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Johnny MacRae

Discipline: Spoken Word
Homebase: Vancouver
Regions Available: Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley &, Howe Sound, Vancouver Island Lower, Vancouver Island Mid, Vancouver Island North, Interior, Kootenays
Languages: English
Themes: Mental Health, Climate Change and/or Environmentalism
Grant Eligibility: Eligible to apply for AIC

Johnny MacRae is a mouthy poet living on the unceded ancestral territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-waututh), and sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) nations. Both a regional and national slam champion, MacRae has toured widely since 2010, giving over 200 performances at slams and readings, as well as festivals of poetry, music, and theatre across Canada, solo and as a member of collaborative acts 2 Dope Boys in a Cadillac, The Dambassadors and Travelin' Word Circus. In that same time, he has given over 300 workshops for youth and adults across British Columbia and Canada. When not writing, performing, or teaching, he can be found engaged in community organization. He founded UBC Poetry Slam and Victoria's Raising Voices outreach program, Raising Voices; co-directed CFSW 2014 in Victoria, and has co-directed Vancouver's Hullabaloo Festival since 2015; directed Raising Voices and Vancouver's WordPlay Poets from 2013 to 2018; created Spoken Word Canada's series list for touring artists; and acted as Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Tournament Director in 2016 and 2018. In 2013, he was named Poet of Honour for the Victoria Spoken Word Festival, and in 2017, received the Zaccheus Jackson Nyce Memorial Award.


Performance(s)

Johnny's 1-Hour Festival

School Year: 22-23
Discipline: Storytelling, Spoken Word, Writing
Offered Languages: English
Grade Suitability: 6 -
Duration: 60 minutes
Capacity: 800
Tech Requirements: Mic (1-4) and sound system
Available Formats: In Person, Virtual

Lower Mainland
$1,000
Fraser Valley & Howe Sound
$1,300
Vancouver Island Lower
$1,300
Vancouver Island Mid
$1,400
Vancouver Island North
$2,500
Interior
$2,500
North
$0
Remote
$0
Kootenays
$2,750
Virtual
$1,000

Having been Artistic Director of two of Canada's largest spoken word festivals, co-director of BC's youth spoken word festival, Hullabaloo, and director of the country's largest spoken word outreach programs, Johnny has a knack for finding poets who can light up a big room, or make a small one as cozy as your own kitchen. So snaps abound when Johnny 's 1-Hour Festival brings some of the country's most talented, versatile and sensitive performance poets to join him for an unforgettable hour of electric poetry! This event gives your students a taste of what it's like being at a national spoken word festival, with a rotating cast of artists whose work includes everything from the ridiculous, to the reverent, to the revolutionary. And with his vast experience emceeing music festival stages from Manitoba to Mayne Island, and hosting countless poetry slams, Johnny's enthusiasm and energy set the stage for your students to enjoy one of the best spoken word shows they'll ever see!

Workshop(s)

Animating the World

School Year: 22-23
Offered Languages: English
Grade Suitability: 5 - 12
Duration: 60-80 minutes
Capacity: 35
Available Formats: In Person

Lower Mainland
$600
Fraser Valley & Howe Sound
$700
Vancouver Island Lower
$700
Vancouver Island Mid
$700
Vancouver Island North
$1,000
Interior
$1,000
North
$1,200
Remote
$1,500
Kootenays
$1,200
Virtual
$0

Animating the World gives an overview of a core part of Johnny's practice - adopting an impersonal and/or non-human perspective to shed new light on a presumably known narrative. In this workshop, we'll explore what happens to stories about ourselves when we re-tell them through the eyes of the objects around us. Then we'll look at the untold stories around us, asking questions like: what would the Moon say to NASA? what does the flower feel for the bee? what do the reactions REALLY think about our posts? Rife with creative possibilities, Animating the World opens students ears to a world that's always speaking.

TEAM PIECE!

School Year: 22-23
Offered Languages: English
Grade Suitability: 9 - 12
Duration: 80 minutes
Capacity: 35

Lower Mainland
$600
Fraser Valley & Howe Sound
$700
Vancouver Island Lower
$700
Vancouver Island Mid
$700
Vancouver Island North
$1,000
Interior
$900
North
$1,200
Remote
$1,500
Kootenays
$1,200
Virtual
$0

Perhaps the most exciting part of slam poetry and spoken word is the TEAM PIECE! This workshop offers a crash course in collaborative poetry. This workshop demands a lot, but offers even more: students work in pairs or trios to create their own "group pieces," learning the same process for creating collaborative poems honed over 10+ years of Johnny's collaborations, whether with 2 Dope Boys in a Cadillac, Travelin' Word Circus, Victoria Spoken Word Festival ensembles, or nationally competitive poetry slam teams.

Classroom Residency(ies)

Contact Me: (604) 928-3673, Email

Love Your Weird

School Year: 22-23

Poetry has to be about your deepest, darkest secrets, right? NOPE! Love Your Weird is about finding your authentic voice. Students will use a wide variety of interesting poetic techniques while learning that there is no way to write or speak poetry that doesn't express something about YOU! While each workshop offers and honors the space required for vulnerability, Johnny focuses on creating an environment that is safe for taking creative risks. During the course of this residency, Johnny offers a heady mix of impulse games, writing prompts and personal reflections that can empower even the shyest students to raise their voice and be heard.

The Acting Object

School Year: 22-23

The Acting Object builds off of a core practice in Johnny's writing - adopting an impersonal and/or non-human perspective to shed new light on a presumably known narrative. Whether telling new stories, retelling the ones we think we know, or simply animating the world around us and bringing it to life, we'll explore a wide variety of applications with this practice. Rooted in the literary arts, this residency lends itself to a wide variety of curriculums, whether we find poetry in the absurdly mundane (what the shoe says to the foot), in the histories we couldn't possibly live ourselves (listening to heirlooms), or in the processes that hold our world together (the story cycle of the natural world). What do the other inhabitants of this world have to say about us? What are the big stories they know that we, ourselves can't tell? The Acting Object offers the possibility of using literary arts to explore a vast array of subjects, while making writing more fun and engaging in general.

The Loneliest Number

School Year: 22-23

In this residency, poetry is a team sport! Over the course of this residency, students will learn that poetry or storytelling can be a collaborative act. We'll work through different approaches to collaborating on crafting poems, from exquisite corpse, to swapping and retelling stories, to writing with shared prompts. More than just learning techniques for writing with a partner or partners, our focus on spoken word will lead us to looking at ways of using multiple voices in performance to create different shades of emphasis and ways of bringing seemingly incompatible pieces of writing together. Ultimately, students will create their own "group pieces," from free write to a final, choral performance!


Testimonials & Reviews

"Johnny’s ability to teach people about spoken word is second only to his own expression of it. Students are excited to learn, especially after they have experienced Johnny’s poetry." Sheri Kinney, Cowichan Secondary
“Johnny is an extraordinary poet and presenter with a vivacious personality... The feedback from his performances, and creative writing workshops, is always passionate and so positive.” Sophie Hamel, Salmon Arm Secondary
"Johnny's writing workshops encourage the students to see ordinary things in a new light, embrace their unique selves, and take creative risks outside their comfort zones. I always look forward to Johnny MacRae’s enrichment to my classroom!" Cindy Pitchford-Yeung, Lord Byng Secondary

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