Announcing the People’s Choice Award and the nine finalists advancing to Nationals

Montreal, March 25, 2021 – Poetry In Voice/Les voix de la poésie is proud to announce the winners of the People’s Choice Award in English and French as well as the nine finalists of its annual poetry recitation contest.


People’s Choice Award

A total of 10 063 people voted for their favourite recitation in our People’s Choice category! With 798 votes, Star Ezeano from All Saints High School in Calgary, Alberta won the English People’s Choice prize, worth $500.

With 545 votes, Marianne Arseneault from École secondaire Val Mauricie, Shawinigan, Quebec won the French People’s Choice prize, also worth $500.


National Finalists

Despite COVID, over 10,000 students learned a poem by heart this year. School champions participated in online qualifiers and the 42 students who obtained the highest scores advanced to the semifinals, where their videos were judged by a panel of poets. The semi-finalists all received $250 each in prize money. 

English Category

  • Thierney Dignadice from Lord Selkirk Regional Secondary School, Selkirk (Manitoba).
  • Al Gilbert from Kildonan-East Collegiate, Winnipeg (Manitoba). 
  • Zara Smith from West Point Grey Academy, Vancouver (British Columbia).

Bilingual Category

  • Sarah Hamdi from University of Toronto Schools, Toronto (Ontario). 
  • Rachel Lyonnais-St-Martin from Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf, Montreal (Quebec). (center)
  • Philip Nedelev from Toronto French School, Toronto (Ontario).

French Category

  • Reda Hessi from l’École internationale de Montréal (Quebec). 
  • Lysiane Kouakou from Sir Winston Churchill High School, Calgary (Alberta). 
  • Romy Magdalena Pueyo from le Collège Beaubois, Pierrefonds (Quebec).


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the contest was modified to allow the nine finalists to prepare for the Online National Finals on April 22. We will announce the winners of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places of each section of the contest at our final event. 

The finalists will refilm their recitations and these new versions will be judged by a jury of poets: Mathew Henderson, Evelyn Lau, and Damian Rogers for the English recitations; Nicole Brossard, Georgette LeBlanc and Hector Ruiz for the French recitations. The National Finals will be hosted by former CBC Radio personality Johanne Blais. The video of the Online National Finals will be available on the organization’s website:

Additionally, 43 schools participated in our Team Regionals! Check out our website to see the results of the competition:


- 30 -

About Poetry In Voice/Les voix de la poésie:

Founded by Scott Griffin, chairman and founder of the illustrious Griffin Trust for Excellence In Poetry, Poetry In Voice/Les voix de la poésie is a registered charity that inspires students across Canada to read, recite, and write poetry. In addition to running two national student recitation competitions and many local team recitation contests, the organization also provides an anthology of classic and contemporary poems, comprehensive teaching materials, and a network of over 300 poets who visit classrooms, create educational materials, and judge recitation contests, all at no cost to schools or teachers. Poetry In Voice/Les voix de la poésie acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

For all media enquiries, including interviews with the competitors or with Poetry In Voice/Les voix de la poésie Director, David Smith, e:,
c: 514.668.0768 Rorie Bruce, e:, c: 204-781-1769


Start here: