2024: Time to begin!

The stage was set for us to welcome our first esteemed guest, TVO host and author Steve Paikin

But before it even started …

A classic Canadian story was brewing. After one of the mildest winters on record, a snowstorm was forecast for the afternoon and evening of March 22nd, the day of our first event.

Mid-day, Steve Paikin started the drive from Toronto to Lakefield. And then it happened: he was caught in a four-car accident on the 401 highway that wrecked his car. Most importantly no one was hurt and, at that point, many would’ve called it a day.

Instead, Steve called John Boyko — our festival board chairman — and John made his way south to get Steve. Neither man was going to let Friday rush hour traffic, snowy weather, and a car wreck stop the show.

Meanwhile, back at the Bryan Jones Theatre, slowly and quietly, event organizers came to learn what had happened, whispering to one another about the turn of events as people started filing into the auditorium. There was no ‘Plan B’.

They made it!

John Boyko and Steve Paikin arrive.

Like it never happened

John kicked off the event without saying a word about the accident or the journey that followed.

He engaged us with intriguing questions for Steve who, in turn, offered his unique insights about the Canadian political landscape and, more specifically John Turner, the subject of his latest book:
John Turner: An Intimate Biography of Canada’s 17th Prime Minister.

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