About the Event

A room abound with lively, literary energy.

With a Canadian writer at each table, the Writers’ Trust Gala is unlike any other fundraiser in the city. Past guest authors include literary luminaries Margaret Atwood, Adrienne Clarkson, Cherie Dimaline, Emma Donoghue, Lawrence Hill, Thomas King, Ann-Marie MacDonald, Anne Michaels, Noah Richler, and Miriam Toews. 

 The highlight of the evening is the presentation of the $50,000 Writers’ Trust Fellowship honouring one of the leading Canadian writers of our time. Past Writers’ Trust Fellows include Michael Crummey, Miriam Toews, and most recently, Eden Robinson.

2018 Gala Host

Steve Patterson

Best known to over 700,000 weekly listeners as Canada’s least moderate debate moderator on CBC’s hit show The Debaters, Steve Patterson is a veteran headline comic who has performed across Canada, North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia. His material is a combination of off-the-cuff and meticulously-crafted topical social commentary. He’s also been known to break into song.

Patterson was twice named Best Male Stand-up Comedian at the Canadian Comedy Awards and has been nominated for Canadian Screen Awards as Host of HGTV’s I Wrecked My House and The Great Canadian Screen Test.  Steve’s nationally-toured theatre show entitled This is Not Debatable is now available on iTunes, and in 2016 his first aptly-titled collection, Book of Letters I Didn’t Know Where to Send, was published by Goose Lane Editions. 

Steve’s latest role is as a budding producer with his show The Smartass-ociates, making smart people funnier and funny people smarter.

2018 Gala Chair

Mark Sakamoto

Gala Chair Mark Sakamoto is the Executive Vice President for Think Research, a leading digital health company. A lawyer by training, Mark has enjoyed a rich and varied career, having worked at a national law firm, a national broadcaster, and served as a senior political advisor to a national party leader. He is an entrepreneur and investor in digital health and digital media and has been instrumental in driving the growth of Think Research. In 2014, he authored his first book, Forgiveness: A Gift from My Grandparents, which went on to be a national best seller and was selected as the one Canadian book to read by CBC Canada Reads in 2018. Mark is currently the Chairman of the Ontario Media Development Corporation Board.

2018 Writers’ Trust Gala Committee

Janet Eger, Marla Lehberg, Ana P. Lopes, and Mary Osborne

Our 2017 Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor

Authors Sponsor

Reception Sponsor

First Edition Sponsors

Bonnie Brooks & Lynda Reeves

Hardcover Sponsors

Anonymous Donation

Paperback Sponsors

  • Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity
  • CBC
  • Chestnut Park Real Estate Limited
  • Kari Cullen
  • Janet Eger
  • Fogler, Rubinoff LLP
  • Alex Graham & Karen Madorsky
  • Simon & Schuster Canada
  • Grant Crawford & Watson LLP
  • HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.
  • iBooks Canada
  • Douglas Knight
  • Longview Asset Management
  • Nexus Investment Management Inc.

2017 Attending Writers

  • Jen Agg
  • S.K. Ali
  • Kamal Al-Solaylee
  • Kim Bozak
  • Claire Cameron
  • Nicole Chin
  • Trevor Cole
  • Karen Connelly
  • Cherie Dimaline
  • Farzana Doctor
  • Susan Doherty Hannaford
  • Denise Donlon
  • Rita Field-Marsham
  • Stacey May Fowles
  • Kevin Hardcastle
  • Kate Hilton
  • Emily Kellogg
  • Allison LaSorda
  • Ann-Marie MacDonald
  • Linden MacIntyre
  • Kyo Maclear
  • Lee Maracle
  • Stephen Marche
  • Sandra Martin
  • James Maskalyk
  • Ken McGoogan
  • Anne Michaels
  • Sean Minogue
  • Nick Mount
  • Grace O'Connell
  • Carol Off
  • Katrina Onstad
  • Steve Patterson
  • Anna Porter
  • Julian Porter
  • Andrew Pyper
  • Nino Ricci
  • Eden Robinson
  • Antanas Sileika
  • Merilyn Simonds
  • Adam Sol
  • Karen Solie
  • Tabatha Southey
  • Linda Spalding
  • Kirstine Stewart
  • Tanya Talaga
  • Don Tapscott
  • Karen von Hahn
  • Mary Walsh
  • Jessica Westhead
  • Jia Qing Wilson-Yang
  • Jan Wong