Surge team up with Calgary poet laureate Wakefield Brewster to create First Dance
The Calgary Surge unveiled a unique collaboration this week between the undefeated CEBL team and Calgary's own poet laureate, Wakefield Brewster.
It's called "First Dance", and it's a visual and lyrical exploration of the unique role the Surge play in the city's sports community.
The Surge are drawing fans from every corner of the city, and every age group, which Brewster captures in his lyrics.
Curating camraderie, creating community, there's a new circuit in the city, lighting up the four quadrants with new hopes, new dreams, new life, there's a buzzing in the wires/
Sense that new vibration in the air/That's what's unifying Calgary
In an interview with CTV News, Brewster said the Surge's vice-chairman and president Jason Ribeiro reached out to him about creating what he calls "A poetic interpretation" of Surge basketball.
"I read so I could gather language," Brewster said. "I take his (Ribeiro's) notions, their language, and created a piece built around the language of the organization.
"I speak your language in my accent," he said. "Poetry."
In a way, what Brewster does is custom-design a bit of "Alphabetic Afrobatics" or "Wake-Words" that are personalized to fit the individual, institution, team or community he's writing for.
Putting passion from the street on the level of elite/
There is a change within the charge/
There is victory on the verge/
It is time to feel the power/
Of the Calgary Surge
Ribeiro shared his thanks to Brewster on social media.
"My brother Wake instantly understood that @CalgarySurge was more than just a basketball team," Ribeiro said. "Community. Art. Belonging."
Brewster also recently composed a poetic interpretation for the Calgary Academy and has been talking with a range of local institutions – everyone from Enmax to the Pembina Institute to the Blackfoot community.
"I can occupy a lyrical niche in any of the worlds they wish to reach," he says. "That wasn't supposed to rhyme."
Brewster's also continuing his appointment as the city's Poet Laureate through 2024, a role he has fully embraced.
"Art is the great translator," he says. "I believe I am here to help – especially being a Black man on Blackfoot land.
"They (the Blackfoot) say your words are appreciated."
The Surge are in action Saturday night in Vancouver, where they take on the Bandits.
They return to WinSport next Friday, to take on the Ottawa BlackJacks.