A friend passed this on to me this afternoon. What a lovely editorial in today’s Orillia Packet & Times:
A Wonderful Orillia story for the nation
Sometimes big things come in little packages.
Such is the case with the Stephen Leacock Associates.
On Wednesday, this small group of hard-working, dedicated volunteers brought national attention to Orillia in announcing the 2008 Leacock Medal For Humour award winner. The news, coming from Swanmore Hall right here in Orillia, was picked up across the country.
Terry Fallis, author of The Best Laid Plans, was named the winner of this year’s medal. That was an important moment for the Orillia group as well, in that it underlines the impact the medal has on the publishing world. The publishers of best-selling authors like Will Ferguson and Douglas Coupland rush to have the Leacock Associates seal placed on book jackets as soon as the five finalists are announced, and the stamp of the medal of humour on any cover is a major help in promoting and selling a book.
But the story of Terry Fallis may best illustrate the authority of the medal. His offering was self-published. When his book was named among the top five in Canadian humour for 2008, he almost immediately began to hear from agents and publishers. Winning this medal could well launch another bright light in Canadian letters.
Not bad for a little place like Orillia.
Anchored by the wisdom of people like Pete McGarvey in preserving and promoting the Leacock home as a museum, and upheld by the ongoing strong performance of the museum under current curator Fred Addis, the Leacock legacy is alive and well in this city.
Most of the credit for that goes to people like those who work away in relative anonymity to care for and build upon one of the truly great stories of this community.
Congratulations to you all.
Kind of makes me want to move to the wonderful and picturesque town of Orillia, home of Stephen Leacock.