YouthCanSlamJustChange is happy to announce our tenth grant winner, YouthCanSlam, and invites you to check them out as they host their second annual festival in Ottawa August 12-16!

The $1000.00 grant will go to support youth who are interested in poetry across Canada to connect with one another, develop as writers and performers, and promote youth poetry to the public. Led by a group of Ottawa-based spoken word poets, YouthCanSlam held its inaugural festival last summer for about 50 youth participants.

YouthCanSlam strives to provide mentorship and professional development for youth poets, maintain a collaborative and supportive network of youth poets across Canada, and support youth poets as they enhance their skills and develop their voices. As Ikenna Oyegbula, YouthCanSlam’s Director, puts it, YouthCanSlam is “a statement of the empowerment of Canada’s youth that affirms the power of their voices and supports their participation in a major oral literature event at the national level catering to their experiences”.

YouthCanSlam 2013 was a very empowering experience for me. I learned that my words had power and that my story was something that people wanted to hear.

–       Sarah Ruszala, Ottawa

YouthCanSlam has been life changing, art changing, mind changing and heart changing.

–       Jacob Gebrewold, Vancouver


This year, YouthCanSlam is hoping to continue to build the youth poetry movement with its festival being held at the University of Ottawa August 12 to 16. Events include free poetry workshops and open mics, affordably priced showcases, and the National Youth Poetry Competition.The events not only allow youth poets to gather and connect; they also provide the broader Ottawa community with the opportunity to witness and support youth art and showcase our local youth poets.

If you’d like to learn more about YouthCanSlam, or want to participate in this year’s festival, we encourage you to check them out at They can also be found on Twitter @youthcanslam, on Facebook at Youthcanslam Festival, and on YouTube at YouthCanSlam.

Join us in recognizing YouthCanSlam at our next JustDrinks event on August 6th at Lowertown Brewery 5:30pm to 7:30pm.  Let us know you’ll be there, get your FREE eventbrite ticket today.