Archive for the ‘Leacock Summer Festival’ Category

A humour night at the Leacock Summer Festival

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

On Friday, July 23, I’ll be hosting and participating in a night of humour at the Leacock Summer Festival in Orillia, Ontario. Joining me will be 2010 Leacock shortlisted author Kathryn Borel Jr. reading from her hilarious travelogue Corked, and 2003 Leacock winner Dan Needles who will undoubtedly have us all in hysterics whatever he decides to read. Having already read from The Best Laid Plans at the 2008 Leacock Summer Festival, I may read from The High Road instead. There is a great list of Canadian authors lined up to read at the festival so do check it out if you have the weekend free. I always look forward to returning to Orillia, the home of Stephen Leacock.

I’m going to be the MC for the 2010 Leacock Gala

Friday, January 29th, 2010

In the last couple of years, I’ve really enjoyed the time I’ve spent in Orillia at various Leacock-related events, and getting to know the folks at the Leacock Association who do so much to breathe life into the great Canadian humourist’s legacy. I’ve been to two Leacock luncheons, one Friday night soiree, two Leacock Galas, a couple of great parties, the Leacock Summer Festival, and even a local book club meeting. I’ve also had a piece run in the Orillia Packet & Times. I’ve enjoyed them all. I was already planning to attend this year’s luncheon and gala but it seems I’ll now have some additional responsibilities. I was thrilled some months ago to get a call from outgoing Leacock Association President, Wayne Scott, inviting me to serve as Master of Ceremonies for the 2010 Leacock Gala (!) on June 12th, on the shores of Lake Couchiching. I’m excited and nervous at the same time.

You see, I have big shoes to fill. Last year, the hilarious and talented writer, Drew Hayden Taylor, ran the show.  And the year before that, the amazing satirical songwriter, Nancy White, was in charge. Tough acts to follow, to be sure. I’m honoured to have been asked and have embarked on a rigorous training regimen that includes 30 minutes in front of the bathroom mirror every day speaking into my hairbrush. So far, it’s going well. I hope to be up to the challenge by June.

“Testing, testing one, two, three, testing. Is this thing on?”

Headwaters Arts Festival Confirmed

Friday, August 8th, 2008

I’m thrilled to be on the bill for a reading as part of the Headwaters Arts Festival in Caledon, Ontario on Friday, October 3rd. I’ll be sharing the stage with the award winning novelist Joseph Boyden and the seriously funny playwright and humourist Drew Hayden Taylor. The evening is called “The 4th Annual Armchairs, Authors, and Art.” I had such a great time meeting, and listening to Drew at the Summer Leacock Festival a few weeks ago, so I’m very happy to be joining him again on stage. As for Joseph Boyden, he is a comet who shot across the Canadian literary scene in 2005 with his debut novel, Three Day Road. It won a shelf-full of awards, and his new novel, Through Black Spruce, will be released in September.

It should be a great evening.

Summer Leacock Festival Reading

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

This past Friday night I joined two great Canadian writers for a public reading as part of the Leacock Summer Festival in Orillia.  The festival is Ontario’s largest summer literary gathering and this year’s edition was another great success.

The Friday night program was held at Swanmore Hall, just steps away from the home of Stephen Leacock.  Scott Gardiner, who was shortlisted for this year’s Leacock Medal, opened the program with a reading from his hilarious political satire, King John.  This is a wonderful book made even better by Scott’s outstanding reading.  Reading aloud is not easy but when it’s done well, the story comes alive.  Next on the bill was Drew Hayden Taylor, a very funny aboriginal writer who certainly knows how to handle himself at the microphone.  He had the audience in stitches reading from a selection of his works including his newest book Me Sexy.

I spoke third, which was a little intimidating given how much laughter Scott and Drew triggered.  The capacity crowd seemed to enjoy the four brief selections I read.  All in all, it was a great evening.  Thanks to Fred Addis and Bruce Meyer, the festival organizers, for inviting me.  This was a good warm up for the many other speaking and reading gigs that are being lined up for me in the fall when TBLP is re-released by McClelland & Stewart.