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, and Noah Richler.

 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. The 2018 recipient is Charles Foran; past Writers’ Trust Fellows include Michael Crummey, Miriam Toews, and most recently, Eden Robinson.

2018 Writers' Trust Fellowship Finalists

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.

Special thanks to the 2018 Writers’ Trust Gala Committee

Kari Cullen, Janet Eger, Marla Lehberg, Ana P. Lopes, Mary Osborne, and Richard Ward.

2018 Gala Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor


Authors Sponsor

Raymond James

First Edition Sponsors

The Globe and Mail
Royal Bank
Thomson Reuters

Hardcover Sponsors

Aird Berlis
Crowe Soberman
Diamond Schmitt Architects
Latner Family Foundation
Marla & David Lehberg
National Bank
Penguin Random House Canada
Don Tapscott & Ana P. Lopes
Toronto Writers' Centre

Paperback Sponsors

  • Apple Books
  • CBC
  • Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd.
  • Kari Cullen
  • Janet Eger
  • Fogler, Rubinoff LLP
  • Allen Garson & Alanna Rondi
  • HarperCollins Canada/Harlequin Enterprises Ltd.
  • Douglas Knight
  • Longview Asset Management
  • Wendy Pitblado
  • Simon & Schuster Canada
  • Think Research


  • Entertainment One
  • Ontario Creates
  • Mark Sakamoto

Mystery Shelf Sponsors

  • AccorHotels
  • Apex Physiotherapy and Massage
  • Artbarn School
  • Ashford Cleaners
  • Avenue Road Arts School
  • Balzac's Coffee Roasters
  • Böehmer Restaurant
  • Buddies in Bad Times Theatre
  • Canadian Stage
  • Canadian War Museum
  • CN Tower/La Tour CN
  • Core Fitness
  • Crow's Theatre
  • Drake Hotel Properties
  • DREAM Unlimited
  • Emblem
  • Fairmont Château Laurier
  • Fairmont Royal York
  • Flow Alkaline Spring Water
  • Forest Hill Spa
  • Four Seasons Hotel Toronto
  • Francesca Salon & Spa
  • Frostbeard Studio
  • Holt Renfrew
  • Humber School for Writers Summer Workshop in Creative Writing
  • Indigo Books & Music Inc.
  • Jenny Bird Jewelry
  • Kids & Company
  • LAC + CO
  • Marissa Martine Photography
  • Metropolitain Brasserie
  • Mirvish Productions
  • Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec
  • National Arts Centre
  • Out of Print Clothing
  • Playwrights Canada Press
  • Prairie Fire
  • Resorts of the Canadian Rockies
  • Ricarda's
  • Rogers Communications Inc.
  • Roots
  • Rose Reisman Catering
  • Roy Thompson Hall
  • Royal Ontario Museum
  • Secret City Adventures
  • Soulpepper Theatre
  • Steam Whistle Brewing
  • Stratford Festival
  • Sushi Making for the Soul
  • Tarragon Theatre
  • The Healthy Butcher
  • The Malahat Review
  • The Printing House
  • The Royal Conservatory of Music
  • The Second City Toronto
  • The Tapscott Group
  • The Theatre Centre
  • the[fix]
  • Theatre Passe Muraille
  • Toronto Athletic Club
  • Track Fitness
  • VIA Rail
  • Victor Restaurant
  • Yuk Yuk's

2018 Guest Authors

  • Katherine Ashenburg
  • Margaret Atwood
  • Dave Bidini
  • Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall
  • Randy Boyagoda
  • Helen Burstyn
  • Ann Y.K. Choi
  • Lynn Crosbie
  • Craig Davidson
  • Cherie Dimaline
  • Rich Donovan
  • Daemon Fairless
  • James FitzGerald
  • Graeme Gibson
  • Rachel Giese
  • Brian Goldman
  • Khalida Hassan
  • Catherine Hernandez
  • Kate Hilton
  • Djamila Ibrahim
  • John Irving
  • Jamil Jivani
  • Amanda Lang
  • Carrianne Leung
  • Harriet Alida Lye
  • Linden MacIntyre
  • Rabindranath Maharaj
  • Stephen Marche
  • James Maskalyk
  • Anne Michaels
  • Kim Moritsugu
  • Sofia Mostaghimi
  • Tanya Neumeyer
  • Carol Off
  • Steve Paikin
  • Polly Phokeev
  • Anna Porter
  • Brent Preston
  • Michael Redhill
  • Elizabeth Renzetti
  • Noah Richler
  • Mark Sakamoto
  • Adam Sol
  • Amy Stuart
  • Tanya Talaga
  • Don Tapscott
  • Jess Taylor
  • Manjushree Thapa
  • Miriam Toews
  • Paul Vermeersch
  • Lindsay Wong
  • David Young