November 3rd to 5th, 2017

We Laughed. We Cried. It Became A Part Of Us.

The 14th annual Words Aloud has come to a close, but the poetry, spoken word, slam, and storytelling continue to resonate in our hearts and minds. Huge thanks to all of our sponsors, staff, volunteers—and of course, everyone who came out to be part of this unique local event.

2017 Schedule

The Words Aloud 2017 performances are listed below. See the Artists page if you want to browse all the bios.

Love the printed page? Download the 2017 schedule.

  • Thursday, November 2nd
  • 7:30 pmSpeaking of Home: Two Perspectives. Indigenous writer Janet Rogers and Argentinian-Canadian storyteller Marta Singh reflect on identity, belonging, autonomy, difference and commonality at the Owen Sound Library. NOTE: Tickets now available in our online store and at the door.
  • Friday, November 3rd
  • 5:00 pm—Mohawk/Tuscarora poet, spoken word artist and radio host Janet Rogers chats about how her work contributes to her outlook, well-being and relationship with her community at M'Wikwedong in Owen Sound. NOTE: Seating is limited—call 519-372-7898 to register.
  • 7:30 pmMain Stage: Angeline Schellenberg and Kate Cayley, two important emerging literary voices, and well-known spoken word artist Brendan McLeod, present thoughtful, invigorating and often humorous work on subjects as diverse as autism spectrum disorder, the cautionary tale, and living on the cognitive edge. at Durham Art Gallery.
  • Saturday, November 4th
  • 9 am to noonWorkshop: Strictly Solo. Aaron Bushkowsky guides participants in the creation of memorable characters at Durham Town Hall.
  • 11:15 am to 12:15 pmWondertales, children’s storytelling with Argentinian-Canadian storyteller Marta Singh at Durham Library.
  • 1:00 pm to 4:00 pmWorkshop: Said the Albatross to the Ant. Jillian Christmas will encourage participants situate themselves in an unfamiliar perspective, asking you to stretch and shift what you think you know about personal story and public knowledge at Durham Town Hall.
  • 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm—Spoken Word with the award-winning Peterborough Poetry Collective and spoken word master Brendan McLeod at Durham Town Hall.
  • 7:30 pmMain Stage: Janet Rogers, Bruce Meyer, Carolyn Smart. Three of Canada’s most respected poetry and spoken word practitioners dazzle with dynamic word play, breadth of literary expression, and arresting subject matter.


One of the wonderful things about Words Aloud is its flexibility - its capacity to adapt through shifting groups of dedicated administrators, artistic directors, and volunteers. This year, we say farewell and offer heartfelt thanks to Ann Hagedorn and Hazel Lyder, who have put so many hours into Words Aloud in the last few years, as they move on to pursue other career goals.

At the same time, we welcome Laura Blaney to the Words Aloud administrative helm. Laura, along with artistic director Terry Burns, key advisor Ilse Gassinger, core committee members Kathryn Edgecombe, Jenny Parsons, and Sandra Howe, and many other staunch volunteers, will be working hard to deliver the high quality festival you’ve come to expect at Words Aloud.


Support Words Aloud with a donation on our CanadaHelps page for the Durham Art Gallery.


Learn more about the history of our fascinating festival.


Check out this brilliant classroom learning resource featuring video performances by 14 of Canada’s best poets and storytellers.

Imagine a Scholarship

If you're in secondary or post-secondary school, you could spend the festival weekend meeting, working and socializing with festival volunteers and festival stars. Find out how.

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