Tuesday, October 30

How to Run a Fesitval, 1-3pm @ Silence

CFSW is a nomadic national festival, hosted by a different community each year from coast to coast. This creates opportunity for poets to explore Canada, build a national network and roam as poets do! Come to this panel to build your confidence on how to become a host city for the festival, your knowledge of what is needed to do so and the benefits to you as a host. Panel discussion will also provide tips and tricks that are applicable to ALL festival organizing.   

Dave Silverberg headshot

Dave Silverberg


Dave Silverberg is the artistic director of Toronto Poetry Slam and festival director of two Canadian Festivals of Spoken Word. He regularly leads workshops on spoken word poetry in schools across Ontario. He debuted his first solo show Jewnique in 2018 and his upcoming book of poetry will be published in April 2019. His non-fiction work has been published in The Washington Post, BBC News, Vice, The Globe & Mail, Metro and many more.

Elizabeth Jenkins headshot

Elizabeth Jenkins (EJ)


Elizabeth Jenkins is a poet, journalist, spoken word artist and activist based in Peterborough. She stepped onto the stage for the first time in 2016 and made an impression in the local and national scenes. Her work strives to find beauty in the broken by embracing the hard edges. She explores personal traumas, love and her Belizean heritage in her work, and uses her particular experiences to shed light on the state of race, gender and class struggles in Canada. EJ has competed and performed nationally, co-organized the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word 2017, and completed her first chap book, "romantic and horrible.” She is a contributor to Electric City Magazine and has done work with Black Lives Matter Peterborough.

yes headshot



yes is a radical non-binary queer migrant and activist based in the tkaronto area. they come to poetry through the cuban traditions of being a dramatic lover resisting oppressive power. as an organizer and member of community, they’re committed to the Spoken Word Canada board and Voices of Today festival organizing committee.

Brendan Flaherty headshot

Brendan Flaherty


Brendan Flaherty has been on the Saskatoon slam team (once), represented Tonight It’s Poetry at the Canadian Individual Poetry Slam (also once), was the host of a syndicated satirical column on CBC radio during the last federal election (you probably missed it), and was named a CBC Saskatchewan Future 40 winner in 2016 (the trophy is etched with "recipient"). He's also the host of a podcast called This Night Will Change Your Life and is the director of the Saskatoon Poetic Arts Festival. He recently quit every one of his jobs.

Wednesday, October 31

Community, 1-3pm @ Heritage Hall

We talk about community all the time. But really, what is it? What does it take to hold it year after year. Adjust, re-imagine and respond to new needs. As artists in a resource starved environment how do we share resources, support one another and build without breaking ourselves or each other. How do we manage personal conflicts so they result in stronger relationships. Facilitated by Kai Cheng Thom. Panelists TBA.

Kai Cheng Thom headshot

Kai Cheng Thom


Kai Cheng Thom is a writer, performer, wicked witch and lasagna lover based in Montreal and Toronto, unceded Indigenous territories. Her poems, essays, and fiction have been published widely online and in print. She has performed spoken word as a featured artist across the country, at venues including the Verses International Poetry Festival, Banff Centre for the Arts, and Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. A two-time Lambda Literary Finalist, she is the author of the novel Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars, the poetry collection a place called No Homeland, and the children's book From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea. She is currently working on a collection of essays titled I HOPE WE CHOOSE LOVE: A Trans Girl's Notes From the End of the World.

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