Kitchener, Ontario

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Downtown Kitchener | 9am - 5pm

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For the past 25 years, The Word On The Street has been renowned for the quality and diversity of its event programming and our next festival promises to offer the best so far. See the line-up of incredible Canadian literary talent at The Word On The Street Toronto Saturday, September 26, 2015.

KW Poetry Slam

11:30 AM - 4:30 PM
We are delighted to have the KW Poetry Slam take over the square all day!

11:30-12:30     Music and poetry by Richard Garvey and Janice Lee

12:30-1:30       KW Poetry Slam Team performs:  Beth Murch, Bashar Jabbour,                                     Rafay Ansari, Taylor Heywood

1:30-2:00         Music by JoJo Worthington

2:00-2:30        Poetry by Kay Kassirer

2:30-3:00         Music by Lydia Mainville

3:00-4:00        Spoken Word and Social Justice Workshop with Janice Lee

How can we use our voices as poets and storytellers to connect with people in our community towards a more socially and environmentally just world? In this workshop we will bridge our differences as individuals through writing, sharing and workshopping our pieces for performance. We will practice an embodied performance to a rhythm we create together and play with beatboxing and melody. We will try to practice fearlessness and joy. Please bring an open and gentle energy, pen and paper.

4:00-4:30         Open mic on the main stage



Janice Jo Lee is a folk artist rooted in Kitchener, Ontario. She is a poet, musician, storyteller and community organizer. Janice sings, speaks and shares stories about love and struggle,  community and friendship. She is disarmingly hilarious, off-the-cuff and fearlessly honest. She is passionate about dismantling systems of oppression and empowering people through the arts. Janice is the City of Kitchener’s Artist in Residence for 2015 working on a videopoem project called Folk Myths of Kitchener. She has toured across Canada directs the KW Poetry Slam. She is Co-Chair of the Spoken Word Canada board of directors, and Chair of its Anti-Oppression Committee.



Richard Garvey’s voice will melt you deep into your seat with a sigh of relief. Then he’ll wake you up with his positive upbeat acoustic folk music and inspire you to sing-along with all your heart in the chorus! Richard Garvey is Kitchener’s hardest working folk/roots musician dedicated to building community through music. His down-to-earth and genuine voice echoes a generation of youth that longs for environmental justice and social change.



JoJo Worthington is an independent Folk/ Alternative artist from Waterloo, Ontario known for her avid songwriting and dynamic use of the ukulele. By using loops, reverbs, delays and even distortion, JoJo creates a euphoric atmosphere that has never been heard before on the ukulele. With her infectiously catchy and whimsical melodies, this pink-headed chick can capture the heart of any audience.



Kay Kassirer is a Toronto based spoken word poet and activist. They use their poetry to tell stories, educate people, and heal internally. Kay is a member of the 2015 Toronto Poetry Slam team and recently got back from competing at the National Poetry Slam in Oakland, California.




Lydia Mainville is a New-Brunswick-born cellist and songwriter. Using live looping, she creates rich layered soundscapes that ebb and flow like the tide. She and her cello can be found performing anywhere from the concert hall to the farmers’ market.





(She/Her) is a village wyse womyn, radical activist, and keeper of secrets currently incarnated as a birth worker and nationally-performing poetess. Her poetry is deeply personal, often confessional, and draws upon themes of social justice, sexuality, nature, spirituality, and (capital “F”) Feminism. Beth’s passions include books, placentae, momento mori, and religious kitsch. Her life goal is to live at the edge of the woods; calling forth Buddhas from their mothers’ wombs, healing with herbs, telling fortunes, and picking dandelions.



Taylor Heywood has been writing poetry for 2 years, and is a student at York University studying Communications and Sexuality Studies. Taylor is a proud feminist killjoy, political activist, and writer who pulls from personal experiences with gender identity, sexuality, and mental illness to provide a raw, authentic portal into their life, and to educate people through the art of poetry. They are a member of the 2015 KW Poetry Slam Team.



Bashar is a recent settler and immigrant to Canada, a math non­prodigy who studied at the University of Waterloo. Through the loving community of KW Poetry Slam, Bashar has thrown himself into the world of poetry and spoken word performance in recent months. His poetry explores themes of masculinity, immigration and privilege through a raw and vulnerable lens.



Rafay Ansari is a 24 year old Hip-hop poet, hailing from Windsor, Ontario and currently residing in Cambridge. In his writings, he touches upon his personal views of reality, world issues, spirituality and social “norms”. His adoration of life and love of learning is uniquely resonant in all of his work.