Yesterday, the BC Teachers Federation made its announcements about how it will react to Bill 22, which imposes heavy fines for any further strikes. Hullabaloo has dodged a bullet, in terms of its timing, as the vote on whether or not teachers will stop volunteering their time to support extracurricular activities will not happen until April 17th and 18th, when the festival is over.
However, because of the feedback we’ve received from teachers and the overall trickiness of the situation, we have decided to streamline the tournament section of the festival by removing the semi-finals events originally scheduled for Friday, April 13th. These were the only events scheduled during school hours, which was proving to be a big complication for teachers and students.
As far as the tournament format, this means that the top four highest-ranking teams from the preliminary bouts will go directly to Team Finals Night. This has been the format used in the past at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word for team poetry slam tournaments of this size.
The individual section of the tournament remains the same. The top twelve highest-ranking performers from team prelims will be invited to perform at Indies Finals on Friday the 13th.
In terms of what participating poets need to prepare, each poet needs to have (at least) two solo poems ready to perform and each team needs (at least) two group pieces. In other words, the poems you perform in the prelims must be different each night, but if your team makes it to Team Finals, you will be allowed to repeat any of the poems you may have previously performed (if you so choose). If you make Indies Finals Night, there again, you’re starting from a blank slate and can perform any of your poems.
We’ve also added a daytime event, but not during school time hours – that would be counterproductive! It’s on Saturday afternoon (11am–2pm, April 14th) at the W2 Media Arts Café (downstairs space) and it’s called Adventures in Poetryland. Adventures in Poetryland will be a series of spoken word poetry workshops with some of the very best poets from Vancouver and around North America, including Mary Pinkoski and Khary Jackson. It’s open to all BC youth aged 14–19. Over three hours, poets will circulate through five different workshop stations learning about different aspects of writing, performing, and collaborating. There will also be a break for lunch, which will be provided. Spots are reserved for Hullabaloo participants. If you’re not part of Hullabaloo, you can register for these workshops by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by signing up in person at the Spoken Word Jamboree on April 10th. Hope to see you there!