The person selected as Comox Valley's first ever poet laureate will have a chance to perform in public

CV Arts Council launches poet laureate search

Winner will open for Shane Koyczan, plus cash prize

“Word up!”  The Comox Valley is about to become a more culturally literate place.

The Comox Valley Community Arts Council has begun a search for the Valley’s first designated poet laureate, to engage and inspire the community for a two-year term.

“This is a very inclusive, big-tent project,” says CVCAC president Jamie Bowman. “We’re inviting all forms of poetic creation, including classic page poets, lyricists, rappers and spoken word artists. It’s not necessary to have been published.”

The winner will not only get to open for iconic Canadian spoken word artist Shane Koyczan March 24 at the Sid Williams Theatre, but will be awarded a $1,000 honorarium to carry out poet laureate duties over the term.

“Just as writing is a social catalyst, a poet laureate can be seen as a community alchemist, divining the moments to lament and celebrate, using his or her words to glue people together in times of joy and sorrow,” says Linda Rogers, past poet laureate for Victoria and on the jury to choose a poet laureate here.

Cumberland Village Works, School District 71, the City of Courtenay and the Vancouver Island Regional Library have all stepped up to partner financially.

The winner will be expected to create works during the year, appear at significant community events (i.e. Elevate the Arts, Miners Memorial, Canada Day, etc.), work to stimulate and encourage poetic and cultural writing, and serve as a lightning rod for the mood of the community.

Joining Rogers on the judging panel are Anne Cumming, the English Department Chair at North Island College, an as-yet unnamed lyricist, and Eric Ettinger, half of the rap duo Butterfinger Bombsquad, which opened for 2-Live Crew, and whose past group Still-life Family opened for Chali Tuna, De La Soul and Abstract Rude.

“Writers can either apply or be nominated by someone who knows the value of their work and their potential for the community,” said Bowman.

“Beauty is not only in the eyes, but also in the ears and feelings of the beholder.”

Full entry and nomination details are at




Just Posted

Market Day crowds flock to downtown Courtenay

Fifth Street in downtown Courtenay was packed Saturday morning as people flocked… Continue reading

Marine tourism a driving force for Vancouver Island’s economy

State of the Island Economic Summit takes place Oct. 23-24

19 Wing Comox welcomes new wing commander

Col. Dany Poitras assumed command of 19 Wing Comox

Pacific Salmon Foundation contributes $42,000 to Comox Valley wild salmon restoration projects

The Pacific Salmon Foundation announced it is contributing more than $42,000 to… Continue reading

Mount Washington zip line nearing completion

Once finished, the line will be the longest and steepest zip line on Vancouver Island

Jets host peewee baseball tourney

The Comox Valley peewee A Jets baseball team is hosting a 10-team… Continue reading

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

The 26th ceremony in Penticton welcomed powerful figures both from on and off the ice

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

How much do you know about the moon?

To mark the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, see how well you know space

Most Read