April 28, 2011 – Orillia, ON – With today’s announcement that he is the winner of the 2011 Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour and $15,000 in prize money provided by TD Bank Group, Trevor Cole becomes the latest author to win this prestigious Canadian literary award. Cole’s most recent book, Practical Jean, was named the best book of humour published in Canada in the past year by a panel of national judges and Orillia’s Stephen Leacock Associates.
The announcement was made by Michael Hill, President of the Stephen Leacock Associates, at a luncheon at The Mariposa Inn and Conference Centre in Orillia, Ontario. The enthusiastic audience included nominated authors, representatives from the publishing industry, honoured guests, sponsors and media.
Practical Jean, published by McClelland & Stewart Canada, follows suburban housewife Jean Horemarsh as she comes to terms with the loss of her mother, a woman Jean has conflicted feelings about. When Jean sees how her mother suffers as she approaches death, Jean decides her best friends do not deserve to suffer the same fate.
While her subsequent acts may be shocking, Jean is no monster. Everyone can relate to her difficult circumstances as she struggles to keep her family together, protect her friends from harm and cope with grief.
The other writers shortlisted for this year’s award are Terry Fallis for The High Road, Todd Babiak for Toby: A Man, Red Green for How to do Everything, and David Rakoff for Half Empty. Each of these nominees will receive a $1,500 prize, also courtesy of TD Bank Group.
“Mr. Cole continues an outstanding society of Canadian writers that get humour just right,” said Frank McKenna, Deputy Chair, TD Bank Group. “We are thrilled to congratulate and recognize him for his exceptional and award-winning work.”
The Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour has been awarded since 1947 as a means to honour Stephen Leacock, the ‘dean’ of Canadian humourists, and to perpetuate comedic writing in Canada. Over the past six decades, some of our finest writers — Pierre Berton, W.O. Mitchell, Mordecai Richler and Robertson Davies — have received the award. In addition to the silver medal, the winner receives the $15,000 cash prize, which will be presented at the annual Leacock award dinner, to be held on June 11 at Geneva Park, near Orillia.
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TD invests in communities to make a positive impact where it does business and where our customers, clients and employees live and work. In 2010, TD donated over $50 million to support community organizations in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. In Canada, we focus on Education and Financial Literacy, Creating Opportunities for Young People, and the Environment. For more information, visit www.td.com/corporateresponsibility.
Trevor Cole’s perspective on winning the 2011 Leacock Medal for Humour: http://trevorcole.tumblr.com/post/5078641933/practical-jean-wins-the-2011-leacock-medal-for-humour