Latest News!

Activities ramping up for the Gala Weekend

With only two months left before the Gala Weekend, our organizers are furiously working to ensure that all the arrangements are in hand.  Before too long, we will be pinning up posters in the downtown Orillia area.  Sponsors are being sought for the two major events of the weekend,   Opportunities are still available.  To sponsor a table, please contact and/or see our sponsorship opportunites.

Home Hardware will sponsor Leacock Medal Gala Dinner

Home HardwareStephen Leacock Associates is pleased to announce that Orillia Home Hardware Building Centre has kindly agreed to sponsor the Leacock Medal for Humour Gala Dinner on June 22.

March 13, 2024

Tickets for the Leacock Medal Gala Weekend events are available from March 1st

Tickets for this year's Gala Weekend events will be available for members to purchase from Friday, March 1st, and for the general public from Tuesday, March 12th.  Before March 12, members will need to use the access code that has already been emailed to them.  After that date, the access code is not required.

See our Gala Weekend page for more information, and to buy tickets or sponsor tables.

February 28, 2024

Steve Patterson and Terry Fallis to host Leacock Medal Events

The Stephen Leacock Associates are delighted to announce that two well-known humourists will host the events of the Leacock Medal Gala Weekend.

Terry FallisTerry Fallis, who will host the "Meet the Authors" and Student Showcase event in the evening of Friday, June 21, is a two-time winner of the Leacock Medal for Humour and the award-winning author of nine national best-selling books.  His most recent is A New Season, published in 2023 by McClelland & Stewart.  The three finalists for the 2024 Leacock Medal will be introduced and will read excerpts from their books.  In addition, the three winners of the Leacock Student Awards will be celebrated, and will read their humorous essays.

Steve PattersonSteve Patterson of CBC Radio fame will host the Leacock Medal Gala Dinner on Saturday, June 22, at which the winner of the 2024 Leacock Medal for Humour will be announced. Between live stand-up comedy, his theatre show The Debaters Live on Tour, and his twice-weekly CBC Radio show The Debaters, Steve still has time to write, with his recent book The Book of Letters I Didn't Know Where to Send.  The evening will include a proclamation by this years’ Mayor of Mariposa, Trevor Cole; a toast to Stephen Leacock, and past winners/authors will present a spotlight on the shortlisted authors before the announcement of the 2024 winner of the Leacock Medal.

Both evenings promise to be highly entertaining and full of laughter.

More information about the events can be found on our Gala Weekend page, and tickets may also be purchased there.

February 28, 2024

New Sponsorship Opportunities

We now have opportunities for individuals and organizations to sponsor aspects of our Gala Weekend.  Please see the information on the right lower part of this page.

February 27, 2024

Student Award AdSnapchat ad campaign initiated for student award

Our Snapchat campaign to reach Ontario students and inform them about the Student Humorous Essay Competition kicks off on February 24th.  The deadline for submitting essays is April 15, 2024, and more infomation about the competition can be found on our student award page.  We are using a single ad this year as shown here.

February 20, 2024






Important dates revised for 2024 award!

The board of Stephen Leacock Associates has made the decision to revert to June for the Gala Dinner and winner announcement.  Dates for the short list and long list announcements have accordingly been adjusted. The dates are now as follows:

For details, please see our Leacock Medal page.

October 6, 2023

Wayne Johnston wins 2023 Leacock Medal

Wayne JohnstonAt the Leacock Medal Gala Dinner on Saturday, September 16th, Wayne Johnston was announced as the winner of the 2023 Leacock Medal for Humour for his memoir Jennie’s Boy, published by Alfred A. Knopf Canada. In an amusing acceptance speech to 125 attendees, Wayne recalled how, as an extra and a body double for Richard Harris in the movie Orca (1977), he appeared in one scene squashed between beautiful actors Charlotte Rampling and Bo Derek, and was advised by Rampling to become a doctor. On protesting that he really wanted to be a writer, she stated that he must indeed follow his inclinations, saying “Then you should be a writer!” Master of ceremonies was Morgan Murray, who bemoaned his status as the “second runner-up” in 2021, and encouraged student winner Sylvie Potje to persist in her writing so that she too could aspire to attaining the status of being a second runner-up!

Wayne succeeded in winning against the other two shortlisted authors, BC’s Susan Juby and Saskatchewan’s Zarqa Nawaz, and stated that he was surprised to win against two such talented writers.

The dinner was the culmination of a successful weekend of activities that started with a “Meet the Authors” and Student Showcase event hosted on Friday by two-time Medal winner Terry Fallis at which student winners Sylvie Potje and Chiara Alfinito read their humorous essays, and the shortlisted authors read excerpts from their books. The evening was rounded off by subjecting the seven humour authors in the room to a barrage of questions posed by Associates treasurer Josh Milligan and the audience. The authors lived up to their reputations by providing humorous and thoughtful answers that elicited immoderate laughter.

In the coming days, photos of all the events that took place will be posted on our Photo Gallery page.

(Photos: Tyler Evans, Orillia Matters)

September 17, 2023

Authors Johnston, Juby and Nawaz named on Leacock Medal shortlist

ORILLIA, Ont. — The president and board of directors of Stephen Leacock Associates are pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2023 Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour. In the running for the medal and $25,000 prize are, in alphabetical order by author surname: Johnston, Jennie's Boy, (Alfred A. Knopf Canada)

Wayne Johnston was born and raised in Goulds, Newfoundland. Widely acclaimed for his magical weaving of fact and fiction, his masterful plotting, and his gift for both description and character, his #1 nationally bestselling novels include The Divine Ryans, A World Elsewhere, The Custodian of Paradise, The Navigator of New York and The Colony of Unrequited Dreams. His first book, The Story of Bobby O’Malley, published when he was just twenty-six years old, won the WH Smith/Books in Canada First Novel Award. Baltimore’s Mansion, a memoir about his father and grandfather, won the inaugural Charles Taylor Prize for literary nonfiction. The Colony of Unrequited Dreams, published in 1998, was nominated for sixteen national and international awards including the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction, and was a Canada Reads finalist defended by Justin Trudeau. Juby, Mindful of Murder (HarperCollins Publishers)

Susan Juby was raised in Smithers, BC and has lived in Toronto, Vancouver, and Nanaimo. She is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Getting the Girl, Another Kind of Cowboy and The Woefield Poultry Collective, as well as the bestselling Alice series (Alice, I Think; Miss Smithers; and Alice MacLeod, Realist at Last). Her first book, Alice, I Think, was adapted into a TV series on CTV. Rolling Stone called it one of the top forty young adult novels. Her memoir about her struggles with teenaged addiction, Nice Recovery, was a Globe and Mail best book of the year. Her most recent book for adults, Republic of Dirt, won the Leacock Medal for Humour. The Fashion Committee was a Horn Book Best Book of the Year and The Truth Commission was named a best book of the year by Barnes and Noble, the Globe and Mail, and Kirkus, and it was the winner of the Sheila A. Egoff Award for Children’s Literature and the Amy Mathers Teen Book Award. After dropping out of fashion college and getting a BA from the University of British Columbia, Susan went to work in the book industry and obtained a master’s degree in publishing. She currently lives on Vancouver Island, where she teaches creative writing at Vancouver Island University. Nawaz, Jameela Green Ruins Everything (Simon and Schuster Canada)

Zarqa Nawaz is a Canadian film and television producer, public speaker, journalist, and former broadcaster. She is the author of the memoir Laughing All the Way to the Mosque, which was shortlisted for the Leacock Medal for Humour, the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize, and two Saskatchewan Book Awards. She also created the hit CBC comedy series Little Mosque on the Prairie, the world’s first sitcom about a Muslim community living in the West, and is the creator and star of the forthcoming series Zarqa. Zarqa lives in Regina, Saskatchewan, with her loving but long-suffering family.

“The three finalists for the Leacock Medal of Humour in 2023 meet our judging criteria perfectly,” said Michael Hill, the President of the Stephen Leacock Associates. "The books must be humorous, well-written and show a great degree of style and depth. Our national panel of independent judges has selected the three top humorous books from the past year from 71 entries".

The winner will be announced on Saturday, September 16, 2023, at the Leacock Medal Gala Dinner where all three finalists will be celebrated, and a number of former winners will be in attendance. The M.C. for this event will be Morgan Murray (finalist in 2020) and Trevor Cole (winner in 2011) will entertain everyone as the fictional Mayor of Mariposa. Tickets for this memorable event and for the Meet the Authors” and Student Showcase event the previous evening (with two-time Medal winner Terry Fallis as M.C.) are available for purchase online at

August 1, 2023

Tie for third place in Student Competition announced

After investigation, it was determined that another student should be honoured with a Third Prize win in the competition. Along with Cyrus Sarfaty from Upper Canada College, Lillian Guo from Olympiads School has tied for third place. Both will receive certificates and $300.00. Both will be honoured at the “Meet the Authors and Student Showcase” event of the Leacock Gala Weekend, September 15, and have a chance to read their stories and meet with professional writers, some of whom are contenders for the 2023 Leacock Medal for Humour. The title of Lillian’s story is “The Eighth Wonder of the World” and Cyrus’ is “Adventures on the DraftKings™ Trans-Canada Highway”

July 28, 2023

Tickets are now available for the Gala Weekend

Tickets are now available for the Gala Weekend events, on our Gala Weekend page.  The two main events are the "Meet the authors" and Student Showcase evening on Friday, September 15, 2023, and the Gala Dinner on Saturday, September 16, 2023, at which the winner of this year's medal will be announced.  More details about these events are given on that page.

July 22, 2023

Student Competition Winners Announced

The Stephen Leacock Associates are pleased to announce the winners of their 2023 Student Humorous Short Story Competition.

Sylvie Potje Chiara Alfinito Cyrus Sarfaty
First Place: 
The Elephant in the Room(ba)”, 
Written by Sylvie Potje, Bear Creek Secondary School, Barrie.
Second Place:  
"As An Immigrant, Do I Have The Right To Write The Title?”, 
Written by Chiara Alfinito, Tommy Douglas Secondary School, Woodbridge.
Third Place:  
Adventures on the DraftKings™ Trans-Canada Highway“, 
Written by Cyrus Sarfaty, Upper Canada College, Toronto.

The winners will receive $1,000 (first place), $700 (second place) and $300 (third place).

Honourable Mentions, in alphabetical order, are:

The MacBeths Go to the Grocery Store” by Jaden Chiang, St.Augustine Catholic High School, Markham.

A Plea Towards Much-Needed Political Reform” by Vincenzo Fracassi, Homeschooled, Everett.

The Eighth Wonder of the World” by Lillian Guo, Olympiads School, North York.

Time Trial“ by Luke Schwartzentruber, London South Collegiate Institute, London.

Chronicles of a Time-Trapped Hero“ by Hamza Siddiqui, Father Michael McGivney Catholic Academy, Markham.

Stephen Leacock Associates congratulates all the winners and those who received an honourable mention. With 41 entries this year, the judges were certainly challenged.

July 15, 2023

2023 Long List announced

Long List Books

Stephen Leacock Associates are pleased to announce the 2023 long list for the annual Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour. Celebrating 76 years since its inception, this annual award recognizes excellence in Canadian literary humour. Past winners have included Terry Fallis, Will Ferguson, W.O.Mitchell, Stuart McLean and Mordecai Richler. Board President Michael Hill thanks the national panel of judges for their thoughtful recommendations with this “long list”. He also thanks the authors for their submissions, and commends them on the quality of their writing.
The three finalists for the award will be named on Tuesday, August 1, 2023, with the medal winner being announced on Saturday, September 16, 2023 at the Leacock Medal Award Gala Dinner.

The long list for the 2023 Leacock Medal can be viewed here,

Tickets for the Gala Dinner and other events may be purchased here.

June 1, 2023

Student Awards deadline extended

The deadline for submitting essays for the student awards has been extended from May15th to June 15th.  Our Snapchat campaign resulted in around 15,000 visits to our student awards page during March and April, but we feel we need to reach more students yet to let them know about the competition. To find out more about the awards, see the details on our Student Awards page.

April 15, 2023


Archive:  We archive out-of-date news items from this page.





Stephen Leacock Associates introduces new sponsorship opportunities for this year’s Gala Weekend.

If you answered YES to any of these questions, please consider sponsoring the Stephen Leacock Awards’ Gala Celebrations:

Please click here for more information on how you can contribute.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Awards sponsored by:

 Dunkley Charitable Foundation



Leacock Medal for Humour Gala Dinner sponsored by:

Home Hardware

Reception Sponsored by:


   Matthew and Kathy Webb