Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. June 9 -11.


View from the “Apex”: a metal musician’s views on metal and community
By Brittney Slayes
Harry Hickman Building 105
Saturday, 2:00-3:00

As the leader of Unleash the Archers, Brittney Slayes has had a first hand experience with different metal communities in different ways. The band was founded in Victoria but then moved to Vancouver, and has played shows all over the world. As her band is set to release their newest album,  Brittney will draw from these experiences and share her perspective on heavy metal communities: be they local scenes, international fans, or touring bands. She will also touch on the ever-dreaded 'women in metal' question, and explore the financial aspect of being a metal musician.

Brittney is a four-octave mezzo-soprano from Vancouver and lead singer of Victoria-born heavy metal band Unleash The Archers.  She has toured the world both with her band and with the Juno Award-winning University of Victoria Chamber Singers, and has had some amazingly unique experiences, including singing Ave Maria at mass in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, and singing traditional Chinese folk songs for the cabinet at the Great Hall of The People in Beijing.  Brittney has been singing for over twenty years and continues to strive to make music the foundation upon which she builds her life.  In the volatile and ever-changing music industry, Brittney has managed to establish a successful career and grown a strong small business that is completely self-sustaining.   The path of a musician is never an easy one, but Brittney firmly believes it can be a fruitful one.

Unleash the Archers will be playing a show on Friday June 9th to celebrate the release of their most recent album- entitled Apex. Details here.

Beyond transgression: breaking metal's boundaries
By Dr. Keith Kahn-Harris
David Strong building C103
Friday, 1:00 - 2:30

In my recent writing I have suggested that, in an age of digital 'abundance', metal confronts something of a 'crisis', and that as a response to this crisis we need to consider what 'metal beyond metal' might look like. Implicit in this idea is the necessity of confronting the boundaries that both make metal possible and limit its development. This is an ironic project given that metal is itself predicated on practices of transgression. This paper reconsiders the nature of metallic transgression in a digitally abundant age in which the boundaries of the sayable and doable are continually challenged. Does the concept of transgression actually make sense anymore when applied to metal music and culture? The paper will look at how some recent attempts to push metallic transgression 'further' may ironically reveal the existence and necessity of practices of restraint that have historically tempered metal's transgressive impulse.

Dr. Keith Kahn-Harris is a London-based sociologist and writer. He is a senior lecturer at Leo Baeck College, an associate lecturer at Birkbeck College and a fellow of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research. Kahn-Harris is the author of Extreme Metal: Music and Culture on the Edge (2007). He has co-edited and contributed to several volumes related to metal music scenes, subcultures, youth studies and popular culture such as After Subculture: Critical Studies in Contemporary Youth (2004), Heavy Metal: Controversies and Countercultures (2013) and Global Metal Music and Culture (2016). In 2013 he presented a keynote address at the Heavy Metal and Popular Culture conference in Bowling Green State University. He is an ex-writer for Terrorizer magazine and was interviewed in Sam Dunn’s documentaries Metal Evolution and Global Metal.

Cinecenta (Student Union Building) Sunday 2:00-4:15

Blekkmetal is a documentary about the 2015 festival celebrating the origins of Norwegian black metal. The film features interviews and footage of Enslaved, Taake, Aeternus, Gehenna, Helheim, Old Funeral, Kampfar, Hades Almighty and Gaahls Wyrd performing their classic songs. Blekkmetal was produced by four Canadian scholars and filmakers: David Hall, Vivek Venkatesh, Jason Wallin and Owen Chapman. It was co-produced by the festival’s organizers Ivar Bjørnson, Jannicke Wiese-Hansen and Kirsti Rosseland. Followed by Q&A with Jason Wallin and Vivek Venkatesh.

Blekkmetal extended trailer from Grimposium on Vimeo.

Dr. Vivek Venkatesh, is associate professor of education at Concordia University and the creator of the Grimposium festival and conference series. Dr. Jason Wallin is associate professor of education at the University of Alberta. Both of them are involved in the SOMEONE project (, Dr. Venkatesh as the director, and Dr. Wallin as the producer of the SOMEONE anti-hate comic project for secondary curricula.

Both of them will also be giving a talk about project SOMEONE.

Free copy of Global Metal Music & Culture

book coverA free copy of Global Metal Music & Culture signed by many of the contributors will be raffled among regsitered delegates.