Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour

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The Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour (usually the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, or just the Stephen Leacock Award) is an annual literary award presented to the best work of humorous literature in English by a Canadian writer.[1] The award is a tribute to well-known Canadian humorist Stephen Leacock (1869–1944), and is accompanied by a cash prize of $15,000 (CAD).[1] It is presented each year during a banquet ceremony in Leacock’s hometown of Orillia, Ontario.[1]

The Leacock Associates is the organising body behind the award, and was founded in 1946 by a loose group of Leacock’s friends and supporters.[1] Although administered and presented separately, in early years the award winners were announced as part of the Governor General's Awards announcements,[2][3][4] later moving to a separate announcement.

Each year the Associates’ board of directors appoints a panel of suitable judges from around the country, who select from submitted works a short list of five books. It is one of the oldest literary prizes in Canada, and is the only one awarded to a work of humour. The cash prize began in 1970, as a $2,500 award co-sponsored by Manulife Insurance and the Hudson's Bay Company. The following decades saw gradual increases in the amount of the prize under a number of donors, reaching its current value of $15,000 in 2009, sponsored by the TD Bank Financial Group.

In 1969 the Associates established a quarterly newsletter called The Newspacket to commemorate the centenary of the author’s birth. The publication prints excerpts from nominated books, and is itself a showcase for Canadian humour writing. In 1977 the group established a Student Award for Humour, which honours young writers from secondary and post-secondary levels.



  1. ^ a b c d "Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour" at The Canadian Encyclopedia.
  2. ^ a b "Prof. Lower's History Gets Vice-Regal Award". Winnipeg Tribune, April 19, 1947.
  3. ^ a b "Win Governor General's Awards in Annual Literary Contest". Ottawa Journal, June 11, 1949.
  4. ^ a b "Governor General's Awards Announced for Two Authors". Ottawa Journal, May 23, 1953.
  5. ^ "Self-published novel by Terry Fallis wins Leacock award",, April 30, 2008.
  6. ^ "Mark Leiren-Young wins Leacock Medal for humour". The Globe and Mail, April 30, 2009.
  7. ^ "Patrick deWitt wins Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour". The Globe and Mail, April 27, 2012.
  8. ^ "Cassie Stocks wins Stephen Leacock Award". CBC Arts, April 25, 2013.
  9. ^ "Bill Conall wins 2014 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour". CBC News, April 24, 2014.

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