Nominate an Outstanding Calgary Poet

Calgary Arts Development is pleased to open nominations for the next Calgary Poet Laureate. The term runs April 2018 to April 2020 and the deadline for nominations is Monday, March 19, 2018 at 4:30pm MST.

Background and Program Description

On July 26, 2011, City Council approved a motion to establish a Calgary Poet Laureate position, funded by Calgary Poet Laureate Ambassadors from the private sector. Each Calgary Poet Laureate is appointed to a two-year term.

Calgary Arts Development administers the program, including:

  • Appointing the Selection Committee.
  • Collecting nominations.
  • Managing marketing and publicity.
  • Overseeing all finances related to the program.

The Calgary Poet Laureate program is funded by the Calgary Poet Laureate Ambassadors. As of January 1, 2018, the Calgary Poet Laureate Ambassadors included:

  • The Calgary Foundation
  • Calgary Chamber of Commerce
  • Brookfield Residential
Eligibility Criteria

Nominees for Calgary Poet Laureate must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a professionally published or presenting poet.
  • Be a current resident of Calgary.
  • Demonstrate an established career through their body of work, or have made significant contributions to their community regardless of career length.
Roles and Responsibilities

The Calgary Poet Laureate is intended to be an ambassador of the arts to the citizens of Calgary. The Calgary Poet Laureate produces literary work that is reflective of Calgary’s landscape, cityscape and/or civic identity and that may raise awareness of local issues.

The Calgary Poet Laureate is expected to perform the role outlined as follows:

  • Compose and present poems for official City of Calgary occasions.
  • Make public appearances as Calgary Poet Laureate either in Calgary or as an ambassador to other cities or countries.
  • Make public presentations of their work at least twice a year.
    Send quarterly updates to Calgary Arts Development listing past and upcoming public appearances.
  • Sit on the Selection Committee for the succeeding Calgary Poet Laureate.

The Calgary Poet Laureate receives an annual honorarium of $10,000, over a two-year term.

Nomination Process

To make a nomination, please review the award guidelines. Nomination packages must include:

  • A letter of nomination from the nominator (in the case of a self-nomination, a support of nomination letter written by a second party), including:
    • A brief description of the nominee’s contributions to the poetry or arts community.
    • A brief description of how the nominee has influenced their literary peers and/or other artists.
    • An explanation of why the nominee should be Calgary Poet Laureate.
    • The nominee’s current curriculum vitae.
  • One copy for each member of the Selection Committee of up to five (5) examples of the nominee’s work. If submitting electronically, one copy of each item will suffice. If submitting hard copies, the selection committee requires six (6) copies of each item, which can be delivered to the Calgary Arts Development office. If submitting hard copy support material, please also upload a Word document or PDF indicating that hard copies will be provided by the deadline. Examples of work may include:
    • Published books
    • Literary anthologies, journals, magazines, chapbooks
    • Links to presentation videos or MP3s
    • CDs or DVDs
  • A signed acknowledgment of nomination.

The deadline for nominations is Monday, March 19, 2018 at 4:30pm.

Following the successful submission of your nomination package, please deliver any hard copy support material to Calgary Arts Development by Friday, March 23, 2018 at 4:30pm MST.

Calgary Arts Development
Suite #501, 237 8th Ave. SE
Calgary, AB T2G 2M3
Attn: Calgary Poet Laureate Nominations

Selection Committee

The Selection Committee—appointed by Calgary Arts Development—is charged to review all nomination packages and select based on the criteria outlined above.

Selection Process

Following the nomination deadline, the Selection Committee reviews all applications and meets to discuss and shortlist nominees. Shortlisted nominees are invited to participate in an in-person interview and presentation of their work for the Selection Committee during the week of April 2, 2018. During these meetings, the Selection Committee assesses each nominee’s presenting skills and aspirations for the position.

Following the in-person interviews and presentations, the Selection Committee meets to select the Calgary Poet Laureate. The announcement of the 2018-2020 Calgary Poet Laureate takes place during National Poetry Month on April 23, 2018.

Selection Criteria

Calgary Poet Laureate nominees are assessed based on the following criteria:

  • Artistic Excellence: The quality and artistic merit of the nominee’s work.
  • Impact: The nominee’s contribution to the Calgary poetry or arts community.
  • Stature: The nominee’s reputation within their peer community.
  • Community Connection*: The nominee’s presentation skills and aspirations for the position.

*This area is specifically for shortlisted nominees and is assessed during in-person interviews and presentations.


February 20, 2018: Nominations open
March 19, 2018: Nominations close
March 26, 2018: Selection Committee reviews nomination packages and determines shortlist
March 28, 2018: Shortlist nominees notified and scheduled for in-person interviews and presentations
April 2 & 3, 2018: Shortlisted nominees in-person interviews and presentations
April 6, 2018: All nominees notified of final Poet Laureate decision
April 23, 2018: Calgary Poet Laureate announced

How to Apply

Nominations open on February 20, 2018. Self-nominations are accepted. If shortlisted for the award, nominees must agree to participate in an in-person interview and presentation of their work for the Selection Committee and invited guests.


Program Guidelines
Nomination Form

Nominations are now closed. The new Calgary Poet Laureate will be announced April 23, 2018.

For more information, contact Kaley Beisiegel at or 403.264.5330 ext. 214.

This program is made possible by the Calgary Poet Laureate Ambassadors:

Calgary Poet Laureate Partners 18-01-01