About Us

The Board of Directors of the Stephen Leacock Associates works to preserve the literary legacy of Stephen Leacock, oversee the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour award and encourage the growth of Canadian humour writing.

The prestigious Memorial Medal, accompanied by a $15,000 prize supported by TD Bank Financial Group, has been awarded annually since 1947 for the best Canadian book of literary humour published in the previous year. The award has attained an international reputation and is the only one of its kind for Canadian humour writing.

The board also administers an annual Student Award for humour writing, to encourage young writers.

Stephen Leacock Associates is registered as a non-profit charitable corporation.

Our Mandate

Distilled from the November 1998 (current) revision of the Constitution:

  1. To honour and perpetuate the name and memory of Stephen Leacock, humorist, author, economist and lecturer.
  2. To arrange for the annual award and presentation of the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour.
  3. To encourage the growth of Canadian humorous writing.
  4. To initiate and support activities which widen interest in Leacock and his writings.
  5. To widen public interest in the Stephen Leacock Museum and National Historic Site, and to as great a degree as possible, and in the Leacock legend.

This organization will be carried on without the purpose of gain for its members and any profits or accretions to the organization shall be used in promoting its objectives.

History of the Award

Stephen Leacock Associates was founded in 1946 and began awarding the Leacock Medal for Humour in 1947.  The number of entries has continually grown — 68 books were put forward by publishers and writers for 2017.  An anonymous panel of judges, appointed from across Canada by the Leacock Associates’ Board of Directors, vets all entries and selects the long and short lists and the final winner.

The shortlist of five books was typically announced on April 1st, the winning book announced at the end of April at a luncheon, and the Leacock Memorial medal and a cash award of $15,000 presented to the winner in June at the Leacock gala dinner at Geneva Park Conference Centre in Orillia, Ontario.

In 2015, the Leacock Associates added a long list announcement.

In 2016, the announcement format evolved again into its present form:


We are grateful for the generous financial support and donations of goods and services from the following companies:

TD Bank Financial Group funding allows us to award $15,000 each year to the Leacock Medal winner and to donate $4,000 each year to children’s writing and literacy programs.

TD logo

The Orillia Packet & Times and Thor Motors help support our high school student writing competition.

PacketMasthead      Thor Logo

We thank the following supporters for their donations or contributions in the form of services and /or discounts:

Best Western PLUS Mariposa logo           Staple

Brewery Bay

The Award Medal

Leacock Medal

The medal, cast in silver and designed by Canadian sculptor Emmauel Hahn, is two inches (5cm) in diameter and approximately one eighth of an inch (.25cm) thick. It weighs 3-1/8 ounces.

On the obverse is a profile of Stephen Leacock’s head and the dates of his life span (1869–1944). The words Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal Founded 1946 are worked around the perimeter.

Obverse of Leacock Medal

The reverse side features the words Orillia  “The Sunshine Town”  Award for Canadian Humour. A jolly face represents the sun resting on waves, and the latitude and longitude of Orillia appear in small figures at the top. Two small fish swim beneath the waves, and two large mosquitoes are depicted — one on the sun, the other in the water. Below the design there is room for the winner’s name and date to be inscribed, and a small maple leaf emblem.


Board of Directors

(As of November 2017)

– Nathan Taylor
Past President Vacant
Vice President –  Stephen Davids
Secretary – Anne Kallin
Treasurer – John Hughes

Directors (alphabetic order):
Alex Andrews – Publicity
Leona Beasley – Gala Event
Jim Harris
David Mallinson – Webmaster
Ann Parker
Christine Spear – Registrar, Student Award
George Vanderburgh
Bette Walker – Chair, Award
Leanore Wianko – Membership