- Annual award celebrates the most humourous book written by a Canadian and published in Canada -
ORILLIA, ON, April 29 /CNW/ - With today's announcement that he is the winner of the 2010 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour and TD's $15,000 cash prize, Will Ferguson becomes the fourth Canadian author to win this prestigious literary award three times. Ferguson's most recent book, titled Beyond Belfast, was named the best book of humour published in Canada in the past year by a panel of national judges and Orillia's Stephen Leacock Association. Mr. Ferguson had previously won the award in 2002 and again in 2005. Vancouver humorist Eric Nicol won the award three times in the 1950s, Donald Jack scored the literary hat trick with three of his novels in the Bandy series and more recently Arthur Black won it in 1997, 2000 and 2006.
The announcement was made at today's noontime luncheon at Swanmore Hall on the grounds of the Stephen Leacock Memorial Museum in Orillia, Ontario. The renowned Canadian author's former summer home is now a national historic site.
Michael Hill, President of the Stephen Leacock Association, announced the winner before a standing room only audience which included several of the nominated authors, a number of representatives from Canada's publishing industry, honoured guests, sponsors and media.
Beyond Belfast, published by Penguin Group Canada is best summed up by its subtitle: A 560 Mile Walk Across Northern Ireland on Sore Feet. The author's personal backpacking odyssey through the land of his forefathers took him to wondrous vistas, into dangerous encounters and put him in close contact with all manners of wild beasts (mostly ovine) and odd characters (mostly Gaelic.) He has written about his trek around "the Ulster Way," an ill-defined footpath around the northern chunk of the Emerald Isle in such a way that you laugh along with him but wouldn't really be tempted to follow in his footsteps.
The other books nominated for this year's award were The Curse of the Labrador Duck by Glen Chilton, Snow Job by William Deverell, Corked by Catherine Borel and The Rock in the Water by Bill Conall. Each of the other finalists will receive a $1500 prize, also courtesy of TD.
"Mr. Ferguson's impressive track record of winning this award for the third time proves his ability to keep Canadians entertained," said Frank McKenna, Deputy Chair, TD Bank Financial Group. "We congratulate him and all of this year's finalists for their literary contributions - all of which add to Canada's exceptional showcase of written humour."
The Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour has been awarded since 1947 as a means to honour the dean of Canadian humourists and to perpetuate comedic writing in Canada. Some of our finest writers - Pierre Berton, W.O. Mitchell, Mordecai Richler and Robertson Davies - have all been recipients of the award over the past six decades. In addition to winning the silver medal, the winner also receives a $15 000 cash prize which will be presented at the annual Leacock dinner to be held June 12, 2010 at Geneva Park, near Orillia.
SOURCE STEPHEN LEACOCK AWARD
For further information: For further information: Michael Hill, President, Stephen Leacock Association, (705) 325-9843, firstname.lastname@example.org; Gregory Harrison, Corporate and Public Affairs, TD, (416) 308-8597, email@example.com