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Jillian Christmas

Discipline: Interdisciplinary
Homebase: Vancouver
Regions Available: Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley &, Howe Sound, Vancouver Island Lower, Vancouver Island Mid, Vancouver Island North, Interior, North, Virtual
Languages: English
Themes: Mental Health, LGBTQ2SIA+, Disability, Climate Change and/or Environmentalism
Grant Eligibility: Eligible for 70% AIE

Jillian Christmas is a queer, Black writer living on the unceded territories of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam people, where she served for six years as Artistic Director of Versəs Festival of Words. As an enthusiastic organizer and advocate in the Canadian arts community, her focus has been to increase anti-oppression initiatives in spoken word. She has executed programs in partnership with Toronto Poetry Project, The Chan Centre, Vancouver Opera, and more. Jillian has performed and facilitated spoken word workshops across the country and beyond. You can experience Jillian's work through her award winning book of poetry, The Gospel of Breaking (Arsenal Pulp Press 2020) and her children's adventure book The Magic Shell.

2023-24 School Year


Each one, Beloved

School Year: 23-24
Discipline: Storytelling, Interdisciplinary, Spoken Word, Writing
Offered Languages: English
Grade Suitability: 7 - 12
Duration: 1 day
Capacity: 1000
Tech Requirements: 2 mics for performance/ paper, pens, tables, chairs for workshop
Available Formats: In Person, Virtual

Lower Mainland
Fraser Valley & Howe Sound
Vancouver Island Lower
Vancouver Island Mid
Vancouver Island North

Few of us can learn when we are in a place of fear or isolation. This idea is the basis of a presentation whose goal is to encourage understanding through modeled vulnerability and the poetic sharing of lived experience. As a child of Afro-Caribbean immigrants, the story of my being here on these territories is a complicated one. This work demands that I be in right relations with myself. Without having knowledge of self, how can we show up whole to conversations of privilege, accountability or responsibility? In this presentation, I go exploring through the personal and political landscapes of my family history, queer lineage, relationship dynamics, environmental responsibility and more. I hope to model for my audiences what it looks like to mistake, learn, and grow in our knowledge of self and community, without the wounds of shame or erasure, and to come out whole on the other side.

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