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Leslie Robbins-Conway and Paul Conway
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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.
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.
|Prince Arthur Hotel: McGill Graduate Society Dinner||Confederation for Canada, also, or possibly, Our Colleges and What They Stand For|
|Royal Edward Hotel: Men's & Women's Canadian Club lunch||Canada and the United States; Canada and the War|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|Hotel Cecil; Quota Club Dinner||Hard Money, or Daniel in the Lion's Den|
|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|
|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|
|University of British Columbia 1,500 students||Looking Back on College|