Category Archives: News

Monthly Features

FINAL SLAM JULY 18TH, 2019! $200 IN CASH PRIZES!!!

The TOP THREE will win CASH PRIZES.

This slam is for ANYONE wanting to have their performance scored by the randomly selected audience judges. For anyone who DOESN’T WANT TO BE JUDGED; there is ALWAYS an OPEN MIC (5 minutes of freedom).

Got Something to Say?!

For 11 years we have provided an Open Mic (sign up and share anything for 5 minutes) and a poetry slam (a competition judged by the audience) where the top 3 win cash prizes, courtesy of our umbrella non-profit Open Minds Respect Events (www.omre.ca).

You get all of this for ONLY $10! (PWYC)

Slammers and Open Mic ONLY $5!!!

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Dennis D-Scribe FB Banner

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Fb Banner for April 2019

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Come on out and see why poets from all over come to slam at “the bsp”.

Bring a friend or an enemy, take a shot at the open mic or come be a judge; it’s all a part of the show and we couldn’t have one without you!

This month’s event is brought to you in partnership with NUVO Network, a home to co-working space, production & post production studio space, event space, office space and much more. NUVO Network’s goal is to become a community hub for art, culture and technology; where we can all celebrate innovation, creativity and collaboration in the same space.

NUVO Network is located at 1295 North Service Road, Burlington, Ontario, it is accessible, we will be in the Bistro Room and more info can be found at www.nuvonetwork.com

While there will not be a full kitchen; we intend to have some foods, pops and waters available for sale.

 

$10 cover, or PYWC; $5 if you sign up for the Open Mic (5 slots, first come first serve).

Doors open at 7:30, and you can sign-up at the door!

Show starts shortly after 8:00 pm.

 

Hosted by Tomy Bewick

Volunteers are always needed; get in touch directly to inquire.

See you there,

@burlington_slam #bsp2019EndGame

 

For Slam Rules and Guidelines check out our blog: http://www.burlingtonslam.wordpress.com

 

“The Burlington Slam Project” is a sub stream of Open Minds Respect Community Events

Open Minds Respect Community Events is a non-profit organization

http://www.omre.ca

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DECEMBER 20th!

DECEMBER CONTINUES OUR 2018/19 COMPETITIVE SEASON!!!

That means that for the next 3 months of poetry slam EVERYONE who signs up for the slam, WILL EARN POINTS towards making our team finals next spring. The TOP THREE every month will win CASH PRIZES as well as additional points, giving the most consistent participants opportunity to earn an advantage at the SEASON FINALS in MARCH 2019.

This slam is for ANYONE wanting to have their performance scored by the randomly selected audience judges. For anyone who DOESN’T WANT TO BE JUDGED; there is ALWAYS an OPEN MIC (5 minutes of freedom).

Got Something to Say?!

Every month we have an Open Mic (sign up and share anything for 5 minutes) and a poetry slam (a competition judged by the audience) where the top 3 win cash prizes, courtesy of our umbrella non-profit Open Minds Respect Events (www.omre.ca).

You get all of this for ONLY $10! (PWYC)

Slammers and Open Mic ONLY $5!!!

 

DECEMBER’s FEATURE ARTIST IS: ISAAC BOND

Isaac is a spoken word and hip-hop artist from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. He has been creating and performing for 15 years and his work has been featured at several events and festivals such as Ness Creek, Tiny Lights, Verses Festival of Words, and the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word. His work entwines the poignancy of vulnerability with the playfulness of rhythm. He has shared space in stages and classrooms across Canada, and hopes that in that space he can meet you as you are, wherever you’re at.

Come on out and see why poets from all over come to slam at “the bsp”.

Bring a friend or an enemy, take a shot at the open mic or come be a judge; it’s all a part of the show and we couldn’t have one without you!

This month’s event is brought to you in partnership with NUVO Network, a home to co-working space, production & post production studio space, event space, office space and much more. NUVO Network’s goal is to become a community hub for art, culture and technology; where we can all celebrate innovation, creativity and collaboration in the same space.

NUVO Network is located at 1295 North Service Road, Burlington, Ontario, it is accessible, we will be in the Bistro Room and more info can be found at www.nuvonetwork.com

While there will not be a full kitchen; we intend to have some foods, pops and waters available for sale.

 

$10 cover, or PYWC; $5 if you sign up for the Open Mic (5 slots, first come first serve).

Doors open at 7:30, and you can sign-up at the door!

Show starts shortly after 8:00 pm.

 

Hosted by Tomy Bewick

Volunteers are always needed; get in touch directly to inquire.

See you there,

@burlington_slam #bsp2018

 

For Slam Rules and Guidelines check out our blog: http://www.burlingtonslam.wordpress.com

 

“The Burlington Slam Project” is a sub stream of Open Minds Respect Community Events

Open Minds Respect Community Events is a non-profit organization

http://www.omre.ca

NOVEMBER 15th! #ThirdThursday @NUVOnetwork

Since July 2008 the Burlington Slam Project (BSP) has been providing a platform for writers and performers of all styles to find their own voice and earn bigger opportunities, while entertaining and interacting with our audience, fans and friends.

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NOVEMBER CONTINUES OUR 2018/19 COMPETITIVE SEASON!!!

That means that for the next 4 months of poetry slam EVERYONE who signs up for the slam, WILL EARN POINTS towards making our team finals next spring. The TOP THREE every month will win CASH PRIZES as well as additional points, giving the most consistent participants opportunity to earn an advantage at the SEASON FINALS in MARCH 2019.

This slam is for ANYONE wanting to have their performance scored by the randomly selected audience judges. For anyone who DOESN’T WANT TO BE JUDGED; there is ALWAYS an OPEN MIC (5 minutes of freedom).

Got Something to Say?!

Every month we have an Open Mic (sign up and share anything for 5 minutes) and a poetry slam (a competition judged by the audience) where the top 3 win cash prizes, courtesy of our umbrella non-profit Open Minds Respect Events (www.omre.ca).

You get all of this for ONLY $10! (PWYC)

Slammers and Open Mic ONLY $5!!!

Come on out and see why poets from all over come to slam at “the bsp”.

Bring a friend or an enemy, take a shot at the open mic or come be a judge; it’s all a part of the show and we couldn’t have one without you!

This month’s event is brought to you in partnership with NUVO Network, a home to co-working space, production & post production studio space, event space, office space and much more. NUVO Network’s goal is to become a community hub for art, culture and technology; where we can all celebrate innovation, creativity and collaboration in the same space.

NUVO Network is located at 1295 North Service Road, Burlington, Ontario, it is accessible, we will be in the Bistro Room and more info can be found at www.nuvonetwork.com

While there will not be a full kitchen; we intend to have some foods, pops and waters available for sale.

 

$10 cover, or PYWC; $5 if you sign up for the Open Mic (5 slots, first come first serve).

Doors open at 7:30, and you can sign-up at the door!

Show starts shortly after 8:00 pm.

 

Hosted by Tomy Bewick

Volunteers are always needed; get in touch directly to inquire.

See you there,

@burlington_slam #bsp2018

 

For Slam Rules and Guidelines check out our blog: http://www.burlingtonslam.wordpress.com

 

“The Burlington Slam Project” is a sub stream of Open Minds Respect Community Events

Open Minds Respect Community Events is a non-profit organization

http://www.omre.ca

OCTOBER 18TH!

It’s been a DECADE in the making! Since July 2008 the Burlington Slam Project (BSP) has been providing a platform for writers and performers of all styles to find their own voice and earn bigger opportunities, while entertaining and interacting with our audience, fans and friends.

 

OCTOBER CONTINUES OUR 2018/19 COMPETITIVE SEASON!!!

That means that for the next 5 months of poetry slam EVERYONE who signs up for the slam, WILL EARN POINTS towards making our team finals next spring. The TOP THREE every month will win CASH PRIZES as well as additional points, giving the most consistent participants opportunity to earn an advantage at the SEASON FINALS in MARCH 2019.

This slam is for ANYONE wanting to have their performance scored by the randomly selected audience judges. For anyone who DOESN’T WANT TO BE JUDGED; there is ALWAYS an OPEN MIC (5 minutes of freedom).

Got Something to Say?!

Every month we have an Open Mic (sign up and share anything for 5 minutes) and a poetry slam (a competition judged by the audience) where the top 3 win cash prizes. This month we will also showcase a special guest feature artist in their own performance set, courtesy of our umbrella non-profit Open Minds Respect Events (www.omre.ca).

You get all of this for ONLY $10! (PWYC)

Slammers and Open Mic ONLY $5!!!

 

OCTOBER’s FEATURE is: TRUTH IS…

Truth is … is a multiple time individual slam champion, a 6x national & 7x regional spoken word team member; participating in well over 200 slams. She has graced the stage of the Annual ‘When Sisters Speak’ spoken word concerts 3x. A poet, a writer, a motivational speaker & an arts educator with a long list of feature performances across Canada and the U.S., Truth Is … has headlined in several conferences focused on social equity, gender equity, youth motivation and labour. She has also opened up for Canadian Hip-Hop idol K-OS & legendary activist Angela Davis. Truth Is… is also a member of the Guelph Spoken Word non-profit board, and the 2018 Canadian Festival of Spoken Word (CFSW) festival organizing committee.

Come on out and see why poets from all over come to slam at “the bsp”.

Bring a friend or an enemy, take a shot at the open mic or come be a judge; it’s all a part of the show and we couldn’t have one without you!

 

This month’s event is brought to you in partnership with NUVO Network, a home to co-working space, production & post production studio space, event space, office space and much more. NUVO Network’s goal is to become a community hub for art, culture and technology; where we can all celebrate innovation, creativity and collaboration in the same space.

NUVO Network is located at 1295 North Service Road, Burlington, Ontario, it is accessible, we will be in the Bistro Room and more info can be found at www.nuvonetwork.com

While there will not be a full kitchen; we intend to have some foods, pops and waters available for sale.

 

$10 cover, or PYWC; $5 if you sign up for the Open Mic (5 slots, first come first serve).

Doors open at 7:30, and you can sign-up at the door!

Show starts shortly after 8:00 pm.

 

Hosted by Tomy Bewick

Volunteers are always needed; get in touch directly to inquire.

See you there,

@burlington_slam #bsp2018

 

For Slam Rules and Guidelines check out our blog: http://www.burlingtonslam.wordpress.com

 

“The Burlington Slam Project” is a sub stream of Open Minds Respect Community Events

Open Minds Respect Community Events is a non-profit organization

http://www.omre.ca

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Team Updates!

UPDATE SEPT. 30/18

Once again; we need to switch things up. Big Thanks to Keeley for representing Burlington at the 2018 National Poetry Slam in Chicago. Unfortunately, Keeley will not be continuing forward to the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word (https://cfsw.ca), and we have gone to the next available competitor from finals who was able to make the commitments needed.

Please help us welcome Doe to the team, as they join in practices and preparation for this October’s Canadian National slam competition.

BSP team photo update september 2018

 

 

#bsp2018 Team Update: Unfortunately Mel is no longer able to commit to this year’s national slam team. We’ve reached out to the next slammer from finals (5th place) and are happy to announce that Keeley is stepping in to join Robyn, Michelle and Fira. Please welcome her to the squad and look for merch coming soon to help them get to Chicago this summer for #nps2018, as The Burlington Slam Project has been confirmed as accepted.

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Our 2018 Team has been CONFIRMED!

IT’S OFFICIAL!!! Everyone is CONFIRMED! This is the The Burlington Slam Project 2018 Team! From Left to Right: Mel, Fira, Michelle and Robyn! Please Congratulate them all and look for fundraisers and chapbooks to be coming SOON! #bsp2018the team!.jpg

Changes! We’re almost 10!

We’re going through changes! As we approach 10 years of monthly poetry slams and open mics in the city of Burlington, Ontario; there are a few things that have been evolving behind the scenes.

At February’s slam we asked our audience to complete a survey. Since losing our home venue of 5 years; we have been in transition to find a new space to call our own. We have tried a few things and have our wish list in hand. Now we’re listening to you, to find out your perfect poetry slam venue.

Part of the changes you will see starting in April 2018 include an increase to our cover. After 9 years of being only $5, we are bumping it up to $10 (or PWYC). This change is needed to continue to cover the venue costs, bring in special featured guest artists and still offer cash prizes to our slammers.

We’re working on ensuring that we give you a solid show, with access to food and drinks, in a space that is our own. We’re always open to suggestions and in need of volunteers. We hope you will continue to support the slam as we move forward into the next phase of our growth and development. We do this for you; and hope you’ll keep coming out and letting us know if it’s working.

The Burlington Slam Project – 9 Years Old

Please allow me a moment to tell a little story.

Back in April of 2010, a younger, more timid me walked nervously into The Black Bull Pub on Guelph Line looking for a short blonde guy in glasses I’d seen in a Cogeco interview. I introduced myself and said I’d like to sign up to read something. It was that simple.

This thing had been running for almost a couple years already, and they were a month away from putting together their first ever national team (one who would go on to place 4th nationally, I might add). And already, the energy was electric. Warm and kind and welcoming. It scared me. People were there I’d seen on youtube…people like Truth Is…, Jillian Christmas, Kay’la Fraser, Tomy Bewick, Duffman…I had watched these people do poetry on the internet (way before Button Poetry was a thing, kids), so I was a little starstruck. And I had signed up to read. So I read my own piece in public in front of a room full of strangers, which was the closest I would ever get to skydiving, and when I landed, they cheered. They applauded and smiled and laughed and cheered and I felt like a room was hugging me close. A young woman named Lishai who had only started within the last year came and spoke to me with nothing but the kindest words. I felt at home. I felt wanted and welcome and loved.

That feeling, above all else, is what The Burlington Slam Project is. 7 years later, with this thing turning 9, I now co-organize the event with that same short blonde guy in glasses I’d seen in a Cogeco interview, and my goal has always been to put out the same kind of energy I felt on that day; to welcome everyone and let them know they and their words are welcome and appreciated, and the rest of the community has followed suit. We are loud, even in small numbers, we are weird, we are warm, and we welcome you. We are the parachute, so jump already. We’ve got you.

This event has existed for nearly a decade, through all the beauty and bullshit that contains, it has stayed true to a core truth – that there be a place for those with something to say to get up and say it. And that’s not just because of me. That’s not just because of Tomy Bewick. That’s because of every single person who has walked in our door. That’s because of the brilliant feature poets who come, month after month, and show our local writers the levels that can be achieved in this art. That’s because of Laird and the rest of The Black Bull. That’s because of the people who have been trying to scream in the muffling silence of polite living. That’s because things are still ONLY TEN DOLLARS. That’s because of those who are starting to blur the lines between community and family. That’s because of those who are here to speak. That’s because of those who are here to listen. All of you. Every single one of you is why The Burlington Slam Project still puts out that hug to the scared younger versions of future people who are trembling in front of a microphone for the first time.

Thank you all.

Countdown to Finals: Zero Hour

Today is the day of our 8th annual season finals! Who will be this year’s team I wonder? And to cap it all off, we’ve got our last two interviews!

Interview #9: Sebastian

D: You’re one of the more prolific writers in the scene…almost always seen with new work, and fully memorized work at that – how do you manage to keep that up?

S: In the past its because i work very odd hours, i’d say. when the chief concern is staying awake at late hours, one of the easiest strategies i’ve found is talking to myself when my store is empty. when i started coming out to slams, it became a very useful opportunity to get good practice time in. in terms of always having something new i attribute that to having a smart device. its hard always having a notebook on person, but having my google drive in my pocket means i can always work on something whenever i have any amount of free time

D: You’re looking at possibly your third national team – how do you like your chances? Is there anybody in the competitors list you’d like to work with?

S: i’ve learned to never consider myself in until im in actually lol. last year i felt exceptionally confident about myself in my writing and i wouldnt have made it then had ifrah not declined to be a team mate. so i guess i just try to think about it like anything can happen in slam and its not like i have a good track record of winning slams in the first place lol. in terms of people id like to work with, i always look forward to working with past team mates because working with them is always fun, but working with new people would be exciting, too. in like a really scary ‘i wonder what might happen’ way

D: Do you have anything up your sleeve for finals?

S: the only trick i have is to always come with exactly what i want to do. if i have learned anything in my short amount of time playing this game theres no strategy better than putting up the work you are most excited to share

D: Do you have any advice for new writers?

S: the advice of “always be writing” only sounds tired because it is true. everyone gives it only because everyone understands its importance. no art can be made without the constant work that needs to be done to make it.

 

Interview #10: Tomy Bewick

D: The Fearless Leader of the Burlington Slam, and the most decorated slam poet in the listings. How many teams have you been on now? What keeps you joining them?

T: How many teams? Yikes – I’ve tried to keep track in my bio; over 15 team comps at least; some years on 2 different teams for different festivals…. I keep joining because creating with others is the coolest process with most reward. Creating something collaborative can be challenging, unpredictable and at times tense; but the potential for new group work; to contribute and counsel other artists in their writing and performance; the thrill still gets me when you get it just right

D: What’s been the most exciting thing about this past slam season for you?

T: This past season has seen the rise of several new voices, including many women hitting our mic for their first time. It’s worth mentioning  due to slam being a predominantly male dominated playing field for so long, and in burlington specifically, where local voices are sometimes far and few between; it is a nice change and an important evolution to see and hear more women’s voices, stories and perspectives in our slam’s circle.

D: Is there anybody on the competitors list you’d really like to work with?

T: the reality is that i’d like to work with anyone who wants it. the people most inspired and hungry to create new works are who I’m most keen to be on a team with. there’s almost no telling who that will be until we get there; but i’ve had positive experiences with Korey and Sebastian and would be willing to grow on those bonds, but also; the new voices that have come out swinging for the fences; that’s an exciting prospect as well!

D: Do you have any advice for new writers?

T: the scariest moment is always right before you start. trust yourself; don’t hold back. remember that editing comes after the writing is poured out of you, and that the only way to grow into the writer you want to be is to keep on writing, even when you think you’ve got nothing. come check out a hywire workshop and find out how.

 

That’s it for our interviews! I hope you’ve enjoyed them! Come on out tonight, Thursday March 16th, and see which 4 of these 10 poets will become The Burlington Slam Project’s 8th National Team.

Countdown to Finals: 2 Days Remain

The penultimate set of interviews! Here we go!

Interview #7:Kelsey

D: You’ve been a volunteer and behind-the-scenes element to the BSP for years. How does it feel to be attending finals as a competitor?

K: I am so excited to be attending BSP as a competitor! I never thought that this was going to happen, so Im pumped!

D: Who would you be most excited to work with of all the other competitors?

K: I would be most excited to work with Mel. Its been amazing seeing her come out to the slam as spectator, to hitting the stage for the first time, to bringing hot fire to the mic! Im also all for having more female voices, so yea!

D: What would you be most excited to get out of a team experience?

K: I would be most excited to write team pieces! I havent had the opportunity to do that yet, despite having some team piece ideas, so this would give me a chance to move forward

D: Do you have any advice for new writers?

K: My advice for new writers: just start writing. DO IT! And when you think you might be ready to share, push yourself to get on the mic. Its scary, but it does get easier.

 

Interview #8: Spencer

D: This is your first finals competition. How are you feeling about the competition and your chances? Is there anything that slamming this season has taught you?

S: I’m going in with very low expectations. I began seriously writing in March 2016 and the development of my own writing has been reward enough for me. Having the opportunity to perform with other amazing poets is reward in itself. Slamming this season really challenged me to break away from my traditional writing structure and topic selection. I challenged myself to be less reliant on rhyming and focus on creating a smooth flowing piece. The first slam I went to in Burlington (which was also my first slam ever) struck me deep and I told myself that one day I want to write like the rest of you guys. From this season I learned it’s important to have your own voice and write about things which speak to you. Not everyone is going to like everything you write and the points are just a good place to gauge your work, but not the be-all-end-all of a poetry slam. It’s about sharing art, not so much about deciding who is the best. That is something I was a little naive during my first couple attendances. I kind of switched to writing for myself and if I am really able to captivate what I’m trying to say well at least someone in the audience will appreciate it, even if it’s my mom or best friends haha.

D: Of all the competitors, who would you be most excited to work with?

S: Sebastian’s style has had the most amount of influence on my work. I like his use of running metaphors and his stage presence is phenomenal. He was the one who inspired me the most initially but I’d be incredibly thrilled to work with any of the poets who made it to the finals, they all have had poems which still stick in my head. They are all truly amazing. Not to down play myself but I do feel like I’m the weakest link but I am new and if anything it’ll be a learning experience.

D: What do you think are your greatest strength and weakness as a slam poet?

S: My greatest strength is that I write in a way where it is very easy to understand what I’m trying to say and where I’m coming from. I try to keep my pace a bit slower and use accessible language but still keep it colourful in a way. My weakness is in my stage presence. I have no background in performing and I’ve only recently transitioned from writing page poetry to something that is performed. It’s something that will come with practice and with time

D: Do you have any advice for new writers?

S: Edit your work, especially when you are in a different mind set. I initially did not do much editing and let the original speak for itself. I found that if I approach a piece later when my thought process is different not only can I improve the flow but I can also come up with new ways of saying things. Also do not be afraid to go out of your comfort zone and try something new. Experiment with new poetic devices, metaphors and styles. What speaks to me the most from other people’s work is hearing things I would have never come up with myself.