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Words While We Wait

Call for submissions

The Words While We Wait project is a temporary public art initiative that will display poetry through the Kawartha Arts Network and Kawartha Lakes Public Transit system

This call for submissions is to all residents of Kawartha Lakes for poems and verse that include terms associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. These are unprecedented times and we want to capture the collective experiences of our community in a fun, unique and creative way. Have something you'd like to share? Get it off your chest in a poem or verse.

Selected submissions will be paired with members of the Kawartha Arts Network, to be illustrated. The illustration will then be presented on the Kawartha Art Gallery website, the Kawartha Lakes Public Transit system and other media and partner platforms for viewing. 

This program will coincide with "April is National Poetry Month" and will tap into traditional and social media outlets relating to the national literary acknowledgement.

Guidelines of the Program
To submit poems for a chance to participate in the 2021 exhibition, all submissions must meet the following requirements:

  • Resident of City of Kawartha Lakes aged 16 or older
  • Poems must have been created between March 2020 and the call’s deadline.
  • Literary style is poetry.
  • Subject matter must include themes and some words associated with the pandemic (see the list of words below).
  • Installation specifications require that poems can be no more than 250 words
  • Include a short bio and the community within Kawartha Lakes where the poetry was created.
  • Deadline for submissions is February 22, 2021.

Exhibition Schedule

  • January 25, 2021 - Submissions open
  • February 22, 2021 - Deadline for submissions
  • February 26, 2021 - Exhibition will be juried
  • March, 2021 – Poems will be paired with participating Artists
  • April 2021 - Art installations go up

Selected images will be reproduced in digital format for installation purposes.      

Kawartha Lakes is committed to equity and inclusion in all aspects of its operations, and welcomes submissions from artists of all backgrounds including, but not limited to, Indigenous, Black, and persons of colour; refugee, newcomer and immigrant persons; Two-Spirit, LGBTQ+ and gender non-binary persons, persons with disabilities, and those on low-incomes or living in poverty.

Staff contact: Donna Goodwin Economic Development Officer- Arts & Culture,


KAN logo Kawartha Art Gallery

List of words

  • Pandemic
  • Pivot
  • Unprecedented times
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Flatten the curve
  • isolation
  • community spread
  • transmission
  • incubation period
  • fatality rate
  • asymptomatic
  • ventilator
  • Be kind
  • Restrictions
  • 2M
  • vaccine
  • masks
  • Quarantine
  • N95
  • Together
  • Toilet paper
  • Outbreak
  • Social distancing
  • Shutdown
  • state of emergency
  • contact tracing
  • essential businesses
  • bubble
  • Zoom
  • New normal
  • Stay safe
  • Essential worker
  • Stay home
  • Screening


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