Guelph Spoken Word Presents

OIPS 2016

September 10, 2016

River Run Centre

Guelph, Ontario

 

OIPS Media & press releases

PRESS RELEASE – September 1st, 2016

WORLD-CLASS POETS DESCEND ON GUELPH, ONTARIO TO COMPETE FOR $5,000

On Saturday September 10, 2016, all eyes from the Canadian artistic community focus on Guelph, Ontario, as it hosts a $5,000 performance poetry competition: the Ontario International Poetry Slam (OIPS). With one of the most lucrative cash purses in poetry slam competition history, OIPS has attracted dozens of world-class performance poets from across Canada, the United States, and even London, England and The Bahamas to share their art and the thrill of competition. Many local area poets from Ontario will take the River Run Centre stage, engaging in a performance poetry battle with artists representing cities as diverse as Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, Windsor, New York, Columbus, Rochester, Chapleau, and more.

Guelph Spoken Word, the not-for-profit arts organisation hosting OIPS, is sponsoring the preliminary elimination rounds of the competition. The 1:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. poetry slams will be free for attendees. "Performance Poetry is an amazing art form, though as a newer concept to Canada many people have never seen it,” said Guelph Spoken Word founder, Beth Anne Ellipsis. “It is not like high school poetry class – it’s entertaining! Especially when performed in a competition like OIPS. We have sponsored the elimination bouts to increase community accessibility to this provocative artistic event.”

Poetry slams have crossed the border into the hearts of Canadians from all walks of life since they were cooked up in a Chicago jazz lounge three decades ago. Slams were created to transform poetry from static readings for the artistic elite into stunning, interactive, dynamic, and competitive performances. Only original writing can be performed and no props or musical accompaniments are allowed; for three minutes, it’s just the poet, their poem, and an audience.

Members of the audience are selected to be judges at the slam, assigning each poetry performance a score from 0 to 10. Elimination rounds run during the afternoon, with the top-scoring poets advancing to the 8:00 p.m. final competition bout. Here, the best-of-the-best poets compete in a three-round format for a chance to win a share of the $5,000 prize pool. Tickets to the finals are $25, available in limited quantities at the door and from the River Run Centre box office in advance.

“The return of this massive event is an amazing opportunity to bolster Guelph’s reputation as a world-leading supporter of art and performance poetry excellence,” said OIPS Creative Director Mark MacKinnon. “We are thrilled to present so much talent in such an intense single-day event. By offering free admission to the afternoon elimination bouts of the competition, we are offering both slam poetry aficionados and those experiencing performance poetry for the first time a truly unforgettable experience. You don’t want to miss this!”

For additional details about the Ontario International Poetry Slam, and to purchase tickets, visit www.oips.ca.

About Guelph Spoken Word

Guelph Spoken Word was founded in November 2008 by Beth Anne Ellipsis. Quickly growing in popularity, GSW moved forward and became a volunteer arts organisation with a board of directors and set of dedicated volunteers. Through partnerships with other community groups and businesses, GSW now presents several monthly and annual spoken word events and workshops. Additionally, Guelph Spoken Word supports the efforts of local spoken word artists and sends its poetry slam team to compete in Canadian national poetry slams. Contact Guelph Spoken Word at guelphspokenword@gmail.com or at www.guelphspokenword.com.

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PRESS RELEASE – May 24th, 2016

ONTARIO INTERNATIONAL POETRY SLAM COMPETITION WITH $5,000 IN PRIZES RETURNS TO GUELPH STAGE!

The not-for-profit arts organisation Guelph Spoken Word proudly announced today that its acclaimed performance poetry competition, the Ontario International Poetry Slam (OIPS), returns to the Royal City on Saturday, September 10, 2016 after a four-year hiatus. Offering one of the largest competitive slam purses in Canadian history – a minimum of $5,000 in cash prizes – OIPS returns to Guelph’s signature performing arts venue, the River Run Centre this fall. Advance $25 all-day, full-access audience tickets will be available for purchase from the River Run Centre box office in the coming weeks.

“We are simply thrilled to once again be hosting a spoken word competition of this calibre in Guelph,” said Creative Director Mark MacKinnon. “In 2012, OIPS attracted top performance poets both locally and across North America to compete for huge cash prizes and we’ve spent the past four years planning its triumphant return. The spoken word community has grown incredibly during that time and this single-day event promises to feature the best of the best on our stage. Whether you’re a slam poetry aficionado or new to this dynamic competitive art form, you surely don’t want to miss this lyrical extravaganza!”

Poetry slams have crossed the border into the hearts of Canadians from all walks of life since it was cooked up in a Chicago jazz lounge over three decades ago. Slams were created to transform spoken poetry from static readings for the artistic elite into stunning, interactive, dynamic, and competitive performances.  Only original writing can be performed and no props or musical accompaniments are allowed; for three minutes, it’s just the poet, their poem, and an audience.

Members of the audience are selected to be judges at the slam, assigning each poetry performance a score from 0 to 10. To reflect the magnitude of this poetry event, OIPS 2016 will once again feature its unique set of slam rules that adds more drama, suspense, and excitement to the competition: seven judges will be selected (instead of the usual five); scores from three of the seven judges are kept secret and not revealed until the bout is over; and the two lowest and two highest scores are discarded, giving each performance a score of out 30. A complete list of all slam rules are available on the OIPS website.

OIPS 2016 will feature four preliminary two-round bouts throughout the day, running from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. and interspersed with breaks. The three poets that earn the highest scores in each of the four preliminary bouts will advance to the 8 p.m. final bout where the 12 poets will compete in a three-round format for a chance to win a share of the minimum $5,000 prize pool. Audience tickets provide full admission access to all preliminary bouts as well as the exciting grand slam finals. There are only 48 spots available to slam poets, who can register to compete starting today on the OIPS website.

For additional details about the Ontario International Poetry Slam, and to purchase tickets, visit www.oips.ca.

About Guelph Spoken Word

Guelph Spoken Word was founded in November 2008 by Beth Anne Ellipsis. Quickly growing in popularity, GSW moved forward and became a volunteer arts organisation with a board of directors and set of dedicated volunteers. Through partnerships with other community groups and businesses, GSW now presents several monthly and annual spoken word events and workshops. Additionally, Guelph Spoken Word supports the efforts of local spoken word artists and sends its poetry slam team to compete in Canadian national poetry slams. Contact Guelph Spoken Word at guelphspokenword@gmail.com or at www.guelphspokenword.com.

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