The City of Edmonton

The City of Edmonton

May 26, 2009 15:30 ET

Hip Hop Artist Roland Pemberton/Cadence Weapon Named Edmonton's Next Poet Laureate

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - May 26, 2009) -

Editors Note: There is a photo and a video associated with this Press Release.

Roland Pemberton (professionally known as Cadence Weapon), poet, writer and hip hop artist, is the City of Edmonton's next Poet Laureate. Pemberton will assume the role on July 1, 2009.

"I'm honoured that the City of Edmonton has considered me to be their Poet Laureate, a worthy chronicler of events and a representative of the diversity and cultural breadth of Edmontonians," says Pemberton, a lifelong Edmontonian.

Pemberton, 23, is recognized internationally as an innovative and accomplished hip hop artist. As Cadence Weapon, his albums Breaking Kayfabe and Afterparty Babies (Upper Class Recordings 2005 & 2008) earned him instant praise and notoriety from the international media. Cadence Weapon won a Canadian Independent Music Award for "Favourite Urban Artist", the CBC Radio 3's BUCKY Award, as well as nominations for "Best Rap Album of 2006" at the Plug Independent Music Awards, MuchMusic Video Award for "Sharks" and two nominations for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize.

Pemberton, who will be Edmonton's third Poet Laureate, was nominated by local artist Trevor Anderson. "I suggest that Rollie's work already represents our City to its citizens, and that he acts as one of our most exciting municipal ambassadors when he tours nationally and internationally. Roland Pemberton is a poet of the people, and I think that might be the most important qualification for the Poet Laureate to hold", writes Anderson in his nomination letter.

"This guy will bring poetry to a whole new audience, and challenge the rest of us on our conventional perception of what it means to be a poet," said Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel. "I sometimes hear that young people aren't 'into' poetry - but Roland as a musician/hip hop artist, will show them they really are into the art form - they just didn't know it. We want young Edmontonians to be involved in shaping our City. I know Roland Pemberton will be a great Edmonton ambassador to the rest of the world."

The Edmonton Public Library's Board Chair Joan Welch said "The Edmonton Public Library is pleased to be a partner in this program and we are looking forward to working with the Edmonton Arts Council to support Roland during his term as Poet Laureate."

Pemberton's roots in Edmonton run deep. He is the son of Teddy Pemberton who, as the host of The Black Experience on CJSR, is often credited with bringing hip hop to the city. His grandfather, the great Rollie Miles, played for the Edmonton Eskimos from 1951 - 1961 and played in five CFL championship games.

Roland Pemberton will serve a two-year term as Edmonton's Poet Laureate.

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Contact Information

  • City of Edmonton
    Carol Hurst
    Senior Communications Advisor
    780-496-8266 or 780-719-7348 (cell)
    Edmonton Arts Council
    Alison Turner
    Communications Advisor
    780-424-2787 ext 224 or 780-938-8449