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The MC Poetry & Spoken Word Competition

The 2024 competition is now closed. Thank you to all the talented students who entered this year. Our panel of judges look forward to diving in. Best of luck to all!

This year’s winners will be announced on May 17th. Stay tuned for details on a viewing event to come!

Explore this page to see background information, contest criteria, previous winners as well as other video submissions shown at our 2023 viewing event.

Contest Information

This competition is inspired by the late Michael Coleman (MC), founder of the Cowichan Foundation, husband, father, lawyer, mayor, early adopter of reconciliation, community leader, and avid poet. He believed in the power of storytelling and published multiple books of poetry in his lifetime. By uplifting the voices of our youth in this competition, we aim to honour his legacy of beautiful poetry and unequivocal service to the Cowichan Valley while supporting the leaders of tomorrow.

The is open only to high school aged students in the Cowichan Valley and Ganges areas. Students must submit an original poem or spoken word piece along with a video performing the work and a short biography. Contestants will be judged on both the written work as well as the video. This competition is open to all themes – no topic is off limits; however, vulgar, homophobic racist, sexist, or ableist content will not be permitted.

Make us think! Earn points for strong and clear messaging, as well as passion and insight. Get creative! Earn points for your poetic qualities and originality. Contestants are encouraged to put effort into their video presentation and have some fun with it. Grammar and language/composition will also be judged, so be sure to polish your written work before submission. We ask that videos are no longer than 7 minutes. Click below to see full contest criteria.

Top 3 Entries Win Cash Prizes!

1st Place Winner


2nd Place Winner


3rd Place Winner


Enter the Contest

Click the button below to submit your contest entry (requires Google sign-in). Be sure to read the full criteria before doing so. Please note the maximum file size for a video is 10GB but it is highly encouraged to keep below 2GB.

  • Eligibility: Open to high school aged students in the Cowichan Valley
  • Files Required: 1 video and 1 document
  • Entry Deadline: Monday, April 15th, 2024 at 8pm
  • Winners Announced: Friday, May 17th, 2024
  • Viewing Event: September, TBD

Questions? Email info@cowichanfoundation.com 

Congratulations to the winners of the 2nd Annual

MC Poetry & Spoken Word Competition

1st Place: Elani Sveistrup Perk

2nd Place: Hannah Jenks

3rd Place: Kenzie Gervais

View the winning videos below…

2023 Showcase

Uplifting the voices of tomorrow

Thank you to all who joined us for our first annual MC Poetry Contest Showcase. Our first viewing event was a great success!

We were honoured to see such a wonderful turnout to celebrate and raise funds for the talented young poets who entered our contest over the last two years. VIU was the perfect place for this event and all our guests thoroughly enjoyed the speakers, silent auction, and refreshments.

Check out the showcase page for more information and to see the videos we showed!

Get Social

Follow competition updates on Facebook and Instagram

To our sponsors

Huge thanks to our sponsors for making this possible

Duncan Dairy Queen
RBC Dominion Securities, Dan Varga & Associates