Wednesday @ the Leacock Festival

On Wednesday afternoon, award winning author and political columnist Richard Gwyn read from his biography of Sir John A. MacDonald. I wish I could tell you about that session, but I was busy watching The Beer Store guy load the beer truck at our store.  I would much rather have been at the Festival, but oh well.

I did make it to the evening session though, and it was excellent.

Paul Quarrington was the first presenter. He is both an author and a musician, and included both of his talents in his performance. Quarrington didn’t read from his most recent novel, The Ravine – although he did manage to work it into the conversation and encourage us to buy it a ~few~ times – instead, he read from King Leary, which won the Stephen Leacock Award for Humour (1998), and this year, won CBC Radio’s Canada Reads competition – which means it has been named the “one book that every Canadian should read”.  

The Friendly Giant's fireplace

A rocking chair for those who like to rock...

 In addtion to being a prolific author, Quarrington is the singer/guitarist for the blues/roots/country ensemble Porkbelly Futures. My favourite of the songs he sang at the Leacock included a chorus based on The Friendly Giant’s opening theme …a nostaligic gambit that works, I think, for most Canadians.








 The second reader was Randall Maggs reading from his illustrated poetry collection Night Work: The Sawchuk Poems. Maggs’ work on Sawchuk, according to Stephen Brunt of the Globe and Mail:

 gets closer than any biographer to the heart of the darkest, most troubled figure in the history of the national game. This may be the truest hockey book ever written. It reaches a level untouched by conventional sports literature… His Sawchuk is real.

Wednesday at the Leacock was truly entertaining and truly Canadian, given its hockey theme. The Vezina Trophy – which Sawchuk won 3x, was also present.

Neither of my pictures of Magee turned out very well, but here is one of Quarrington and the Vezina trophy.

Paul Quarrington @ Leacock Festival 2008

Paul Quarrington @ Leacock Festival 2008


1 Comment »

  1. muffinsprettymom Said:

    Not much of a hockey fan, but I’m tickled to hear that humour was featured so prominently. I’d like to see humour in fiction far more often.

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