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Ottawa's Lumière Festival will leave you feeling "light on your feet"

Ottawa’s New Edinburgh Park hosts the much-anticipated official start of the Lumière Festival this evening! The spoken word curator for the festival is Jessica Ruano. I wanted to know more about the spoken word aspect of the event, and Jessica’s response was to send me an incredible poem that touches on the theme assigned to participants in the festival.


single out

each particular moment in time

sitting in a sweet coffee shop

waiting for company

drinking tea

time for a change

back to remembering

i can keep my nails sharp for awhile

if you like

it’s no trouble

it’s no concern of yours if i have trouble

walking at your running pace

that’s what bicycles are for

until we get too old to peddle

what then? what now?

i’m lost until the fall

until i start flying again

i found wings once

and now you

Jessica Ruano:

“We were told to write about ascension, heavenly bliss, reaching toward a state of perfection, as the poets will be stationed in that section of the tour that is, essentially, an exploration of death, the underworld, afterlife, and rebirth. Some poets already had poems that fit the bill; others are writing brand new ones. Either way, each one should be a little gem of a performance.”

As the festival site indicates, there has been a full month of preparation for the Evening of Light Celebration happening tonight –  September 4th.

There are lantern-making and performance workshops, and community outreach initiatives designed to bring people together to celebrate “light” and community. What does that really mean for participants?

“What can I say about the festival? From what I understand, it is designed to be a celebration of light in all its forms. Literally, from the lanterns that will cover the entire park, with a beautiful glow reflected along the river…to the celebration of illuminating artistic genres: poetry, dance, theatre, storytelling, and visual art installations.”

Poets participating in the festival’s spoken word tour (all from the Ottawa/Gatineau region) are:

Mehdi Hamdad
Brad Morden
Ian Keteku
Faye Estrella
Mélanie Rivet
Graeme O’Farrell

This will prove to be a very illuminating community experience, and will indeed leave you feeling “light on your feet” with the magic of the night.

Photo courtesy to Fernando Farfan:

Artists participating in the 2010 festival are listed here:

More from Jessica Ruano can be found on her blog:  The Most Exquisite Moments