Juniper Mae Gittens performs at the Victorious Voices Festival in 2016. Gittens is a Vic Voices alumnus from Reynolds High School and will be performing at the Still Victorious Alumni Showcase. Morgan Leik photo.

Juniper Mae Gittens performs at the Victorious Voices Festival in 2016. Gittens is a Vic Voices alumnus from Reynolds High School and will be performing at the Still Victorious Alumni Showcase. Morgan Leik photo.

Victorious Voices gives youth platform for expression

The largest spoken word festival in Victoria returns April 18 to 20.

An arts festival, which gives youth an outlet to express themselves, is returning to Victoria next week.

Victorious Voices youth arts festival is the city’s largest spoken word festival and includes free workshops led by some of Canada’s top spoken word poets, and an alumni showcase to provide youth a platform for expression.

As part of the 8th annual festival, 10 teams from across the lower island will compete for the Victorious Voices title. Teams are required to perform group pieces, as well as individual poems.

The event also includes the Vancouver Island High School poetry slam championships, where poets are judged by audience members on a scale of 0 to 10. During the competition, poets have three minutes and must perform original work, without costumes, props or music.

“Forget the notion that youth are apathetic. Come listen to young people speak passionately about the issues and experiences they care about,” said Jeremy Loveday, founder and director of Victorious Voices in a release.”We’ll have dozens of youth performing and hundreds of teenagers out to support and cheer on their peers.”

Victorious Voices runs April 18 to 20 at various venues across Victoria. For more information or a full schedule of events visit vicvoices.com.

kendra.wong@vicnews.com