The Vancouver Poetry Slam has been wowing audiences since 1996, making it the longest-running poetry slam in Canada. It is a program of the non-profit organization, Vancouver Poetry House.

The Youth Poetry Slam for poets aged 14–20 happens on the 4th Monday of every month.

What is a Poetry Slam?

The poetry slam arts movement was started in Chicago in the 1980s by a construction worker named Marc Smith to make poets and audiences more responsive to each other.

At a slam, the poet must perform a poem of their own creation, in any style, within the time limit without the aid of props, costumes, nudity, animal acts, or musical accompaniment.

During the Winter Season (from September–March), the slam format consists of two rounds of 3-minute poems. During the Summer Season (from April–August), the slam format consists of three rounds: a 2-minute round, a 1-minute round, and a 4-minute round.

5 randomly selected judges are chosen from the audience. They score each poem from 0 to 10.

Your Slam Masters

Slammaster Jillian Christmas

Jillian Christmas is the Slam Master of Vancouver Poetry Slam. She currently lives on the unceded territories of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam people (Vancouver, BC.), where she also serves as Artistic Director of Versəs Festival of Words. Jillian is an enthusiastic organizer and activist in the Canadian arts community, her focus being to increase anti-oppression initiatives in spoken word. Jillian performs and facilitates workshops for youth and adults across the country.

To contact Jillian about being a feature poet or with other inquiries, email


Youth Slam Coordinator R.C. Weslowski

RC Weslowski is a former president of Vancouver Poetry House (06-08) and a former Vancouver Poetry Slam Slammaster (06-08). RC was the Artistic Director for the 2005 Canadian Festival of Spoken Word and the Publicity Coordinator for the 2007 Individual World Poetry Slam. As a poet, RC has been the 2008 Canadian Festival of Spoken Word Poet of Honour, a member of seven Van Slam poetry teams, and 2012 Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Champion. RC is the founder and lead organizer of the Vancouver Youth Poetry Slam as well as the Co-Director of Hullabaloo: BC’s Youth Spoken Word Festival.

To contact RC about being a feature poet at the Youth Slam or with other questions about that show, email rcarcee2@gmail.com


The wonderful Matt J Loeb manages Van Slam’s YouTube channel. To contact Matt about any video related inquiries email vanslamvideo@gmail.com