Welcoming Our New Slam Master

On November 15th VPH and the Vancouver Slam Family held elections for the upcoming Slam Master role. Matt J. Loeb and Jillian Christmas put their names into the running and a robust and diverse showing of the VanSlam family came out to vote. After a vote between these two fabulous candidates, the Family and the Vancouver Poetry House Board elected Jillian Christmas as our next Slam Master, and she will assume the role officially in April of 2016. We hope to see more of Matt’s involvement in the future!

Jillian has been an enthusiastic member of the Vancouver Spoken Word community for five years now and has represented Vancouver on a number of National slam stages. Jillian’s past community roles include Vancouver Poetry Slam Champion (2012, 2014), Vancouver Women of the World representative (2013, 2014, 2015), and she currently serves as the artistic director of Verses Festival of Words (2013 – present). We are very much looking forward to what Jillian has in store for her new role as Slam Master, and we thank Duncan for all that he has done to enrich and fortify the role during his term.

Duncan has been a long-term member of the Vancouver Poetry House community. He has been involved since 2007 as a Board Member, and joined Sean McGarragle as Co-Slam Master from 2010 to 2012. He served as Board President from 2012-2013 when Jessica Mason-Paull was elected as Slam Master, and stepped down from the Board when he took on his current role of Slam Master in December of 2013.

Alongside all of this great work, Duncan has also been on two Vancouver Poetry Slam teams, in 2013 and 2014. He started up the Van Slam YouTube channel, which has over 3500 videos and more than four million views to date. Duncan also brought the Century Challenge to Van Slam, where poets attempt to get through 100 poems with no repeats on the slam stage–a distinction Duncan himself has achieved twice in the course of just a few years. He even designed the current VanSlam logo!

Duncan has been a huge part of the Van Slam community and evolution. On behalf of the board and the Van Slam Family, we want to thank him for all the incredible work he has done to promote poetry and this community’s evolution. We wish him all the best in the remainder of his term as Slam Master and look forward to seeing his next projects in poetry and beyond.