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Gary Barwin wins 2017 Leacock Medal

Gary BarwinPhoto credit Adela Talbot.

Gary Barwin, of Hamilton, Ontario, has won this year’s Stephen Leacock Medal for Canadian Humour and a $15,000 prize for his acclaimed book, Yiddish for Pirates, published by Random House Canada.

The winner was announced by Nathan Taylor, president of awarding body Stephen Leacock Associates, in front of an audience of around 190 at a 70th-anniversary gala dinner award ceremony near Orillia, Ontario, that was attended by no less than ten previous winners of the medal.

Barwin’s family was there to see him receive the prestigious Medal. He becomes the 70th winner in the history of the long-running award.  There was no award given in 1959.

Both other finalists, Amy Jones for We’re All in This Together, McClelland & Stewart, and Drew Hayden Taylor for Take Us to Your Chief And Other Stories, Douglas & McIntyre, received cash awards for achieving the shortlist.

A Canada-wide panel of readers and judges had narrowed 68 initial submissions to form a longlist of 11 highly recommended works, with only three books eventually forming the shortlist.

Click here to read Gary's acceptance speech.

June 10, 2017

Additional Literary Judges Needed

Due to the retirement of our judges in Saskatchewan and Quebec, openings now exist in those regions for two qualified judges to join the cross-country team that assesses and rates books submitted for the annual Leacock Medal for Humour.

For further information, please contact Bette Walker at

May 13, 2017

2017 Shortlist Announced

The Board of Directors of Stephen Leacock Associates has announced its shortlist for the 2017 Anniversary Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour award. The top three picks have been narrowed down from a longlist of 11 out of a field of 68 entries:

In alphabetical order by author surname:

The final winner, who also receives a $15,000 prize supported by TD Bank Financial Group, is to be announced on Saturday, June 10, 2017, at a gala award dinner at Geneva Park Conference Centre, just outside Orillia, Ontario. The gala dinner is open to the public, and limited tickets are available exclusively through the Stephen Leacock Museum in Orillia. See you there!

May 3, 2017


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