Each spring, we host a three-day event called the National Finals in a different Canadian city; this year, it will take place in Winnipeg.
The highlight of the event is our contest, in which 24 students recite and compete for nearly $25,000 in prizes. In each of our three streams (English, Bilingual, and French) we award the following:
- 1st place: $5,000 for the student, $1,000 for their school library, with $500 reserved for the purchase of poetry books
- 2nd place: $1,000 for the student, $500 for the purchase of poetry books for their school library
- 3rd place: $500 for the student, $250 for the purchase of poetry books for their school library
With poetry-themed cultural activities, this is a truly immersive event: To date, we’ve hosted a Q&A with Margaret Atwood for finalists and their teachers; poetry-themed gallery tours of the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Art Gallery of Ontario; a screening of Al Purdy Was Here followed by a Q&A with director, Brian Johnson; the Amazing Recitation Race in Vancouver; the Epic Toronto Poetry Showdown; writing workshops for students; and best-practice workshops for teachers.
Looking back at the 2018 National Finals in Toronto
The Awards Show:
The English Qualifiers:
The French & Bilingual Qualifiers:
Looking back at the 2017 National Finals in Vancouver
English Finals & Showcase
In this event hosted by Bill Richardson, the top 6 students from the English Stream Qualifiers competed for the prizes for themselves and their school libraries. The French and Bilingual winners from earlier in the day were also showcased.
French & Bilingual Finals
During this event hosted by Johanne Blais, six students in the French Stream and six in the Bilingual stream competed for the $5,000 grand prizes.
Hosted by former English Champion Roan Shankaruk, this competition features twelve high school students from across Canada reciting 3 poems from our anthology. The top 6 students advanced to our English Finals.
Resisting, Surviving, and Embracing: Nationhood and Identity on #Canada150
Poet Jordan Abel led a discussion among indigenous writers on the concepts of Canadian and Indigenous nationhood and the ways in which those ideas are expressed through poetry.