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Annual award for most humourous Canadian book increases to $15,000 ORILLIA, ON, Sept. 30 /CNW/ - The Stephen Leacock Association, a group which administers the annual Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, today announced a new three-year $60,000 partnership with TD Bank Financial Group to fund the association's efforts to promote humorous writing in Canada. Awarded since 1947, the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour honours the dean of Canadian humourists and perpetuates humorous writing in Canada. Since 2004 TD has granted $10,000 annually to the author of the Canadian-published book judged to be the most humorous. In 2009, the cash prize will increase to $15,000. "The Stephen Leacock Association is proud to be working with TD Bank Financial Group to help promote humorous writing in Canada," said Wayne Scott, president, The Stephen Leacock Association. "Canada has a history rich in humourous literature, supported by some of the country's finest authors including Pierre Berton, W.O. Mitchell, Mordecai Richler and Robertson Davies. It is our hope that, through generous partnerships from sponsors like TD Bank Financial Group, we can continue to enrich this heritage by attracting and supporting talented authors who embody humour in their writing." The additional partnership funds will be used to support other activities associated with the award such as recognizing authors who made the short list and encouraging humorous writing among students across Canada through writing contests. "One of the pillars of the Community Giving program at TD is literacy and education, and Canadian literature is a significant part of this. Supporting both established and up-and-coming authors is one way that we can help preserve our country's rich literary presence," said Alan Convery, Manager, Community Relations, TD Bank Financial Group. "At TD we're proud to support those talented Canadian authors whose works entertain audiences in our country and beyond." Last year, Terry Fallis was awarded the prize for his novel The Best Laid Plans. Past winners include Mordecai Richler, W.O. Mitchell, Pierre Berton, Stuart McLean, Robertson Davies and Arthur Black. Each year, the winner is announced in April with the recipient receiving the award, courtesy of TD Bank Financial Group at a gala dinner in Orillia, Ontario in June. TD Community Giving: Making a Difference Together Children's health, literacy and education, and the environment are the three primary areas of focus for TD's community giving. The major flagship programs within these areas are: TD Children's Hospital Fund, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation and the TD Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, TD Canadian Children's Book Week, TD Canada Trust Scholarships for Community Leadership, and the TD Summer Reading Club. In addition, through the support of our customers and employees, TD is involved with a host of national, regional and local programs in support of diversity, arts and culture and other causes. In 2007, TD donated $33 million to more than 2,000 charities and not-for-profit organizations across Canada. For further information: Mike Hill, Stephen Leacock Association, (705) 325-9843,; Gregory Harrison, TD Bank Financial Group, (416) 308-8597,

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