Latest News!

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

Tickets for the Gala Weekend events are now on sale

Visit our Gala Weekend page to purchase tickets on-line. 

Gala Poster

August 11, 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

Snapchat campaign launched for Student Competition

With the deadline for submissions for the students awards set at May 15, 2023, we're trying to reach as many Ontario students as possible.  The Snapchat campaign starts on March 6 and ends on April 14.  Here are the two ads that will be displayed; the first was prepared by David Mallinson, and the second by Heather Price-Jones.

March 4, 2023

The book submission deadline for 2023 has passed!

Submissions for the 2023 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour are now closed unless your book submission package was in the mail and postmarked prior to midnight on December 31, 2022. As of the deadline date, we are expecting the final count of submissions to be 72.  However, we have still to receive and/or process the packages of books for a number of submissions, so the final entry list is not yet complete.

January 2, 2022

AGM set for November 13, 2022

The Board of Stephen Leacock Associates will hold its annual general meeting on Sunday, November 13, 2022 using the Zoom online meeting software.  Members of Stephen Leacock Associates and members of the public are welcome to attend the AGM, the public session of which will commence at 3 p.m.  Anyone wishing to attend the meeting should contact the Associates at to register no later than noon on Friday, November 11, 2022.  Registrants will be emailed the link to the meeting and instructions on how to use Zoom.

October 14, 2022

Rick Mercer wins Leacock Medal!

Rick Mercer with Leaock MedalAt the Leacock Gala Award Dinner hosted by CBC personality Ali Hassan on a warm evening on Saturday, September 17th, Rick Mercer was announced the winner of the 2022 Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour for his memoir Talking to Canadians, published by Doubleday Canada.  In an acceptance speech to around 230 attendees, Rick lived up to his reputation with a hilarious account of an encounter with a pigeon following a visit to the dentist; it succeeded in  elicitating immoderate laughter from his audience.  Rick beat out the other two shortlisted authors, fellow Newfoundlander Mark Critch and Saskatchewan Cree author Dawn Dumont, for the prize.

The weekend started the previous evening with a "Meet the Authors" and Student Showcase event hosted by author Terry Fallis on a very cool evening in a tent on the lawn of the Leacock Museum and Historical Site.  Despite the cold, attendees were treated to humorous essays read by the winners of the student competitions of 2021 and 2022, namely Vincenzo Fracassi, Bethany Robert, Cais Harbridge, Amy Ghobrial and George Vanderlaan.  This was followed by amusing readings or commentaries by the Medal shortlisted authors for 2020, 2021 and 2022, Heidi Jacobs, Drew Hayden Taylor, Joe Kertes, and Morgan Murray, then by an entertaining question and answer session with a panel of authors having questions fired at them by Associates treasurer Josh Milligan and the audience.

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

(Photo: Orillia Matters)

September 19, 2022

Top entertainers Mark Critch and Rick Mercer will attend Gala Dinner

The countdown to our Gala Weekend has started!  Top entertainers Mark Critch and Rick Mercer will be attending the Gala Dinner at which the winner of this year's Leacock Medal will be announced.  Ali Hassan will be the emcee.  Many past winners and shortlisted authors will also be in attendance at this entertaining event.  See how many you can identify in the photos below.


September 1, 2022

Concern about Dawn Dumont

We have only just been made aware of a situation with Dawn Dumont, one of the finalists for the Leacock Medal, and have added this statement to our shortlist press release today:

While the Leacock Associates are happy and proud to include Dawn Dumont as one of the finalists for the Leacock Medal in 2022, we are extremely concerned for the current safety of Ms. Dumont, who also goes by the name Dawn Walker. She and her son Vincent have been missing in Saskatchewan since July 22. Saskatoon police and the RCMP continue their on-going investigation.

August 3, 2022

UPDATE:  We are glad and relieved to hear that Dawn and her son have been found safe in Oregon today.

August 5, 2022

Critch, Dumont and Mercer make Leacock Medal shortlist

ORILLIA, Ont. — The president and board of directors of Stephen Leacock Associates are pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2022 Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour. In the running for the medal and $25,000 prize are, in alphabetical order by author surname:

· Mark Critch, An Embarassment of Critch’s (Viking Canada)
MARK CRITCH is one of the most recognizable faces in Canadian comedy and he has won multiple awards for both writing and performance. For fourteen years, he has starred on CBC's flagship show, This Hour Has 22 Minutes. As an anchor and “roving reporter,” he has brought celebrities and politicians to Canadian living rooms across the nation. He is the host of CBC’s Halifax Comedy Festival and has written for and appeared in CBC’s world-renowned Just for Laughs series.

· Dawn Dumont, The Prairie Chicken Dance Tour (Freehand Books)
Dawn DumontDAWN DUMONT is from the Okanese Cree Nation, located in southern Saskatchewan. She is the award-winning writer of Nobody Cries at Bingo, Rose’s Run and Glass Beads. Dawn is a keynote speaker, comedian and humourist for Eaglefeather News and the Saskatoon StarPhoenix.



· Rick Mercer, Talking to Canadians (Doubleday Canada)
Rick Mercer
RICK MERCER co-created and performed on CBC’s This Hour Has 22 Minutes, created and starred in Made in Canada, and created and starred in Talking to Americans, the most-watched comedy special in Canadian television history. He went on to host the hugely successful Rick Mercer Report for 15 seasons. Rick was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2014 for his work with charitable causes and “his ability to inspire and challenge Canadians through humour.” In 2019, he received a Governor General’s Performing Arts Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award. He is from Middle Cove, Newfoundland and Labrador.

“Books selected for the Stephen Leacock medal must be not only humorous but also well-written, showing style and depth. The three finalists this year meet those criteria without question,” said Leacock Associates president Michael Hill. “Our panel of judges has selected three outstanding books from seventy-eight entries. It will be exciting to see which one was determined to be the most humorous of the year.

The winner will be announced on Saturday, September 17, 2022, at the Leacock Medal Gala Dinner where the three 2022 finalists will join the shortlisted authors from 2020 and 2021 for celebrations that have been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. This year is the 75th anniversary of the Leacock Medal, and many former winners will also be attending. Tickets for this memorable event and for the “Meet the Authors” and Student Showcase event the previous evening are available for purchase online at

The Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour awards are generously sponsored by the Dunkley Charitable Foundation.

For more information about Stephen Leacock Associates, please visit the website at

August 3, 2022


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



2020 Fundraising Campaign Donors

The donors listed below each contributed $100 or more to our August/September/October on-line fundraising campaign in 2020. We are very grateful to all of you (including people who donated lesser amounts) for your support of the Leacock medal.

Anonymous Ramara, ON
Richard Eedy St. Mary's, ON
Jonathon Tait Barrie, ON
Lesley Holland Toronto, ON
Christina Perry Conception Bay South, NL
Valerie McDonald Toronto, ON
Kit Dobson Calgary, AB
Anonymous Bracebridge, ON
Margaret Atwood Toronto, ON
Leslie Dobson Orillia, ON
John Frankel Toronto, ON
Derek Ford Orillia, ON
David Wimsett Kentville, NS
Sheila Burvill Ottawa, ON
Anonymous Dunrobin, ON
Anonymous London, ON
David Eastaugh Toronto, ON
Karla Tremblay Toronto, ON
Verla Hall Orillia, ON
Peter Babiak Vancouver, BC
Anonymous Toronto, ON
Nickle Family Foundation Calgary, AB
Dick and Wendy Johnston Orillia, ON
William Greenizan Toronto, ON
Ted Tiffany Midland, ON
Steve Skurka Toronto, ON
Mary Lou Fallis Port Hope, ON
Michael Mallinson Toronto, ON
June Maresca Markham, ON
Gilbert Storey Richmond Hill, ON
Joan Dejesus Georgetown, ON
R Bruce MacKeen Guysborough, NS
Mauer Chiarello Toronto, ON
Melanie Hazell Toronto, ON
Peter Nosalik Waterloo, ON
Anonymous Toronto, ON
Graham Yeates Kitchener, ON
Edwin and Margaret Johnson London, ON
Susan Grant Orillia, ON
Anonymous Hafford, SK
Grant Dickson Toronto,ON
Donnajean Jefferies Orillia, ON
Anonymous Calgary, AB
Barbara Bissonette Washago, ON
Richard (Dick) Bourgeois-Doyle OTTAWA, ON
Drew Taylor Curve Lake, ON
Douglas Gibson Toronto, ON
Lynn Murray and Bob Gauldie Orillia, ON
Anonymous Windsor, ON
Marion Reidel Guelph, ON
Andrew Lam Toronto, ON
Daniel Byers Orillia, ON
Anne Kallin Orillia, ON
Joe and Pat Dell'Aquila Cambridge, ON
Judy Millar Calgary, AB
Derek Ford Orillia, ON
William Tweed Toronto, ON
Anonymous Vancouver, BC
Terry Toews Swift Current, SK
Marian Robinson North Bay, ON
Anonymous Eston, SK
Beverley Slopen Toronto, ON
Caged Element Inc. Etobicoke, ON
Karleen Bradford Orillia, ON
Anonymous Bristol, UK
Janie Chang Vancouver, BC
Sandra Thomson Nanaimo, BC
Lynda Simmons Burlington, ON
Christopher Cameron Campbellford, ON
Christine Barbetta Toronto, ON
Peggy Bereza Victoria, BC
Vivian Carter Unionville, ON
Kenneth Drope Keswick, ON
Wendy and Fred Fallis Coldwater, ON
Elsa Lam Toronto, ON
Susan Juby Nanaimo, BC
Anonymous Orillia, ON
Doris McLean Orillia, ON
William Deverell Pender Island, BC
Jodie Schaefer Barrie, ON
Mark Lefebvre Waterloo, ON
Jay Fallis Orillia, ON
Terry Fallis Toronto, ON
Words Indeed Publishing Toronto, ON
Sue Mallinson Orillia, ON
David Mallinson Orillia, ON