B.C.'s Arthur Black wins third Leacock humour medal

B.C. writer and former CBC Radio host Arthur Black will be adding yet another Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour to his mantel.

B.C. writer and former CBC Radio host Arthur Black will be adding yet another Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour to his mantel.



Former CBC host Arthur Black won his third
Leacock Medal for his book 'Pitch Black."
He also won the award in 1997 and 2000.
(Courtesy Basic Black)

Black is the 2006 winner of the annual humour honour for his book Pitch Black, another collection of stories about offbeat and eccentric characters. He receives $10,000 and the silver Leacock Memorial Medal.

"It's very humbling," Black, 62, told the Orillia Packet and Times newspaper in an interview from his home on Saltspring Island.

"I have two medals on my fireplace mantel and I'm going to have to make room for a third."

Black, who retired from his long-running CBC Radio show Basic Black four years ago, won the Leacock medal in 2000 for his book Black Tie and Tales and in 1997 for his book Black in the Saddle Again.

Organizers of the award, one of the oldest literary honours in Canadian history, made the announcement at the annual Leacock Medal luncheon in Orillia, Ont., on Wednesday.

Five judges and a readers committee based in Orillia – 96 km north of Toronto – chose Black's latest book from five finalists.

The other candidates were Joe Campbell for Take Me Out of the Ball Game; Gordon Kirkland for When My Mind Wanders It Brings Back Souvenirs; Dan Needles for Wingfield's Hope: More Letters from Wingfield Farm; and William Weintraub for Crazy About Lili.

The Leacock Medal for Humour was established in 1946, two years after the death of the Canadian author of Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town. Past Leacock winners include Mordecai Richler, W.O. Mitchell, Pierre Berton, Farley Mowat, Bill Richardson, Roch Carrier and Will Ferguson.

Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town made fun of Orillia, where Leacock had a summer home for many years.