(I believe this also applies to all Ottawa slams, but I cannot speak directly for any non-CPC shows, like Urban Legends.)
At the slam this weekend, there appeared to be some confusion about Trigger Warnings and how they are applied at Capital Slam.
This is the official word for CapSlam.
There is no ‘Trigger Warning’ Rule at CapSlam (or any of the slams in Ottawa, to the best of my knowledge).
First, for a little background, let me explain what Trigger Warnings are.
In 2012, the Kitchener/Waterloo Slam Scene told the Spoken Word Canada membership that they had created a rule allowing Trigger Warnings. The rules stated that any poet who wished to give a warning about the content of their poem was allowed to do so and the time would not start.
In 2013 the rule was adopted at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word, in error. The rule had not actually been adopted by the organization so it should not have been in place at the festival.
AT the festival, a vote confirmed that the rule WOULD be adopted, but no real details were decided.
This rule has never been adopted at Capital Slam. In fact, it has never even been raised at the CPC AGM (which is the only place we make rule changes).
At CapSlam this past Saturday, a couple of poets decided to give Trigger Warnings. They are perfectly within their rights to do so, but the time starts immediately, as they have addressed the audience.
The reason I decided this needed to be clarified is that I believe the time was re-set for at least one of the poets, which it shouldn’t have. (I also don’t believe in made a difference to their final time, so no harm done.) Later, a brand new poet reacted in a manner that made me believe that she thought she was SUPPOSED to give a warning due to the content of her poem.
So, to reiterate, there is NO Trigger Warning Rule at CapSlam. If you choose to give one, your time will start when you first address the audience, just like always.