Stephen Leacock Re-Tour Preview Divines Audience Tastes

Recapitulating, the Re-Tour Previews began October 5th in Owen Sound, dashed down to Lion’s Head on October 11th, then set off last Friday, October 13th, on a loop through southern Ontario, visiting Harriston, Fergus, Guelph (14th) and Burlington (15th). The expedition returned to base mid-day today. The entire loop was 475 kleacocks.

A reminder that a kleacock is one kilometer travelled in pursuit of Stephen Leacock.

In Burlington we received a most notable addition to our party: a bust of Stephen Leacock himself, rescued from an impending dumpster by Karen Blair of Storytelling Toronto many years ago and carefully nurtured until a suitable home could be found. She decided we were that home, and travelled all the way out on the GO train in order to pass him along. We therefore now have a physical representation of the man, so that when we collect his ghost, as we hope to do, from the graveyard on Thursday the 19th, he can remain as ectoplasmic, or not, as he chooses. Thank you Karen!

We presented two of our Talk-and-Tell events, called The Unsolved Riddle(s) of Stephen Leacock, in public libraries in Fergus and Guelph. We presented two of our A Field of Mariposies Concerts in Harriston, at the public library, and in Burlington at A Different Drummer Books. Our local partners were Wellington County Libraries (Harriston and Fergus), Guelph Public Library, the Burlington Storytelling Guild (thanks to Brenda Byers), and the bookstore.

We say it now, and will say it again, and again, and again: this Re-Tour would not have happened had we not received such enthusiastic response and support from our local partners. We are now prepared to claim, on the basis of Preview experience, that the audiences amply repaid their commitment. They were wonderful. They had a great time, and so did we.

We are ready for Leacock’s ghost when he joins us on Thursday, if he will, and can assure him a most gratifying time. We desire that people should remember him, not in some diminished way, but in his full breadth. It looks as if we are succeeding, so far at least.

Thursday the whole shebang begins. Please join us in Orillia on Friday and Saturday. We’ll be there, ready to add to your Knowledge, stimulate your Imagination, and arose your Compassion, just as Stephen Leacock would have wanted.

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