The Beat Spoken Word Stage has gone virtual for the summer of 2020! We'll be hosting workshops, a poetry open stage, and a story slam! Please join us in celebrating our local spoken word artists and comedians, by logging on to Zoom and Facebook to attend our events! You'll find join links below. Please share and like on social media and beat the drum for Heart of the City Festival 2020!

Schedule of Spoken Word Events


Sat June 6


Sat June 6 - 12:00 PM


In celebration of seniors week, we'll be kicking off the festival with a live stream from singer/songwriter Donna Durand singing a song written by poet Adele Fontaine. Donna grew up listening to songs played on country and western radio at her grandparents home in the hamlet Bawlf, Alberta, Canada. Then, choir music and in her late teens, Joni Mitchell and Neil Young. The first songwriter Donna was aware of is her mom.  She would sit at the piano and cook up funny little songs such as Gasoline Cowboy.  Donna has formal education in musical theatre and recreation therapy.  Check her website for a full bio. 


Live Video Link: https://www.facebook.com/heartcityfest/posts/2640199506224797




Sat June 6 - 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM


Developing Mythos; Personal
Writing workshop with Clark


Mythos - narrative mode of thought; a collection of myths.


Sapiens instinctively want to believe the myths told to us. Why not create our own knowingly? Why not rewrite narratives, tell the right stories, integrate those lessons into real life? Why not be the hero of our childhood dreams? This workshop will equip us to begin doing just that! Through the study of archetypes in fiction, journaling/prompt writing, and open discourse we will explore the worlds of myth and fiction that dwell within. We will learn how to navigate those stories and reclaim our place as the author of them. We will see how to unwind myths that have a negative impact and weave new tales in their place. Myth work is a creative, healing practice that will take us on a grand adventure!  


Clark is a multidisciplinary artist who has been creating and sharing with others for over 20 years, with the most recent ten heavily focused on storytelling, myth, and the authoritative power of fiction. Through fine arts, poetry, prose, music, facilitation, performance, tattooing, and dance, Clark invites earthlings to examine what stories form their realities and equips them to begin creating new ones through the transformative nature of imagination.


Join us using the link below:





Sat June 6 - 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM


The Beat poetry & music open stage!


Come listen to featured poets including former youth Poet Laureate Sophie Kim, as well as hip hop artist KazMega, and Slam champion Lady Vanessa! Stay for the second half and join our open stage - we will give you 5 minutes to perform a poem or two or one song!


Join us using the link below:


Sunday June 7th


Sun June 7 - 2:00 to 4:00 pm

Reimagining Art as a Process to Heal writing workshop


Featuring the album "WATA" (We Are The Apocalypse) by Kazmega

and parts of the play, "Three Ladies" by Lady Vanessa.

The two artists will share with the audience tools for how they designed their own process of trauma healing through their art. WATA and Three Ladies take you through an observation of internal and external forces that interrupt their community's healing, safety, emotional and financial stability. Both pieces of art also work through issues of displacement and how these artists as immigrant individuals have a responsibility to Amiswachiwaskahegan and Turtle Island.

There will be performances from both artists and a workshop based on the process of both artists.


KazMega is a proud Edmonton born and raised multi-disciplinary artist, community builder, and first-generation immigrant of mixed Caribbean descent. While he has spent the last few years focusing on writing and oral performance, he is also an audio engineer, digital producer/composer and visual artist. Hip Hop Kulture, the deep spiritual philosophy designed to promote intergenerational and intercultural creation and healing guides Kaz's creative compass. He has used this compass to find purpose, and grows nearer to peace the more he learns to engage in dialogue through his art. His journey thus far has taught him that connecting to the land he was born on, inevitably connects him to the land his ancestors were raised on. Amiskwaciwâskahikan, and the people of treaty 6 have a lot to teach... KazMega is ready to listen. 2017 Edmonton Arts Trust Fund Winner, 2015 Northlands Award for an Emerging Artist Nominee, 2014 3-2-1 Summer Slam Champion, 2014 Take Back The Mic Poetry Slam Champion, 2014Edmonton Music Prize Shortlist, 2013 Kaleido Words We ‘Ave, Poetry Slam Winner, 2013 Hot107 Hot Factor, 2013 Edmonton Poetry Festival Slam Finals Runner-Up, 2012 WCMA Urban Recording of the Year Nominee, Beat Street Battles West #1 Finalist, 2008 Scribble Jam, WCMA Urban Recording of the Year Nominee, Beat Street Battles West #1 Finalist, 2008 Scribble Jam Champion, Canadian Festival of Spoken Word Slam Semi-Finalist, 2016 3-2-1 Summer Slam Runner-Up.


Lady Vanessa is a Caleña, Colombia, first-generation artist, and community builder. She started her poetry career in Windhoek, Namibia, and currently lives in amiskwaciy-wâskahikan (Edmonton), Treaty 6 Territory.  She is the 2018 Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Poetry Champion. Lady has toured and competed around Turtle Island. She is the creator of Three Ladies and the founder of Remix the Ritual. Her poetry has featured in the book, "Water" published by Glass Buffalo. She is currently through her upcoming book "La Sangre Llama"



Join us using the link below:





Sun June 7 - 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm


Story Slam Competition!


This year we are inviting Edmonton storytellers to compete in our 2nd ever Story Slam (online)! Enjoy family-friendly stories and a little healthy competition. Find out who takes home the big prize - $100! Hosted by amazing storyteller Nadine Hunt!


Story Tellers include:

Nadine Hunt

Leif Oleson-Cormack

Mathew O'bertos

Nick Zon

Leif Gregersen

Jack Delong

Liam Leroux


This year's judges include:

David Shepherd

Rusti Lehay

Rene Johnson

Aimée Beaudoin

Rob Broatzke

Trina Plamondon


Join us using the link below:




Heart of the City invited comedy on to our main stage in 2017.

We realize that comedy is fast becoming seen as one of the most powerful voices for change and challenging our preconceived notions. We are pleased to present some of Edmonton's premier comics this year!






Will Hannigan is a comic from Edmonton, Alberta. He has performed across Canada and is a regular at comedy clubs in Western Canada. He was featured at Just For Laughs Northwest in Vancouver in 2018 and the Grindstone Comedy Festival in 2019.






Brittany Campbell has been described as intelligently inappropriate, dark, relatable and surprisingly, kind. Her unique and bold take on her life, relationships, human nature, family dynamics, and lesbianism has made her stand out.

*If my family asks, all of the things that I say are just jokes. If anyone else asks, they are all true*





Often described as a high-energy performer and a crowd favorite Sterling Scott has become one of comedy’s rising stars.

Sterling’s material stems from his experiences with relationships, family, being a father, current events, his out look on life and the world, and those awkward moments that people from all walks of life can relate to. Sterling has traveled all across Canada the U.S. and even over seas with notable performances as a finalist in the San Francisco international comedy competition in 2013, winner of the Edmonton international comedy festival "young guns" competition 2013, finalist in the Seattle international comedy competition 2014, performing for the troops in Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan, and Dubai, and the just for laughs festival in Montreal. As a writer and actor Sterling has worked on season twenty of the Canadian comedy television show “This Hour has 22 minutes".

Sterling was born in Scarborough Ontario and now currently resides in Edmonton Alberta. Raised in a single parent family with five brothers and sisters, with a mother born in Trinidad and Tobago who had to raise her kids in Canada stand up comedy is not only natural to Sterling, It’s a way of life!


Donna Durand and Adele Fontaine

Click to hear Adele Fontaine's poem that Donna made into a song.



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© 2020 by Heart of the City Arts and Music Festival.

Background Photos and gallery shots courtesy Paula E. Kirman.