as a small festival in Ottawa in 2004. At that time, it was dubbed the Canadian Spoken Wordlympics. The first festival included six teams of poets and a small number of guests in attendance. In just nine short years, the festival grew from 6 teams to 20+, with over 2,500 guests in attendance.

The original intent of the festival, to provide a national showcase for spoken word talent, has expanded to include an array of panels, showcases, workshops and other events designed to facilitate the growth and vibrancy of the Canadian spoken word and poetic communities.

This year’s CFSW theme 'Discovery' speaks to 'The Story Within Us,’ which will serve as the tagline for the festival. Through programming selections, the festival will invite patrons and artists alike to explore their lives and personal stories with a fresh perspective, shedding light on intricacies, uniqueness, and seemingly undiscovered elements. The theme Discovery will also engage with 'the curious' by presenting a wide range of spoken word forms.

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