Nation’s Top Spellers Shine at Spelling Bee of Canada’s Second Virtual Championship

Students continue to prove themselves to a national audience, even during a pandemic

For Immediate Release

Toronto, ON, October 6, 2021 - For the second time in 34 years, SBOC held its national championship spelling bee competition in a virtual format in light of the pandemic on Sunday, October 3, 2021. 

The 2021 championship 1st place winners are:

  • Primary Category (Ages 6-8): Sarah Fehr (Cochrane, Alberta)
  • Junior Category (Ages 9-11): Mark Raspopov (Toronto, Ontario)
  • Intermediate Category (Ages 12-14): Amshanaa Raviraj (Woodstock, ON)

Mark Raspopov was the 2020 Primary Champion, and returned this year winning the title as the 2021 Junior Champion. Rapspopov spelled the word “canonical” correctly before advancing his winning word.  

8-year-old Sarah Fehr, from Cochrane, Alberta competed in her first national championship and was crowned the Primary Champion. “I was very nervous and happy at the same time when I won. Winning, for me, was a big deal, especially since this was my first time in the nationals! I learned a lot of new words and their definitions, and expanded my vocabulary significantly,” says Fehr. Fehr’s sister, Alice Fehr, also placed 3rd in the Junior Championship.

In response to the challenges presented by COVID-19, SBOC used innovative techniques and various online technologies to adapt its Spelling Bee competitions to the digital world. This year’s Championship final is the second to be held virtually in SBOC’s 34-year history. 

“I am excited when I see young people participating in competitions, demonstrating their skills and committing themselves, resolving themselves to continue to learn [in] a life-long mission of learning,” says Honourable Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce, in a special video message.

Re-watch the Championship on the CBC Sports YouTube channel and on-demand on CBC Gem as a special re-packaged program.


Founded in 1987, Spelling Bee of Canada (SBOC) is an educational organization that encourages youth, parents, teachers, and the community to participate in the education process. 

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Emily Wong
Marketing Director, Spelling Bee of Canada