This annual award was created by Sheri-D Wilson—a pioneer of spoken word poetry in Canada—to honour a Canadian spoken word artist who has made a substantial contribution to the development of spoken word, through the originality and excellence of his or her own writing/performance works, and through involvement in—and contributions to—the expansion of the spoken word community. The Golden Beret Award was first presented at the Calgary Spoken Word Festival in 2007 and is now presented by the League of Canadian Poets and Calgary Spoken Word Sociey. The Calgary Spoken Word Society is a non-profit organization whose mandate is to showcase local, national & international artists; to present culturally diverse works; to offer innovative and progressive approaches to literacy; and to give voice to under-represented communities.
SUBMISSIONS NOW CLOSED UNTIL AUGUST 2018.
THE WINNER OF THE 2018 SHERI-D WILSON GOLDEN BERET AWARD WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON JUNE 16 AT AN AWARDS CEREMONY AT THE 2018 CANADIAN WRITERS’ SUMMIT.
Announcements will follow on our website and our social media, @CanadianPoets. Check back soon!
The 2017 winner of the award was d’bi.young anitafrika, whom Sheri-D first encountered in a mentorship program during which she was assigned as d’bi’s mentor. In the years that followed, anitafrika grew as a poet, playwright, performer, and teacher, facilitating her own workshops in Africa and North America.
d’bi.young anitafrika is a queer Black feminist artist, United Nations speaker, Canadian Poet of Honor, InkTalks/TED speaker and YWCA Woman of Distinction. The internationally celebrated African-Jamaican dubpoet, dramatist, educator, director and dramaturge is also a 3 time Dora Award winning writer-performer for her epic triptych of plays The Sankofa Trilogy and The Orisha Trilogy. anitafrika’s groundbreaking creative praxis – the Anitafrika Method – uses the Sorplusi Principles as an intersectional anti-oppression human development framework, which is studied and practiced globally by artists, instigators and policy-makers. d’bi is the founding Artistic Director of Watah; Canada’s only professional theatre company that offers year-long tuition-free artist residencies to Black and diverse artist-instigators. She is also the founder and CEO of The Sorplusi Institute and Sorplusi Publishing, a research-based social enterprise with a micro press extension producing and publishing works by Black and diverse creators. Author of 7 plays, 6 dub albums and 5 books, d’bi has toured nationally and internationally. She is currently creating the first ever Dub Opera, tackling global environmental issues through a large-scale political musical entitled Lukumi (previously titled Bleeders), scored by her Afro-fusion-Reggae band The 333.
2017 Jurors: RC Weslowski, Tanya Evanson, Sheri-D Wilson
VIEW THE 2017 SHERI-D WILSON GOLDEN BERET AWARD SHORTLIST HERE!
2017 – d’bi.young anitafrika (Toronto, ON)
2016 – RC Weslowski (Vancouver, BC)
2015 – Penn Kemp (London, ON)
2014 – bill bissett (Toronto, ON)
2013 – Tanya Evanson (Vancouver, BC)
2012 – Kirk Miles (Calgary, AB)
2011 – Ian Ferrier (Montréal, QC)
2010 – Wendy Morton (Victoria,BC)
2009 – Lillian Allen (Toronto, ON)
2008 – Sarah Murphy (Calgary, AB)
2007 – Murdoch Burnett (Comox, BC)