The Stephen Leacock Medal, which has been presented to Canadian books of humour since 1947, is in financial difficulty.
For the past three years, the award program – run by the non-profit Stephen Leacock Associates – has been without a primary sponsor, with the $15,000 winner’s purse covered by reserve funds.
According to a statement from the Stephen Leacock Associates board of directors, there is barely enough money left in the account for 2021, and so it is launching a fundraising campaign to support the program’s short-term viability while pursuing other grants and sponsorships.
A crowdfunding campaign launches today on the FundRazr platform at fundrazr.com/Leacock_Medal. The “ultimate aim is to achieve self-financing for the Medal by building up the endowment fund that was established last year by generous donations from local benefactors.”
Former recipients of the prize include Robertson Davies, Mordecai Richler, Terry Fallis, and Cassie Stocks. This year’s winner was Heidi L.M. Jacobs for her novel, Molly of the Mall: Literary Lass and Purveyor of Fine Footwear, published by NeWest Press.