We're instituting awards here for the first time this year. We're trying to put together an awards night soon. Our awards are for different categories: Best Rookie, the Beauty Babo award (for most innovative poem), the Vlad E Vostok award (for someone who's on the stage most every time but hardly every wins), and the Spirit of the Slam award, going to someone who tirelessly supports the scene whether they're a poet themselves or not.
The debate here on this forum is similar to a few conversations we've been having. i.e., We already have a first, second, third, fourth and fifth for Team Finals and we have IWPS and WOWPS reps so what's the point of awards? I think we need to give out awards to highlight other people without whom our slam would be incomplete. The poets win, sure, but winning poets aren't the entirety of any slam scene, I think you'd all agree.
As a side note, the Vancouver Poetry Slam crest that some of you have seen on t-shirts was originally created by Spelt and myself to honour a 'Vanguard' of eight Vancouver poets who had been slamming since the nineties and helped get this scene going. People who started it and kept it alive when it was in it's struggling infancy. Elder gods, if you will. We're a weekly slam that brings in an average of 100 people every Monday but it wasn't always like that. There were some tough, tough times in the beginning.
I think we all agree that it's important to recognize the contributions to the community that don't have anything to do with scoring. This is one way to do it. I understand the reasons put forth here for not having awards but I think it's a good idea to maybe get some going. Hypothetically.