Archive for the ‘Orillia Packet & Times’ Category

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?”

Love this headline…

Monday, May 5th, 2008

I am going to stop posting media coverage.  It does seem kind of self-congratulatory but I love this headline so much.  It’s pithy, to the point, and oh so accurate.  This story appeared on the front page of the wonderful Orillia Packet & Times on Thursday, May 1st, the day after the Leacock luncheon.

Editorial in the Orillia Packet & Times

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

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.