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, 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 registration number is 11917 2922 RR0001.

Our Mandate

Distilled from the November 2017 (current) revision of the Constitution:

The objects of the association are:

(a) to honour and perpetuate the name and memory of Stephen Leacock, humourist, author, economist and lecturer;

(b) to arrange for the annual award and presentation of The Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour, also known as the Leacock Medal;

(c) to encourage the growth of Canadian humour writing;

(d) to initiate and support activities which widen interest in Leacock and his writings;

(e) to widen public interest in the Leacock Museum and National Historic Site, and in the Leacock legend;

(f) to raise such funds as are necessary to achieve these objectives;


(g) such other objects as, in the opinion of the Executive or members, may be in the best interests of the association.

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

This association requires that its Board and members always act with fairness, honesty, integrity and openness; provide an environment free of discrimination and harassment; respect the opinions of others and treat all with equality and dignity without regard to gender, race, colour, creed, ancestry, place of origin, political beliefs, religion, marital status, disability, age, or sexual orientation.

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 — 70 books were put forward by publishers and writers for 2018.  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.

Previously, 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 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:

Sponsor Logos

Contact us at sponsorship@leacock.ca if you or your organization are interested in becoming a sponsor.

The Award Medal

Leacock Medal

The medal, cast in silver and designed by Canadian sculptor Emanuel Hahn, is two inches (5.08 cm) in diameter and approximately 0.125 inches (.32 cm) thick. It weighs 3.125 ounces (88.59 g).

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

Reverse of Leacock MedalThe 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, Ontario, Canada, 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 below that a small maple leaf emblem.

Board of Directors


President Michael Hill
Vice-President Bette Walker
Secretary Anne Kallin
Treasurer John Hughes

Non-Executive Directors:

Jay Fallis
Jim Harris
Daphne Mainprize
David Mallinson
Ann Parker
Christine Spear
Nathan Taylor
George Vanderburgh
Leanore Wianko


Awards Bette Walker
Gala Event  
Membership Leanore Wianko
Publicity, PR  
Special Projects Bette Walker
Sponsors Bette Walker
Student Award Christine Spear, Registrar
Newsletter Ann Parker
Webmaster David Mallinson

How to join the Board or Committees

Under the current Constitution and Bylaws, adopted in November 2017, Stephen Leacock Associates' directors serve for an initial term of three years, which can be extended by another three-year term. 
There can be up to 17 (seventeen) directors on the board at any one time.  There are, therefore, ongoing opportunities for people of integrity, who possess the required skills and commitment, to apply to be considered as a candidate to serve on the Board or to serve as a volunteer on one or more of the various committees. 
If you subscribe to the objectives of our non-profit organisation, are passionate about Canadian literary humour, and feel you may be a suitable addition, please contact us at info@leacock.ca