Voyageur Storytelling Leacock Litera-Tours: What and Why?
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Leacock Litera-Tours

Leslie Robbins-Conway and Paul Conway

from Northern Bruce Peninsula

(Ontario, Canada)

Charging the Batteries of the Imagination

Good Food, Good Listening and Good Company

on the Road

Revised January 19th, 2017

The Original Leacock Litera-Tour: November 1936 to January 1937

On November 25th, 1936, Stephen Leacock departed from Montreal for his first tour of western Canada, where he had never been. He returned on January 15th, 1937, having visited Port Arthur, Fort William, Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Calgary, Medicine Hat, Vancouver, and Victoria.

We are going to re-trace his footsteps, as exactly as we can. We launch in Orillia on October 20. 2017, and close in Vancouver on November 28th.

Why a Re-Tour?

During all those years (2001-2016) when we were hosting Country Supper Storytelling Concerts we dreamed of touring. We even did some of it — in Grey-Bruce (the Chautauquas of 2007), in southern Ontario (the Chordelle concerts of 2008) — but other commitments got in the way, and the time to organize properly for the country-wide touring of our dreams simply was not there. Now we are ready to try again.

Our style of storytelling has always been, on the whole, quite literary and musical, using the music primarily to enhance people's enjoyment of the literary tales.

Stephen Leacock helps us enormously, because some of his works perform so well, either spoken or sung. And besides, he is a fascinating Canadian literary character: a good storyteller, and a good story.

Why Stephen Leacock?

Most people identify Stephen Leacock as a humourist closely associated with Orillia, or even living there. He was in fact a summer and Christmas-holiday resident, although abidingly fond of the place. The rest of the year he lived in Montreal, and taught at McGill.

The "humourist" part of his reputation is more problematic. He was one, famous in his day and beyond, also a political economist with a strong concern for social justice, a commentator on a wide range of public issues, and a diverse man of letters.

He set out to "Discover the West". We set out to discover him, by following his footsteps. All of them.

Leacock's Tour

Here is the outline of his tour.

If the venue (usually a hotel) is not listed, that means it's not recorded in any sources we have discovered so far.

Spoken In
Spoken To
November 27
Port Arthur
Prince Arthur Hotel: McGill Graduate Society Dinner Confederation for Canada, also, or possibly, Our Colleges and What They Stand For
November 28
Fort William
Royal Edward Hotel: Men's & Women's Canadian Club lunch Canada and the United States; Canada and the War
November 30
Fort Garry Hotel; Women's Canadian Club Literature at its Lightest, Latest & Most Foolish
December 1 University of Manitoba students Education by the Yard (Standardized Education)
December 3 Winnipeg Press Club Dinner The Written Word
December 4 Fort Garry Hotel; Men's Canadian Club When Can We Start the Next War?
December 5 Fort Garry Hotel; University Women's Club An Analysis of Humour
December 7
Hotel Kitchener; Women's Canadian Club Literature and Progress; Burlesque of Love Literature
December 8 Hotel Saskatchewan; Men's Canadian Club Brotherly Love Among the Nations; Canada & international politics
December 8 McGill Graduate Society The Value of Imbecility in Education
December 10
University of Saskatchewan Education by the Yard (Standardized Education)
December 11 Men's & Women's Canadian Club & Broadcast; Bessborough Hotel Murder at $2.50 a Volume and Love at $1.25
December 14
University of Alberta audience of 1,000 Recovery After Graduation: Thoughts for the Class of 1935
December 15 Macdonald Hotel; U of T Alumni Dinner College As It Was and As It Is
December 15 University of Alberta Political Science Club Students Is Adam Smith Dead?
December 16 Macdonald Hotel; Men's & Women's Canadian Club & McGill Graduates Debit and Credit (Social Credit and economic policy)
December 16 Macdonald Hotel; Women's Press Club and Canadian Authors Dinner The Theory of Comic Verse
December 18
Canadian Club & Board of Trade; Hudson's Bay Dining Room; broadcast s. Alberta Social Credit
December 18 Palliser Hotel; Women's Canadian Club Frenzied Fiction
December 18 Palliser Hotel; McGill & Varsity Graduates Recalling Years at College
December 19
Medicine Hat
Hotel Cecil; Quota Club Dinner Hard Money, or Daniel in the Lion's Den
December 22
Hotel Vancouver; Men's Canadian Club New Economic World, The; Socialism a system for angels
December 28 Hotel Vancouver; Women's Canadian Club Frenzied Fiction; Murder at $2.50 & Love at $1.25
December 28 Hotel Vancouver; Foreign Trade Bureau, Board of Trade Social Credit and Social Progress
December 28 Board of Trade Enjoy the Fruits of Your Labour
January 4
Empress Hotel; Canadian Club Economic Separatism in the British Empire
January 5 Empress Hotel; Women's Canadian Club Humour, A Serious Matter
January 6 Empress Hotel; McGill Graduates Association Diner Preserving College Traditions
January 7 Empress Hotel; Rotary Club How Soon Can We Start the Next War?
January 7 Union Club; Upper Canada College Grads Dinner History of Upper Canada College
January 8 Empress Hotel; Victoria Teachers Association What I Don't Know About Education
January 13
University of British Columbia 1,500 students Looking Back on College

Voyageur Storytelling 2017

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