Presented by the League of Canadian Poets (LCP) and the Envoi Literary Foundation (ELF) in partnership with Manitoba Writers Guild MWG).


Collaborative and Interdisciplinary Poetry Performance

Odena Circle

Odena Circle

Deadline: September 1, 2014

A festival of Canadian poetry celebrating Indigenous, Francophone, and Anglophone poets and spoken word artists from across the country, with a Western Canadian emphasis, at the Forks; a traditional gathering place at the juncture of the Red and Assiniboine River.

Our Challenge to Poets and other Artist :
We are now in the planning stages
for PORTAH!GE Poetry festival to be held at the historic Forks of Winnipeg, a meeting place of Indigenous , Métis, French and English cultures — our ancestors, our heroes, and a few villains as well. The PORTAH!GE Festival Committee invites poets and their fellow artists to submit an Expression of Interest for collaborative and interdisciplinary performances during the Festival. Our program is planned to fit with the gathering of writers from across Canada for the annual general meetings of The Writers Union of Canada and the League of Canadian Poets (May 28-31), and the Children’s Festival, the following weekend (June 5 – 7).

The purpose of this call for Expressions of Interest is to develop a shortlist poets, artists and creative collectives who wish to be considered as we develop the PORTAH!GE program. We do not require a full proposal so keep it simple. We will ask the shortlisted projects for more information as required, with a final selection to be made by October 31, 2014.

What We Need From You

A project summary not to exceed 300 words. Briefly note your track record with any similar projects or collaborations. The total summary, including bios, etc., should not exceed two pages.

List of participating poets and artists and short bios (not to exceed 100 words per person). You may include links to sample performances, etc. if available. More detailed bios may be requested later.

General budget figure. We do not require a detailed budget at this time, since the Festival is still pursuing sponsors and funding. You are encouraged to consider any other funding that may be available to you.

  Selection Criteria

The shortlist will be developed on the basis of:
a) Western Canada focus. This applies only to this call for the PORTAH!GE Festival, and not to writers from across Canada in other parts of the TWUC or LCP AGM programs.
b) French, Indigenous, Métis language and culture will be a core element of the program – but not exclusively. Think about the People who came to the linguistic, cultural and economic crossroads of the Winnipeg Forks.
c)Artistic quality and innovation – for the writing and any other participating disciplines. One of the goals is provide a platform for new creative, works that will be a legacy of the Festival and may be presented elsewhere.
d) Ability of the artist(s) to develop and deliver the work.
e) Ability to fit the project in our budget.

Performance Length:  20-40 minutes

Poetry must be featured as a central element of the work..

Individual performances must include at least one other discipline: voice, music, film, dance, multimedia, etc.

The project may draw from previously created individual works (as in an anthology, for example), but the overall work to be presented at the Festival should be new.Indicate the language or languages of the performance.

Artist Qualifications
Poets and any other artists must be at a professional level and recognized for such by their peers. That is, they should demonstrate  artistic excellence, mastery of the craft,  originality and inventiveness of themes and language, and have the ability to engage an audience: this is critical since we are looking for performance works that will engage and excite the public and build the audience for poetry.

Poets must have the equivalent of the membership criteria of the League of Canadian Poets for a body of work (a book or its equivalent by a recognized publisher, or a substantial body of published work in recognized journals, magazines, etc.).

Spoken word and performance poets, and those working in the oral tradition, must have a substantial resume of performances, including performances at major venues. Other artists should have an equivalent level of achievement in their disciplines

Venues and Technical Support

The main Festival sites will be at the Forks: Odena Circle, Shaw Performing Arts Centre, and possibly the Canadian Museum of Human Rights (CMHR). Other venues TBA with a focus on Portage Avenue and Main Street.

Please indicate any special technical requirements.   In situ works at other locations may be considered.

Your Contact Information:  Name, address, email for the person who will be the lead and main contact for the project.

Submit your proposal to:

Portah!ge Poetry Festival
300-245 McDermot
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3B 0S6

PortAH!ge Poetry Festival Planning Committee is:
Kelly Reiss, Charles Leblanc, Duncan Mercredi, Dennis Cooley, Katherina Vermette, Clarise Foster, Joanne Epp, Roger Levielle, and Bruce Rice.


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One Comment

  1. Posted January 7, 2015 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    Is it too late to propose poets for the program/book launch portion of Portah!ge?

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