Friday @ Leacock

Yes, I know I missed Thursday – skipped the afternoon session with Judy Fong Bates author of Midnight at the Dragon Cafe. I heard afterwards that it was excellent, though.  In the evening I went to the Letters Dinner, which featured roast beef, an assortment of salads, and strawberry rhubarb pie for dessert – oh, and journalist Marty Gervais giving a presentation on his Summer in Iraq (2007).  He was there with the Iraqi Boxing team, while they were training for this year’s Olympics.

Sherry Lawson reading at the Leacock Festival

Sherry Lawson reading at the Leacock Festival

Friday was very busy. First there was the annual Teddy Bear’s Picnic at 2 p.m. I didn’t have kids with me, so didn’t stay for all of it, but I did manage to be there to hear Sherry Lawson, a storyteller from the Mnjikaning  Rama First Nation. I was interested in part because I have been doing a lot of reading about First Nations topics in preparation for my MA @ Trent. The PhD program I hope to go into once I’m done my Master’s is in Canadian Studies, and includes a large amount of First Nations subjects. I was able to speak to her briefly afterwards, and bought her memoir, a book of short stories called I’ve Been Shot At…What’s Your Excuse? which I then read over dinner before the next section. Each of the stories is only a few pages, and offers a glimpse into Sherry’s experiences throughout her life, both as a child and later, as a prominent adult in her community.



Later in the afternoon, Julie Roorda read from her young adult novel, The Wings of a Bee.

And the evening session was easily the single most entertaining even of the Festival, at least so far (still got 2 to go).

The first reader was Scott Gardiner, reading from his very funny satire, King John of Canada. I thoroughly enjoyed what we heard of the book, and loved the premise. From the publisher’s website:

This is a funny, biting political satire set in the not-too-distant future. A series of minority governments, and endless Quebec referendums (designed to lose narrowly, to keep the money coming) have left Canada almost ungovernable. When the Governor General resigns in disgrace and the House of Windsor implodes in London, a media baron launches the idea of a Canadian king or queen elected by lottery.

It starts as a joke — except that the lucky winner, King John, a bright and charismatic guy from Toronto, knows exactly what people want. Soon Quebec is gone, while Toronto’s surprise bid to leave Canada is averted by shifting his official residence, the new seat of power, to the Toronto waterfront. Many good things happen, and the politicians go along for the ride. And the blockades of Native lands are ended for good, after John is heroically wounded keeping the peace at risk to his life.

Next up was  author, playwright & humourist, Drew Hayden Taylor. Taylor is the author of a number of books including Me Funny, Me Sexy, and several volumes of Funny, You Don’t Look Like One (Two, Three, Four).  I do believe that I shall have to buy some – or all – of his books. Research, you know.

Terry Fallis reading at the Leacock Festival

Terry Fallis reading at the Leacock Festival

The final reader has a success story to be envied.  Terry Fallis is the winner of the 2008 Leacock Medal for Humour – which comes with a $10,000 prize – for his self-published book The Best Laid Plans. You can read about his experiences at his blog. I loved the reading, and would have bought it on the spot but because McLelland and Stewart are publishing it, the self-published version is no longer available and we have to wait for theirs to be released this fall.  Wish it had been Penguin!

Is that not just THE COOLEST story?  Gives hope to all of us wannabes 🙂





  1. muffinsprettymom Said:

    Cool, flitting. I think an evening with accomplished humorists sound like a fine evening indeed. I’m aso touched to see my web page linked. I so have to update it.

  2. grems1 Said:

    Hi, found you, going to get some work done and will visit later. Nice job on your site. Looks like I have some work to do.

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