Share Your Voice: The Democracy & Me Poetry Contest

Did you know the term “Parliament” comes from the French word parler, meaning “to speak”?

“Parliament” also describes the period of time between general elections when the Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) in British Columbia do their work—making laws, approving finances, scrutinizing government, and representing their constituents.

After the wonderful results of the first Democracy & Me contest, which saw young British Columbians share their vision of democracy through art, this year’s contest invites students to put pen to paper and speak for themselves with poetry. The Democracy & Me Poetry Contest invites students to reflect on the importance of community, civic engagement, and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and democracy.

There’s two different ways to enter: craft a poem using the written word or perform a poem via spoken word. Any poetic style is welcome, though length is limited to 350 words or 3 minutes. Contestants are asked to reflect on how their voice offers a unique medium to express one’s identity, culture and connection to community.

Each grade category has a question to get young writers inspired:

Kindergarten to Grade 4: “How can I use my voice to help my community?”

Grades 5 to 8: “How can my voice help our democracy?

Grades 9 to 12: “How can my voice help strengthen our democracy?”

Contest winners will receive a trip to Victoria in May 2022 for an unveiling at the Parliament Buildings of the three winning entries, an opportunity to meet with the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia and Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, and a behind-the-scenes tour of the Parliament Buildings.

The Democracy & Me Poetry Contest is open for entries until February 28, 2022. Details on how to enter, contest rules, and inspiration from last year’s winners can be found on the Democracy & Me website.