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the quality of creative engagement in the Okanagan through publications, events and collaborations.
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Spoken Word is a catch-all phrase coined in the 1980s for word-based performance arts that did not fit into the established genres of music, theatre and dance. Spoken Word includes a wide range of performance genres. Non-literary vocal practices are sometimes cited as spoken word influences: the auctioneer's singsong patter, circus barking, children's skip-rope rhymes, stand-up comedy, political oratory, and television news presentation.
The histoy of Spoken Word - otherwise known as the oral tradition of writing - pre-dates the modern era. Going back to the dawn of human culture the great epics Gilgamesh, The Odyssey, and Beowulf originated as oral poems long before they were written down. Some of their characteristics - repeating sounds and sequences - have come down to us as literary devices used in poetry and storytelling today. Homer, Shakespeare, Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde, Dadaism, Surrealism and the Beats continued the tradition. It draws on a diversity of cultures, including African, Caribbean, North American Aboriginal, Islamic, Celtic, and even Cowboy culture. By the end of the last century, Spoken Word had developed a strong voice and a dedicated audience, and included jazz, dub, hip hop and slam writers, storytellers, folklorists and folk writers. Spoken Word can encompass word, story, language, rhythm, sound, music, and beat. It is generally written and presented in the voice and tone of the people. It is for the people. It represents the community.
Stories are containers holding history, traditions, experiences, language, and values that are important to the story teller and, by extension, important to the listener. A story is our most effective tool for communication. Through our stories we can share history and heritage, teach, persuade, entertain and share information in a way that is genuine and compelling.
Spoken Word Artists speak to the community about social and cultural issues in the language of the people, and it has become a popular form of artistic expression. Spoken Word is a wonderful mix of performance practices, poetry, narrative, and song from across millennia and around the world. It continues to evolve, entertain and reveal us to ourselves in new ways.
Spoken Word Festivals happen in many places every year, and the Okanagan now has one of it's own. This first-ever Okanagan Spoken Word Festival - Word Out! - features the talents of Cathryn Wellner, Jarrod Thalheimer, Sara Bynoe, Harold Rhenisch, Cameron Welsh and Karin Wilson. The MC is Betty Selin of SUNfm in Vernon.
Word Out! takes place in conjunction with the Valley First Polson Pouring
Sunday, July 17, 3-6pm
Vernon's Polson Park, Highway 97 & Highway 6, Vernon, BC
Cost: $59 (all inclusive)
Summer afternoons in the Okanagan are just meant to be spent outdoors sipping wine sampling cheese and mingling with friends. And they become even better when an exciting group of Spoken Word Artists come to Vernon. Join us at the newly renovated Polson Park in Vernon for a delightful afternoon outing for wine and arts enthusiasts. Come and enjoy an outdoor wine tasting and experience one of the hottest cultural trends - spoken word artists - who will entertain you throughout the afternoon. Experience over 20 Okanagan wineries and receive a complimentary wine glass and cheese and bread to cleanse your palate and a free taxi ride home.
Presented by Valley First, and supported in part by Tourism Vernon, in association with the Okanagan Institute, this promises to be a memorable finale to the Summer Okanagan Wine Festival. This is a safe ride home event.
Tickets at: Select Your Tickets 250.717.5304 or purchase online
THE SPOKEN WORD ARTISTS WHO WILL BE PERFORMING
Cathryn Wellner began her professional career as a French teacher and school librarian. After traveling ten years as a storyteller - U.S., Europe, the UK, and Canada - she spent thirteen years as an organic farmer, small-scale rancher, and, when she realized community organizing was really about stories, a community developer. After serving as the first Project Coordinator for
Jarrod Thalheimer has been a freelance writer for more than ten years, and his work routinely appears throughout North America, including stops at AOL/ Experian, SheKnows.com, SeniorsForLiving.com, GeoParent, Off-Centre Magazine, ParentSociety.com, Best of the Web, NowPublic.com and many others. A grad of the UCLA Creative Writing Program, Jarrod also writes fiction, comment and the weekly syndicated column AdFool (available locally on castanet.net and vernoncentral.com) where the world of advertising is held up for review. Jarrod can be reached through his website www.adfool.com
Sara Bynoe is an actor, writer, improvisor, dance facilitator, producer and host - basically she does a lot. The WE Vancouver summed up her career by calling her a "Comedian and Vancouver culture maven." Sara has performed at the following festivals: PuSh Festival, The High Performance Rodeo, Bumbershoot, Vancouver Burlesque Festival, Vancouver Poetry Festival, Vancouver Comedy Festival, and she won Literary Death Match Vancouver. She is the creator of the popular Vancouver comedy series Teen Angst Night and Say Wha?! Readings of Deliciously Rotten Writing. She's the editor of the anthology Teen Angst: A Celebration of REALLY BAD Poetry. Sara is the Den Mother for Dance Dance Party Party's Vancouver Chapter and she's currently performing on the Vancouver Theatre Sport's League's Rookie Team. She's also a bit of a media whore, you've probably heard her talking on CBC Radio about any of her various projects. Sara trained as an actor at Studio 58 and has an MA in Creative and Life Writing from Goldsmiths College in London, England. Full explanation and professional credits at
Harold Rhenisch has been writing from the British Columbia Interior for over thirty years. Of his 25 books, his Okanagan and Cariboo memoirs "Out of the Interior" and "Tom Thomson's Shack" are British Columbian creative nonfiction classics, and his "The Wolves at Evelyn" won the George Ryga Prize for Social Awareness in Literature. He has published poetry, fiction, translation, and essays, won the Malahat Long Poem Prize, twice, the National Playwriting Award for his Dog Creek play "Pox", and the CBC Literary Prize for Poetry. His most recent book is "Motherstone: British Columbia's Volcanic Plateau". After twenty years of exile, he returned to the Okanagan this spring. He lives in Vernon, where he is putting the finishing touches to a book about the world after books, and a travel book about two pilgrimages on the German section of the Camino. He has also orcharded in Cawston, Naramata, and East and South Kelowna, grafted nursery trees from the Mission to Osoyoos, including the first royal galas, fuji's, and braeburns in BC, planted one of the first test blocks of vinifera grapes in the Okanagan, and discovered the Ambrosia apple.
Cameron Welch is a Kelowna-based slam poet attending UBC Okanagan. His inventively-rhymed spoken word performances have been featured at numerous local events and shows, and he has shared the stage with various B.C. bands and artists including Yukon Blonde and Shane Koyczan.
Karin Wilson is a writer, broadcaster, and editor who has lived in the Okanagan Valley for nearly 20 years. Her writing has appeared in numerous local, provincial and national publications from Canadian Geographic to The Vancouver Sun, and Okanagan Life. She's the editor of Orchard & Vine magazine, contributing editor of Next Okanagan magazine, a contributing editor to the book Feminist Journeys, published by The Feminist Historical Society, and is also a contributor to CBC Radio where she recently launched Soil Sister a column focused on the business side of agriculture. She is a founding director of the Okanagan Institute, and most recently contributed her editing skills to the publication of New Dawn. Her spiritual side is regularly expressed as the host of The Gratitude Cafe, put on through the Centre of Spiritual Living in Kelowna.
THE MASTER OF CEREMONIES
Betty Selin is an award winning broadcast journalist, and long time community volunteer. Betty is currently the Co-host of the Morning Show on Sun FM in Vernon, as well as the Regional News Director for Astral Media Radio and TV Stations in the BC Interior. Her work has been recognized both provincially and nationally. Betty was also honoured with a Jack Webster Fellowship. In 1999 she became one of the youngest recipients of the prestigious, "Woman of the Year" award. In her spare time she loves to travel, play slo-pitch and volleyball. Betty and her husband Del have five children and two grandchildren.