Last night Ambassador Doer and I were the co-hosts of the Politics and the Pen dinner in Ottawa, a fundraising event in support of the Writers’ Trust of Canada, that celebrates Canadian political and literary cultures. It was great fun.
For those of you who might not be familiar with it, the centerpiece of the evening is the award of the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for the best political writing in Canada, awarded this year to Richard Gwyn for his biography Nation Maker: Sir John A. Macdonald: His Life, Our Times; Volume Two: 1867-1891.
The Writers’ Trust celebrates and rewards the talents and achievements of Canada’s novelists, short story writers, poets, biographers, and other fiction and nonfiction writers. Recent award winners include: Patrick DeWitt, Wayne Johnston, and David Adams Richards.
Besides authors, some of others in attendance were: Laureen Harper, Finance Minister Flaherty, Foreign Affairs Minister Baird, Liberal Leader Rae and NDP Leader Tom Mulcair. Really, about the only way you can get in the door is to be an author or get elected to Parliament.
I agreed to co-host the event because I support the writers of Canada. Oh yea, and my wife Julie was the co-chair of the event.
The hosts are supposed to be funny. And I have got to tell you that adds A LOT of pressure. As Amb. Doer said, they don’t pay us to be funny. But we seemed to do ok. The theme of our effort was Thrilla on the Hilla – Part II. We both came out in boxing robes and gloves. Got a few laughs. Still, I think I’ll keep my day job and leave comedy to the professionals. As we stepped off the stage, I thought of one of my favorite lines from Winston Churchill: “Nothing is quite so exhilarating as to be shot at and missed.”