Mark Leiren-Young Wins 2009 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour

    - Annual award celebrates the most humourous book written by a Canadian
                          and published in Canada -

    ORILLIA, ON, April 30 /CNW/ - The misadventures of a rookie reporter in
the backwoods of British Columbia seems an appropriate recipe for humour and
for Mark Leiren-Young, it is a prize-winning recipe. The Vancouver-based
playwright/filmmaker/writer has been named the winner of the 2009 Stephen
Leacock Medal for Humour and the recipient of a $15,000 cash prize from TD
Bank Financial Group for his book Never Shoot a Stampede Queen: A Rookie
Reporter in the Cariboo.
    The Stephen Leacock Association made the announcement at a midday
luncheon earlier today at Swanmore Hall on the grounds of the historical
Stephen Leacock Memorial Museum in Orillia, Ontario.
    Wayne Scott, President of the Leacock Association announced the winner
before a standing room-only audience that included several of the nominated
authors, representatives from Canada's publishing industry, honoured guests,
sponsors and media.
    "Humour writing continues to garner a great deal of interest in Canada,"
said Scott. "This year, we had 47 nominees from across Canada and narrowed
that down to a shortlist of exceptional candidates. The Leacock Association is
proud to continue this tradition of honouring not only some of our best
humorists, but some of our best writers, period!"
    Never Shoot A Stampede Queen, Mr. Leiren-Young's first book, is a memoir
of his adventures living and working in the B.C. interior town of Williams
Lake. Not only does the author recount his encounters with the police,
loggers, the fire department, fellow workers and yes - beauty contest
aspirants for the local rodeo - but he tells his story with both humour and
compassion. As his readers will find out, it is a wonderfully amusing story.
    The other books shortlisted for this year's award included Kill All the
Judges by William Deverell, Kiss the Joy as it Flies by Sheree Fitch, Uproar
by Jack MacLeod and In the Land of the Long Fingernails by Charles Wilkins.
For the first time in the award's history, each of the other finalists will
receive a cheque for $1,500, also courtesy of TD Bank Financial Group.
    "As this year's winner of the Leacock Medal for Humour, Mr.
Leiren-Young's name will be added to a fascinating list of celebrated Canadian
authors," said Frank McKenna, Deputy Chair, TD Bank Financial Group. "We
congratulate him and all of the finalists for their literary talents. Their
books continue to entertain Canadians across the country and inspire us to
keep reading with passionate interest."
    The Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour has been awarded since 1947 as a
means to honour the dean of Canadian humourists and to perpetuate humorous
writing in Canada. Some of our finest authors - Pierre Berton, W.O. Mitchell,
Mordecai Richler and Robertson Davies - have all been recipients of the award
over the past six decades. Last year's winner was first-time author Terry
Fallis for his political satire The Best Laid Plans. Both the silver Leacock
medal and the cheque will be presented to the winner at the annual Leacock
dinner to be held June 13, 2009 at Geneva Park, near Orillia.

    TD Community Giving: Making a Difference Together

    Children's health, literacy and education, and the environment are the
three main areas of focus for TD's community giving. Flagship programs within
these areas include: TD Children's Hospital Fund; TD Friends of the
Environment Foundation; TD Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup; TD Canadian
Children's Book Week; TD Canada Trust Scholarships for Community Leadership;
and the TD Summer Reading Club. With support from customers and employees, TD
is involved with a host of national, regional and local causes benefiting
diversity, arts and culture and other community programs. In 2008, TD donated
$35 million to more than 2,100 organizations across Canada.

For further information:

For further information: Michael Hill, Director, Stephen Leacock
Association, (705) 325-9843,; Gregory Harrison, TD Bank
Financial Group, (416) 308-8597,

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