Talent on screen at VFF

When the 19th annual Victoria Film Festival hits local movie screens between February 1st and 10th, Fine Arts students will once again have their work seen alongside more than 150 tantalizing Canadian and international films.

Connor Gaston's Bardo Light

Connor Gaston’s Bardo Light

Primary among them is Department of Writing graduate student Connor Gaston, who made local news late last year when his short film Bardo Light was accepted into the Toronto International Film Festival and another of his shorts, Stuck, screened at the Whistler Film Festival. (TIFF programmer Magali Simard described Bardo Light as “a modern-day chiller that merges Mary Shelley with the Tibetan Book of the Dead, [this] is a bold and unique experience.”)

Victoria audiences will now have the opportunity to see Bardo Light—which stars Department of Theatre grad Shaan Rahman and features a cameo by Writing chair Bill Gaston—as part of the “Little Horrors” shorts program at 9:30pm Saturday, February 9, at the Vic Theatre.

Emily Piggford in Frost

Emily Piggford in Frost

You can also see Department of Theatre grad Emily Piggford as part of that same “Little Horrors” night when she takes the lead in the short film Frost, created by Pacific and Asian Studies alumni Jeremy Ball. Frost has been described as “stunning” and “epic,” thanks to its barren, snow-covered landscapes and dystopic sci-fi edge. (Check out this article about Ball by Michael Reid, film writer for the local Times Colonist).

Catch a video interview with Piggford here from when Frost also played at TIFF, or you can read an interview with her here. And proving that not all filmmakers come out of Writing or Theatre, recent UVic biology grad Julia Hostetler has her own short film Quiescence on view as well. Catch it as part of the shorts program “Kids Amok!” at 2pm on Sunday, February 10, also at the Vic.

Maureen Bradley

Maureen Bradley

Also of note is the work done behind the scenes by student jurors Charles Wagner, Caitlen Jessen and Max Johnson, as well as busy local filmmaker and Writing prof Maureen Bradley, who was once again on the VFF programming committee and will be doing a workshop as part of the annual Springboard industry discussion series. She’ll be participating in “The Drama Workshop” session, which runs from 2-3:30pm Saturday, February 2 at the Vic. “I’ll be presenting work and discussing narrative filmmaking for emerging filmmakers,” says Bradley.

Students tune up for Concerto

UVic’s annual Concerto Concert is coming up fast on Friday, January 25, and this year’s winners are highly anticipating the rehearsals and performance with the Concerto Orchestra. Comprised of School of Music students, faculty and alumni, the Concerto Orchestra has been backing up concerto competition winners since the early 1980s.

Congratulations go out to this year’s Concerto Competition winners: Jiten Beairsto (violin), Sabrina Sun (flute), Daniel Jordan (piano) and Erin Ronningen (mezzo-soprano).

Jiten Beairsto

Jiten Beairsto

Performing Ernest Chausson’s ever-popular Poème for violin and orchestra, Op.25, is third year performance major, Jiten Beairsto. “I decided I wanted to play the piece years ago, but it wasn’t until last spring that I mustered the courage to properly learn and perform it,” says Beairsto. Having performed in a variety of orchestras, including the Victoria Symphony and the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, this will be his debut as a soloist. “I really don’t know what to expect, but my guess is that it will be equal parts nerve-wracking, challenging, and thrilling.” Beairsto has had a “thoroughly positive” few years at UVic and credits his instructor, Sharon Stanis, along with the Lafayette String Quartet, for their guidance.

Sabrina Sun

Sabrina Sun

Performing Frank Martin’s one-movement Ballade, second-year graduate student, Sabrina Sun, was drawn to “the intensity of the piece as well the technical challenge” of performing such a wide range on the flute. A popular work in twentieth century flute repertoire, Sun has spent several months mastering the wide leaps while trying to retain the melodic lyricism of the piece. Her instructor, Suzanne Snizek “has been great,” says Sun. “She has experience in both performing and teaching and I have learnt so much from her.” Following graduation, Sun hopes to enter a DMA program while continuing to teach the flute.

Daniel Jordan

Daniel Jordan

Less frequently performed than the second and third concertos, fourth year piano major, Daniel Jordan, is looking forward to bringing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 1 to the stage. Originally written in 1891 when the composer was 18 years old, Jordan will perform the revised version of 1917, which he enjoys for its “heightened emotionality.” Jordan has been working on the concerto for over a year, and thanks his instructor, May Ling Kwok, for her “tremendous support and perseverance” as well as the UVic community for providing inspiration and introducing him to many new concepts.

Erin Ronningen

Erin Ronningen

Mezzo soprano, Erin Ronningen, has been practicing Maurice Ravel’s Shéhérazade since last spring under the tuition of her instructor, Anne Grimm. “The music is an exotic and colourful narrative of yearning for fantastic adventure,” describes Ronningen. “The experience of singing this piece with an orchestra is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’m ready to jump into the colourful sea that Ravel created.” Ronningen is in her fourth year at UVic and aspires to sing with orchestras and continue to study performance techniques with great teachers upon graduation. “Anne Grimm has been an inspiring, dedicated and worldly teacher and mentor,” says Ronningen. “Professor Benjamin Butterfield’s enthusiasm for performance is also very contagious.

The Concerto Concert takes place on Friday, January 25 at 8pm in the University Centre Farquhar Auditorium. Tickets are $17.50 & $13.50 and available through the UVic Ticket Centre and at the door.

—Kristy Farkas

Writing grads make Waterstones Eleven list

Two Department of Writing grads have made the prestigious Waterstones Eleven list of debut literary stars of 2013. Both Marjorie Celona and D.W. Wilson found themselves not only on the list along with a baker’s dozen of other international authors, but also in the same location when the announcement was made at Waterstones Piccadilly in London, England, on January 14.

Marjorie Celona (standing, centre) and D.W. Wilson (right, in hat)

Marjorie Celona (standing, centre) and D.W. Wilson (right, in hat)

Now in its third year, the 2013 Waterstones Eleven list featured writers from six different countries. “The Waterstones Eleven puts new writing at the forefront of the literary calendar and has quickly become a celebration our readers trust,” noted Waterstones Managing Director James Daunt at the event.

Wilson, the previous winner of the likes of the BBC Short Story Prize and the Man Booker Prize Scholarship, makes the list for his debut novel Ballistics. Celona, meanwhile, earned the accolade for her 2012 breakthrough novel Y, which was longlisted for the Giller Prize.
Previous Waterstones Eleven authors have gone on to dominate the publishing world both critically and commercially in the year that followed. Rachel Joyce‘s The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, was 2012’s best selling debut, as well as being longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, whilst The Land of Decoration by Grace McCleen won last year’s Desmond Elliott Prize. The inaugural Waterstones Eleven included the top ten book of 2011, When God Was A Rabbit by Sarah Winman, and Téa Obreht‘s Orange Prize-winning The Tiger’s Wife.

Here’s the full Waterstones Eleven 2013 list:

Pig’s Foot by Carlos Acosta (Bloomsbury), Idiopathy by Sam Byers (Fourth Estate), Y by Marjorie Celona (Faber and Faber), The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence (Hodder & Stoughton), Burial Rites by Hannah Kent (Picador), The Fields by Kevin Maher (Little, Brown), The Son by Michel Rostain (Tinder Press), The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan (Doubleday Ireland), Marriage Material by Sathnam Sanghera (William Heinemann), Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi (Viking), Ballistics by D.W. Wilson (Bloomsbury).

Update on Visiting Artists

Collier_Design

A wee sampling of Collier’s current exhibit

If you missed Allan Collier‘s public talk last week—the first visitor of 2013 in the long-running Department of Visual Arts Visiting Artist series—don’t worry: you can still catch his great exhibit of post-WWII Canadian design in the Visual Arts building’s Audain Gallery through to January 25. Collier has curated several exhibitions on the topic in Vancouver, Winnipeg, and Victoria, with the most recent local exhibit being the AGGV’s 2011 The Modern Eye: Craft and Design in Canada 1940-1960. Collier will also be spending some time each day sitting his exhibition, so be sure to drop by the Audain Gallery and say hello. Bet you see something that was in your house when you were growing up!

An installation by Ed Pien

An installation by Ed Pien

This week’s Visiting Artist is Ed Pien. Born in Taiwan, the now Toronto-based artist Pien has been drawing for nearly 30 years, and has exhibited nationally and internationally. He has taught at ECAD, NSCAD and OCAD, and is  currently teaching at the University of Toronto. Pien is in town as part of the AGGV’s January exhibit, Traces: Fantasy Worlds and Tales of Truth. Catch him at 8pm Wednesday, January 16, in room A162 of the Visual Arts building.

blue republicHot on the heels of that session, Visual Arts will have their second Visiting Artist of the year when Blue Republic pops in. Blue Republic—also known as collaborative multidisciplinary artists Anna Passakas and Radoslaw Kudlinski—will talk about their fascinating history working with other artists, groups, and international centres of independent artistic research. That’s at 8pm Wednesday, January 23, in room A162 of the Visual Arts building. They’re in town to open Crystal Palace, an exhibit at Deluge Contemporary, through to March 2.

Baden's "Tender Trepanation"

Baden’s “Tender Trepanation”

While February’s Visiting Artist roster is still being established, we already know that sculptor Mowry Baden will be coming. One of Victoria’s most acclaimed—and often controversial—artists, the Governor General’s Award-winning Mowry Baden has influenced a generation of sculptors in Canada and the U.S. with his engaging, participatory installations. For over 40 years, he has challenged contemporary sculpture through a staggering number of projects and artworks that borrow from psychology, architecture and performance—and he also helped build UVic’s Visual Arts department into the well-respected school it is today, and he remains a Professor Emeritus to this day.

Baden has had solo and group exhibitions across North America, including Los Angeles, Mexico City, Montreal, Vancouver and New York (including MoMA), and his work is represented in collections in Canada and the U.S. He has been commissioned to create public art works in Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Pittsburgh, Washington and Victoria, where he lives. Hear him speak at 8pm Wednesday, February 13
Room A162 of UVic’s Visual Arts building.

Robert Chaplin with an enlarged image of his nanobook

Robert Chaplin with an enlarged image of his nanobook

Also appearing in February is Visual Arts alumnus and Guiness Book of World Records record holder Robert Chaplin. The Vancouver-based Chaplin stepped into the media spotlight by creating the smallest reproduction of a printed book. As reported in the Vancouver Sun, Chaplin’s children’s book Teeny Ted from Turnip Town was “etched onto crystal-line silicon using a focused ion beam with the training and equipment of Simon Fraser University scientists in 2007.” But the 1990 Visual Arts graduate only found out this year that he had been honoured by Guinness.

You'd need very, very strong glasses to read this story to your kids

You’d need very, very strong glasses to read this story to your kids

Chapin’s $20,000 one-of-a-kind “nanobook” measures 0.07 mm by 0.1 mm and is made of 30 linked micro-tablets—but no matter how good your vision is, you’ll need an electron microscope to read it. And in order to make a more generally accessible print version of Teeny Ted, Chaplin launched a Kickstarter campaign to create a “large print” version and successfully raised the $17,000 needed to produce it. Talk about thinking big with a small project!

Robert Chaplin will be on campus from 9:30am to noon on Saturday, February 9, in UVic’s David Lam Auditorium as part of the annual Alumni Week events.

Coming up in March: Dave Dyment (March 6) and Sarah Anne Johnson (March 13).

Phoenix grad finds success with Grim and Fischer

Grim and Fischer: A Deathly Comedy in Full Face Mask

Who doesn’t love Grim and Fischer?

Department of Theatre grad Kate Braidwood returns to Victoria with her award-winning co-production Grim and Fischer: A Deathly Comedy in Full-Face Mask. Appearing as part of Intrepid Theatre’s new Winterlab theatre festival, Braidwood’s hilarious, delightful and surprisingly moving Grim and Fischer plays 8pm January 30-31 at Metro Studio.

Braidwood—co-artistic director of the WONDERHEADS theatre company—is an actor, deviser, teacher, director and a professional mask maker. She’s the one responsible for the giant creations used in WONDERHEADS’ work and whose masks are used on stages, in films and in classrooms around the world. As an actor she has performed nationally and internationally, including credits with Portland’s Miracle Theatre, locals Theatre SKAM, California’s Dell’Arte Company and Four on the Floor, and Japan’s Furano Natural Studio, among others.

Phoenix grad Kate Braidwood unmasked

Phoenix grad Kate Braidwood unmasked

After graduating from Phoenix with an acting BFA, Braidwood went on to earn an MFA in Ensemble Based Physical Theatre from Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre, where she trained as an actor-creator, studying the development of original, physically driven work in ensemble. It was at Dell’Arte that her passion for mask was truly ignited and developed, during which time she trained in the Italian form of Commedia Dell’Arte, studied mask design with Bruce Marrs, worked with Berlin-based mask company Familie Flöz, and created her own thesis project in the style of larval mask. Committed to developing joyful, sublime and truly magical work for the stage, she teamed up with another Dell’Arte graduate, Andrew Phoenix, to create the WONDERHEADS in 2009.

Grim and Fischer is a new dish made of old ingredients. It is performed in full-face mask—a wordless, whimsical form rarely seen on North American stages which audiences have described as watching a living cartoon or “live-action Pixar.” When Death comes to visit Mrs. Fischer, this tenacious granny isn’t ready to breathe her last, resulting in multi-award winning physical theatre comedy that confronts important questions like, what is it to know your end is nigh? Can you escape death? And can you hit death in the face with a frying pan and get away with it?

CBC host guest stars with Writing

Popular CBC radio host Jo-Ann Roberts is stepping out of the broadcast booth and into the classroom as the latest Harvey Stevenson Southam Lecturer in Journalism and Nonfiction with the University of Victoria’s acclaimed Department of Writing.

Live, from UVic: it's Jo-Ann Roberts

CBC’s Jo-Ann Roberts

Roberts is currently teaching a lecture and discussion course called “Public Broadcasting and the Public Good,” examining the proud history and somewhat uncertain future of public broadcasting in Canada, and around the world. She will also be offering a free public lecture on the same topic at 7:30pm Wednesday, January 30, in room 240 of UVic’s HSD building.

“Public broadcasting matters to every journalist in this country,” Roberts explains. “We keep the bar high, and that means private broadcasters can’t go any lower—but the lower we get, the lower their bar goes. As a journalist, you don’t have to be working for a public broadcaster to care about it.”

A respected journalist with 35 years experience in radio, print and television, the award-winning Roberts has been at the helm of CBC’s Victoria-based All Points West for six years now, building it into the top-rated afternoon show in the province.

“I think I have a pretty broad classroom between 3 and 6 each day,” says Roberts. “Not that I’m out there to teach, but radio is very much a learning environment. You have to engage an audience, give them something they didn’t know before, get a good discussion going . . . that sounds like a pretty good class to me.”

But, as she explores in both her Southam class and upcoming lecture, Roberts is concerned about the future of the broadcaster about which she cares so deeply. “I worry not that government will get rid of the CBC, but that it will simply underfund it. That makes the CBC just what most governments would rather have—a lapdog, instead of a watchdog. I don’t want that.”

“We’re thrilled to be able to bring Jo-Ann Roberts to the campus to mentor students and engage the community,” says David Leach, Director of Professional Writing. “Jo-Ann is a dynamic personality, with rich and varied experiences, who will be a real inspiration for students and the public alike. The future role of the CBC, in our current political climate and our ever-changing digital media environment, is one of the most urgent and complex issues facing the profession of journalism in Canada.”

Her class runs through to April 5, from 4:30 to 6pm Mondays and Thursdays.

Roberts is the sixth person to hold the prestigious Southam Lectureship, following Charles Campbell (Georgia Straight), Sandra Martin (Globe and Mail), Jody Paterson (Times Colonist) and authors Richard Wagamese and Terry Glavin.

obits books(Speaking of Sandra Martin, she’ll be returning to UVic for a free, one-night-only Department of Writing reading event with veteran journalist Tom Hawthorn in February. The event— Obituaries to Die For—will feature Martin reading from and discussing her recent book, Working the Dead Beat: 50 Lives That Changed Canada, while Hawthorn will do the same for his Deadlines: Obits of Memorable British Columbians. That’s at 7:30pm Tuesday, February 12, in room 105 of the Harry Hickman building . . . don’t be, uh, late.)

The annual Harvey Stevenson Southam lectureship is made possible by a significant gift from one of the country’s leading publishing families. Harvey Southam, a UVic alumnus and journalist, was heir to his family’s publishing empire when he died suddenly in 1991.

Learn more about the Harvey Stevenson Southam lectureship by clicking here.

Orion Series presents stellar concerts

Who doesn’t love a free concert—especially when it awards the opportunity to witness the musical prowess of an international legend or a star on the rise? That’s exactly what this season’s Orion Series in Fine Arts has lined-up. Not only are there some great concert offerings, but there are also free lectures and masterclasses open for the public to enjoy.

Established in the Faculty of Fine Arts by an anonymous donor, the Orion Fund in Fine Arts gives faculty the opportunity to invite distinguished visitors from other parts of Canada and the world to the University and the wider Victoria community. Here are some upcoming Orion events not to be missed over next two months:

Georgy Tchaidze

Georgy Tchaidze

Every three years, Calgary’s prestigious Honens International Piano Competition discovers and launches a star. Georgy Tchaidze, the 2009 Honens Prize Laureate, has performed across Europe and North America since his win and will be taking to the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall stage for a concert on Monday, January 14 at 8:00 p.m. A native of St. Petersburg, Russia, Tchaidze’s engagements have included a performance for the Governor General of Canada, a stunning debut recording on the Honens label, soloist with the National Arts Centre Orchestra under the baton of Pinchas Zukerman, among many others. Tchaidze will display his “fine sensibility and perfectly honed technique” (The Telegraph) at UVic in a program of works by Beethoven and Shostakovich. In addition, piano students will have the opportunity to receive coaching from Tchaidze in a masterclass on Tuesday, January 15.

Corey Hamm

Corey Hamm

On Saturday, January 26 at 8:00 p.m., international performing artist and proponent of new music, Corey Hamm, will premiere new works written specifically for him by Canadian composers. Associate Professor of Piano and Chamber Music at The University of British Columbia (UBC) since 2005 and director of the UBC Contemporary Players, Dr. Hamm has commissioned, premiered and recorded over 200 solo, chamber and concerto works. His concert at the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall on January 26 will include works by Dorothy Chang, Keith Hamel, Jordan Nobles and Scott Godin. Hamm will also lead a piano masterclass on Friday, January 25.

Pepe Romero

Pepe Romero

Don’t miss classical guitarist, Pepe Romero’s masterclass on Friday, February 15. Known the world over as a superb performer and recording artist—with accolades including knighthood from the King of Spain and recognition from the White House and the Vatican—Romero holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Victoria. In this masterclass, four talented UVic guitarists will perform for Maestro Romero, followed by a brief Q&A period. The class will run from 3-6:30pm in the David Lam Auditorium. On Saturday, February 16 at 7:30pm, Romero will also give a performance at the First Metropolitan Church with UVic faculty guitarist, Alexander Dunn, along with several other guests. For more information visit the Victoria Guitar Society.

lanza & Sheppard

lanza & Sheppard

Pioneering Canadian-Argentinian composer of electronic & instrumental music, alcides lanza, and partner Meg Sheppard (voice, percussion) will present a concert & lecture of contemporary works on February 28. Born in Argentina and having lived in the United States and Canada (where he currently resides), lanza’s active international career as a pianist and conductor focuses on presenting avante garde music of the three Americas. The 12:00 p.m. lecture features an analysis of lanza’s vôo, with live examples. At 8:00 p.m. the duo will perform selected works for voice, piano, percussion & electronics by lanza & others.

For more information on these events, visit the School of Music website.

—Kristy Farkas

Music For and In the Moment

Nearly 20 School of Music faculty will converge on the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall stage on Saturday, January 12, for an extraordinary Faculty Chamber Music concert, Music For and In the Moment.

Music for and in the MomentThis program to commemorate UVic’s 50th Anniversary will feature music composed by UVic’s renowned faculty composers. Recognized nationally and internationally for their work, John Celona, Dániel Péter Biró, alumnus Rudolf Komorous and Christopher Butterfield will present compositions that were either written for the occasion, or dedicated to this celebration.

“UVic has much to celebrate in its support and educational influence in the arts and music,” says performance faculty member Pamela Highbaugh Aloni. “For 50 years the School of Music has contributed significantly to music in Canada and beyond. This is one way to highlight this distinction and share it with our greater university community.” Highbaugh Aloni, resident cellist and member of the Lafayette String Quartet, is spearheading the event, which she thinks is a unique way to commemorate this milestone for posterity. “Long after the event is finished, there will be a continued association of this music to the 50th Anniversary.”

John Celona’s Networks

John Celona’s Networks

The pieces range from solo performances such as Biró’s Palimpsests, for solo piano and Salvim (Quails), for solo viola, to Celona’s Networks (seen on the right)— his homage to John Cage—featuring the majority of the School of Music’s performance faculty. The faculty will also give the world premiere of Christopher Butterfield’s Omar Khayyam in Belfast – Six Postcards for Chamber Ensemble.

Local classical music writer Kevin Bazzana also featured the concert in the Times Colonist, noting that, “Butterfield will contribute two recent major works: Pastorale, for the unusual quartet of accordion, violin, double bass and piano; and Omar Khayyam in Belfast, a song cycle for tenor, harmonium, guitar and seven assorted brass, woodwind and string instruments. The latter, receiving its première, will be sung by the composer’s brother, Benjamin. Butterfield devised his texts by combining verses from The Rubaiyyat of Omar Khayyam, as printed on six old postcards, with the messages scribbled on those postcards by a man in Belfast writing to his wife in England in 1920.”

Organizer Highbaugh Aloni is definitely looking forward to the event. “Our full-time and sessional faculty are well-respected in their fields and it is very rare that we can combine so many of us in one event,” she says. “It is great fun for us as well!”

The concert is at 8pm Saturday, January 12, in the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall. Tickets are $17.50 & $13.50 and available through the UVic Ticket Centre and at the door.

—Kristy Farkas

Current Writing student named Victoria’s Youth Poet Laureate

Aysia Law, a second-year UVic Writing student, has been named the City of Victoria’s Youth Poet Laureate—a first not only for Victoria, but for Canada itself.

“I think it’s an amazing opportunity for a youth in the community, like me or future ones, to have some power in the community in shaping the vision of their own city,” Law told local Times Colonist reporter Amy Smart in this recent article.

Aysia Law is Victoria's first Youth Poet Laureate

Aysia Law is Victoria’s first Youth Poet Laureate

The Youth Poet Laureate will receive a $1,500 honorarium, $1,000 of project funding and a year-long mentorship during the term (January to December 2013) with Victoria’s 2012 Poetry Slam Champion, Jeremy Loveday, administered through the City of Victoria Youth Council.  “I knew there’d be great interest, because we have an amazing youth poetry community in Victoria,” says Loveday, who also runs the Youth Outreach Program for the Victoria Poetry Project.

Loveday says there were 32 applicants, which was narrowed down to six finalists—including one other UVic Writing student—with the final judging based on what he describes as someone with “a full package.” “We needed someone with quality poetry and great creative ideas, but also a presence and the skills and experience to make that project come to life,” says Loveday. “Basically, Aysia was that person.”

Law winning the Diversity Writing Contest in 2011

Law winning the Diversity Writing Contest in 2011

Law admits she entered “on a bit of a whim” after hearing about the call for entries from her poetry professor, Carla Funk (who, coincidentally, was Victoria’s inaugural Poet Laureate). But there’s nothing whimsical about her talent, as Law earned first place in the fiction category of UVic’s Diversity Writing Contest in 2012, and has been performing at local spoken word events since moving here from Vancouver in 2011. She also volunteers with South Island Pride Youth and organizes Queer Quills, a writing group for queer, transgendered/transsexual and allied youth that meets weekly at downtown’s Solstice Café.

Her major project will be a poetry flash mob during National Poetry Month in April, and she will appear alongside Victoria’s current Poet Laureate, Janet Rogers, at various city events throughout the year. But Law is also interested in organizing other events, including one that’s close to her heart: a diversity slam.

“It would be a springboard for an open forum discussion about what our community needs,” Law explains. “The problem now is that we have more experienced poets coming to slams and spoken word nights—they are wonderful and have really good insights, but they’re not everyone we need to hear from. I’m hoping to bring in more youth and marginalized categories of people to come and speak about what they see; it would be a more inclusive event than the poetry slams I’ve seen so far. We need to bring more people in, make it more accessible, have more voices represented.”

One of Law’s other Writing professors, Lee Henderson, helped her prepare for the competition. “I jumped out of my socks and shoes when Aysia called to tell me she had been chosen as Victoria and Canada’s first Youth Poet Laureate,” says Henderson. “She’s such a passionate and dedicated writer with a great sense of humour and a natural instinct for language. She is the perfect choice as our first public voice for the city’s young poets. I know she’s going to make sure to include as many people in this experience as possible
. . . . This is great news for the local literary scene and the first year of a great new legacy.”

Law will perform the first poem of her new position to Victoria City Council at City Hall on January 17 with Janet Rogers. “She’ll read a poem, I’ll read a poem, then we split.” She pauses and gives a nervous laugh. “Okay, I’m a little scared.”

Click here to listen to an interview with Law and local CBC Radio’s All Points West host (and the Writing department’s 2013 Harvey S. Southam Lecturer) Jo-Ann Roberts.

There’s also this piece on Aysia from Vancouver’s Metro Times. And this piece from UVic’s Martlet. 

You can also click here to see Law perform a piece at a local slam back in October 2012.