Canada’s award for literary humor, the Stephen Leacock Medal, has announced its shortlist for 2022.
The medal will be awarded to one of three finalists — Mark Critch, Dawn Dumont and Rick Mercer. The winner will receive a prize of $25,000.
The three finalists were chosen from a long list of 10 titles. 78 titles were in contention this year.
Presented by the Stephen Leacock Associates, the award honors Canada’s top comedy writers each year. The organization has acknowledged the news that Saskatchewan finalist Dumont (also known as Dawn Walker) and her son were missing and last seen on July 22.
“While the Leacock associates are pleased and proud to include Dawn Dumont among the 2022 Leacock Medal finalists, we are extremely concerned for the current safety of Ms. Dumont, who is also known as Dawn Walker. She and her son Vincent have been missing in Saskatchewan since July 22. Saskatoon police and RCMP are continuing their ongoing investigation,” the organization said in a statement.
Critch is nominated for his memoir An Embarrassment of Critch.
In An Embarrassment of CritchCritch revisits some of the biggest moments of his career — and the country — revealing all the things you might not know happened along the way.
Critch is a Canadian comedian. For 14 years he starred in CBC’s flagship comedy series This hour has 22 minutes. He also hosted the Halifax Comedy Festival and wrote and performed at Just for Laughs comedy party. He is also the author of the first memoirs Son of a Critchwhich was adapted as a series for CBC Television.
Dumont is a finalist for his novel The Prairie Chicken Dance Tour.
The Prairie Chicken Dance Tour is loosely based on the true story of a group of Aboriginal dancers who left Saskatchewan and toured Europe in the 1970s. Weaving a comedic thread through an interesting cast of characters, Dumont brings his characteristic spirit to this series of strange and amusing adventures. The novel was also nominated for a 2022 Saskatchewan Book Award.
Dumont is a Plains Cree writer, comedian and actor living in Saskatoon. She is the author of Rose’s Race, glass marbles and No one cries at bingowho was shortlisted for the 2012 Alberta Readers Choice Awards, the City of Edmonton’s Robert Kroetsch Award and the READ First Nations Community Award.
The third runner-up is Mercer’s memoir Talk to Canadians.
In the book, Mercer traces his rise from a very unpromising schoolboy to the heights of television stardom. In a vulnerable, candid and comic memoir, Talk to Canadians reflects on Mercer’s life and career.
Mercer rose to fame with his one-man show Show me the button I’ll press, or Charles Lynch must die who toured across Canada before co-creating and starring in the long-running CBC series This hour has 22 minutes. He was too the host of The Rick Mercer Report for 15 seasons.
“Books selected for the Stephen Leacock Medal must be not only humorous but also well-written, showing style and depth. This year’s three finalists undoubtedly meet these criteria,” said Michael Hill, president of Leacock Associates.
“Our panel of judges selected three outstanding books from 78 entries. It will be exciting to see which was determined to be the most humorous of the year.”
The winner will be announced on September 17, 2022.
The Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humor, an annual literary award given to the funniest Canadian book of the year, has increased the grand prize amount from $15,000 to $25,000 in 2022.
The announcement will take place at a gala dinner where the 2020 and 2021 shortlisted authors will also be in attendance after previous celebrations were delayed due to the pandemic.
2022 marks the 75th anniversary of the award. The prize has been awarded since 1947.
Thomas King won the 2021 Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humor for his novel Indians on vacation.
Past winners are Heidi LM Jacobs, Robertson Davies, Pierre Berton, Farley Mowat, Paul Quarrington, Mordecai Richler, Stuart McLean, Terry Fallis, Susan Juby and Cassie Stocks.
Congratulation to @markcritch Dawn Dumont and @rickmercer for being selected for the Leacock Medal! @VikingBooks @fhbooks @doubledayca
Although we are proud to include Dawn Dumont among the finalists, we are very concerned for her safety. She has been missing since July 22. pic.twitter.com/DC4hyxWnd0