BY SARAH LINDSTEIN

Grassroots performers get a chance to shine with the opening of Brave New Words for a new season of music, poetry and short stories.

Founded by Lauren Tuck and based on a poetry-slam idea, Brave New Words has always offered a friendly and warm space for new performers looking to get their name out and gain some much-needed stagecraft.

Tuck hands her legacy over to Caitlin Smith and Jodi Proctor, who graciously took over the task of organizing Brave New Words.

“We’re looking forward to presenting Brave New Words as an all-inclusive, open space where new artists can get their names out,” says Smith. They are emerging artists themselves: Smith is a folk singer/songwriter and Procter is a writer.

They are looking forward to presenting their own pieces as well as showcasing the work of others. Any creative endeavour is welcomed, from singer/songwriters, comedians, writers or poets — all are invited to the relaxed, non-judgemental and spirited event.

Prior events have seen a vibrant literary community and have opened doors for fledgling graphic artists and musicians itching to hone their skills.

Brave New Words heralds the opening show with a special musical performance by Whitehorse bluegrass soul man, Ryan McNally. Smith emphasizes that while catering to “emerging artists”, they also welcome the professionals and they’ve invited McNally to set the bar high.

He is an experienced musician worthy of setting up a showstopping performance. They also feature Krystal Loverin, who will also take to the stage with singer/songwriter material. Loverin is an emerging and established Aboriginal youth writer who is gaining ground in the performance world.

Because Smith and Proctor would like to put a bit of a new spin on the show, they are also introducing a featured writer as well as a featured musician — and, kicking things off on the literary front will be Yukon College creative writing instructor and author of note, Patricia Robertson.

“We wanted to mix things up a bit and offer the stage to anyone who wishes to work on their art. For anyone who wants to, it’s an open mic in between performances. Feel brave, and step on up,” encourages Smith.

It’s thanks to community businesses that Brave New Words is able to organize the shows and, in particular, MAP Communications and SOMA Bodyworks have sponsored upcoming events. Brave New Words has also enjoyed the support of local media, helping them send the message that beginning with one good show can help a fledgling performance career.

Brave New Words opens Monday, Nov. 16 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the usual haunt: Baked Café. It is an all-ages show and families are welcome.

Check out Brave New Words on Facebook, and if you have any questions, send them an e-mail at [email protected] Brave New Words welcomes graphic art submissions, new performers and anyone brave enough to grab the mic and hop on stage.