Saturday started with an intelligent and humorous panel discussion by Cohen scholars, professors Stephen Scobie, Ira B Nadel, and Brian Trehearne. Their talks concluded with a lively Question and Answer session with the audience. - At least Stephen's paper will soon be posted on this site.

On Saturday afternoon, Jacob Potashnik and Tony Babinski showed their short film Leonard Light My Cigarette and explained how and why the video was made. They also shared insights on their manuscript to film version of Beautiful Losers, which is waiting for final approvals before being filmed. During the afternoon, authors Christof Graf, Ira Nadel, and Stephen Scobie autographed their works, Lizzie Madder and Ania Nowakowska were among the craftspeople with wonderful items for sale. An exciting time was had by all, and Bravo and NFB of Canada captured much of the activity on film. Afterwards, many participants rushed to their rooms to dress for the special dinner and evening fun.
Lizzie Madder and Geoff Gompers were the friendly and stylish hosts of the Event Dinner at Moishe's. Lizzie delighted the crowd with her wonderful table decorations, including boxes of chocolates, thin green candles, long stem roses, and souvenir Cohen bookmarks. Geoff welcomed all diners, and led us in a moment of silence for Losers we have recently lost, noting the passing of both Sandy Merriman and Robert Robillard. Wonderful steaks, seafood, wine, and great company made the dinner a huge success.

Tom Dukovcic, Australia, was a major sponsor who stepped in at a critical moment to provide indispensable financial support for The Event. Tom received Cohen books and memorabilia from Bill Van Dyk, chairman of the organizing committee.

Saturday evening continued with a tribute concert by The Damn Personals from Boston. The young rock band captivated the audience with their fresh arrangements of Leonard's songs, including an unusual interpretation of First We Take Manhattan. Read more about the band on their own webpage.
The Open Mic session Saturday night was a tremendous success, with many friends singing and reading Leonard's work, or work inspired by him. Suzanne Holland, a blind singer born in South Africa, now living in San Francisco, was a special treat. She became the symbol of this Event with her beautiful renditions of "Suzanne", "Joan of Arc", and "Sisters of Mercy". Suzanne and her caring friend Michael Epstein were masters of all languages, being able to speak with almost every participant in his or her mother tongue (yes -- even in Finnish!) Jan Erik Lundqvist from Sweden was another professional singer and the audience got wild with his Swedish version of Take This Waltz ("Ta min vals"). He is soon going to release a Cohen tribute album in Swedish. - Photos: Karen & Lester; Ira. - Suzanne and Jan Erik are featured on other pages of this report. Open Mic Guests: Don Cummer (Memories), Karen Weitzner (Anthem), Karen Weitzner and Lester Hirsh (Hey That's No Way to Say Goodbye), Suzanne Holland (Suzanne, Sisters of Mercy), Stephen Scobie (poem inspired by Cohen), Natalie Fuhr (poem about Cohen), Julie Couvrette and Don Cummer (Un Canadien Errant, also in sign language), Alex Dillon (original song), Ira S. Murfin (reading from Beautiful Losers), Aaron Kahn (reading of Chapter 27, Book of Mercy), Jonathan Wexler, Natacha Cras, Jan Erik Lundqvist (Take This Waltz in Swedish)

Open Mic photos © by Ania Nowakowska. Other photos © by Eija and Jarkko Arjatsalo. Used by permission.