Meet the RexFest Judges

This two-day spoken word poetry festival is bringing out the heavy hitters to judge the competition component of this festival. RexFest brings together four powerhouse community partners, Lakeshore Arts, LOVE (Leave Out Violence, Ontario)the BAM! Youth Slam and The Uncharted Collective to judge these mind-blowing youth performers.

These are award-winning and multi-talented artists who have made a name for themselves in the spoken word community. Please welcome your judges.

Paulina O’Kieffe

Paulina O’Kieffe is a Toronto writer, performer, arts educator and producer who has been working and performing across Toronto for the last 16 years and is a member of the League of Poets. Paulina has performed, produced and hosted performances across the City of Toronto and beyond for the last 15 years. Notable performances include When Sister’s Speak (March 2017) and competing on the finals stage at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word (October 2015 & 2017). Paulina is one of Lakeshore Art’s lead facilitators for the Shazaam In Focus Program as well as our Summit: In Focus Spoken Word Program, teaching spoken word in schools across communities within Etobicoke.

She is the recipient of the Toronto Community Foundation’s Vital People Award and was recognized as one of 150 Black Women Making HERstory (as featured on CBC) for her contribution to building the arts scene in Toronto. Paulina was recently featured in TedX Talk at Saint Mary Catholic Secondary School.

Follow her on social media and learn more about her recent work.

Instagram: @paulinaokieffe
Facebook: @PaulinaOKieffe
Twitter: @paulina_okieffe

Patrick Walters

Photo credits : Ebti Nabag 

Patrick Walters is a spoken word artist/public speaker and arts educator who has spent over four years professionally using poetry to place emphasis on mental wellness and overall well being – a simple message, but one of paramount importance in today’s society. Through the execution of workshops and showcases, this message is passed on to the hearts and minds of his growing audience.

Follow him on social media and learn more about his recent work.

Youtube: @patrickandpoetry 
Instagram: @patrickwalters
Facebook: @patrickandpoetry
Twitter: @PatrickCWalters

Cassandra Myers

Cassandra Myers (they/she) is a queer, brown, mad poet, community worker, and program manager at Leave Out Violence (LOVE). An MSW Candidate at York University, Cassandra applies trauma-informed narrative practises when working with survivors of violence. Cassandra writes into her own experiences of survival, with a forthcoming book Smash The Headlights with Write Bloody North publishing. 

Follow them on social media and learn more about their recent work.

Instagram: @myers.cass
Facebook: @cassandra.myers
Twitter: @MyersCass

Joshua “Scribe” Watkis

A lifetime immersed in the performing arts has made Joshua “Scribe” Watkis entirely devoted to the gift of storytelling. Through Spoken Word Poetry and Hip-Hop, he has taken thousands into his world to experience it as he does. The Toronto born poet has performed on stages across Canada, appeared on CBC Arts and has opened for the legendary Hip-Hop band ‘The Roots’ with ‘The Uncharted’ collective. As a competitor he has attended the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in 2014, 2015 and 2017, never having missed a finals stage.

Scribe, owner and facilitator of Word is Bond, is an Arts Educator and event organizer as well, on the Board of Directors for BAM! Youth Slam and a curator for the Roots Lounge Open Mic & Poetry Slam. His goal is not only to bring his audiences through his story but to gift them with the courage to do what he calls the “bravest act on Earth.” To share their own stories, in their words, out loud.

Follow him on social media and learn more about his recent work.

Instagram: @thisisscribe
Twitter: @ThisIsScribe

RexFest is a Signature project of the Cultural Hotspot produced in partnership with the City of Toronto and sponsored by Tim Hortons!

Click to learn more about RexFest!