S-p-e-l-l-i-n-g B-e-e


 They have them here too!

I’ve only ever seen spelling bees in the movies so it’s another piece of Americana coming to life before my very eyes! It reminds me of our inappropriate joy at spotting fire hydrants – I am of course referring to the children here, I’d just like to make that clear… 

Image courtesy of Michelle Siu for Postmedia News

Last weekend, here in Toronto, 12 y-o Sara Ferros beat 55 other Toronto-area finalists to win the Canspell Toronto Regional Spelling Bee. It was her first time competing and she left with the $5,000 prize and a chance to win the national final on March 28th. She looks understandably pleased. 21 spellers from across Canada will compete for the Canspell Cup, $15,000 worth of education awards from the Egg Farmers of Canada and a ticket to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington DC, the king of spelling bees, tracing its lineage back to 1925 Kentucky, where the US National Spelling Bee began.

Read a more detailed account of the nail-biting contest here.

According to Wikipedia, the word bee alludes to a gathering of people where a specific action is being carried out, although it’s origins are unclear. I’d always wondered about that…

Related Links: Canspell National Spelling Bee

Whitby Shores, Whitby, Ontario

By Aisha Ashraf

An autistic Irish immigrant in a cross-cultural marriage, Aisha Ashraf is the archetypal outlander, writing to root herself through place and perspective. Published in The Rumpus, The Maine Review, River Teeth, HuffPost and elsewhere, her work explores the legacy of trauma, the nature of being an outsider and the narrow confines of belonging. She currently lives in Canada.


  1. In Jamaica we take spelling bees very, very seriously. The winner of our national spelling bee goes to Washington, DC to compete with young American spellers. Watching these contests is certainly nail-biting stuff!

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