The Literary Cabaret

Host: Sally Zori

The Literary Cabaret

Saturday, Oct 24
Live on Zoom

This year there’s no limit to how many people can experience this magical coalescence of author readings and improvised songs. At the helm of these fusions is Sally Zori: our new Musical Director bringing energy and originality to the proceedings with their band, Sally Zori & the Allegories. A transgender Iraqi raised in the United Arab Emirates and different parts of Canada, Sally is a session musician, percussionist, and content creator. They have played stages and theatres in North America, Europe, and Australia with different bands, orchestras, musicals, theatre shows, and (one new years eve in 2008) was the percussionist for Aretha Franklin. And now, we’re proud that Zori will grace our virtual Festival stage, too.

You’ll hear Griffin-poetry prize winning Billy-Ray Belcourt sharing from A History of My Brief Body; our Spoken Word Curator and lauded poet Jillian Christmas preaching The Gospel of Breaking; multi-award-winning author and comedian Charles Demers reading from his work of crime fiction, Primary Obsessions; and Aislinn Hunter, exceptional poet and novelist who shares her most recent title, The Certainties.

Event Participants:

Billy-Ray Belcourt

British Columbia / Alberta

BILLY-RAY BELCOURT is a poet, author, and scholar from the Driftpile Cree Nation. He won the 2018 Griffin Poetry Prize for his debut collection, This Wound Is a World, which was also a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award. Belcourt is a recipient of the prestigious Rhodes scholarship and an Indspire Award, the highest honour the Indigenous community bestows on its leaders.

Jillian Christmas

British Columbia

JILLIAN CHRISTMAS is a queer, afro-caribbean writer living on the unceded territories of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, and Musqueam people (Vancouver, BC), where she works as Speaker Coordinator at Cicely Blain Consulting, and served for six years as artistic director of Verses Festival of Words. She has won numerous Grand Poetry Slam Championship titles and represented both Toronto and Vancouver at eleven national poetry events, notably breaking ground as the first Canadian to perform on the final stage of the Women of the World Poetry Slam.

Charles Demers

British Columbia

CHARLES DEMERS is an author, comedian, actor, playwright, screenwriter and political activist. His collection of essays, Vancouver Special, was shortlisted for the Hubert Evans BC Book Prize for Non-Fiction. He is one of the most frequently returning stars of CBC Radio’s smash-hit comedy The Debaters. Demers lives in Vancouver, BC, where he is working on a second book in the Dr. Boudreau Mystery series, Suicidal Tendencies, the follow-up to Primary Obsessions.

Aislinn Hunter

British Columbia

AISLINN HUNTER is an award-winning novelist and poet and the author of seven highly acclaimed books including The World Before Us, which was a  New York Times  Editor’s Choice book, a  Guardian, The Globe and Mail  and NPR  “Book of the Year,” and winner of the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. Her work has been adapted into music, dance, art, and film forms—including a feature film, based on her novel Stay, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.