Leonard Leacock was a Canadian pianist, composer, and educator who taught music and musical theory at Mount Royal College for over sixty years. Leacock was born in 1904 in London, England and immigrated in 1908 with his family to Canada where they settled in Banff, Alberta. Leacock started playing the piano at age 14 and was educated in Banff, Calgary, Toronto, and Boston. In 1924 he received an Associate Diploma from the Toronto Conservatory of Music and began his teaching career at Mount Royal College. He also completed his Licentiate Diploma from the Royal Schools of Music in London in 1937. In addition to his work as an educator for Mount Royal College Conservatory of Music, Speech Arts, and Dance, Leacock served as President of the Registered Music Teacher's Association, Calgary Branch, and was an examiner for the Western Board of Music.
Leacock composed compositions for orchestra, piano, strings, voice, and other instruments. Some of his most well known compositions include "The Lonely Lake", "Tic-Toc-atina", and "Sea Horses" which became popular with piano teachers and students, often being used as a competition test piece. Leacock gave many performances at Mount Royal College and performed with both the Calgary Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra and the Aeolian Chamber Music Series. Leacock gave his last public performance in 1975 in the Leacock Theater which was dedicated in his honor in 1972 during the opening of the new Mount Royal Lincoln Park Campus. During his lifetime Leacock received many awards for his compositions and teaching. Most prominently, he received an Alberta Achievement award for service to music from the provincial government in 1985 and became a Member of the Order of Canada in 1986.
In addition to his musical and teaching career, Leacock was also well known for his interest in amateur photography and mountaineering. He spent many of his weekends and summers hiking the Rockies and around Banff. One of his photographs was published in National Geographic in 1947 and his work was exhibited at the Brussels International fair in 1958. Some of his work is still on display around Mount Royal University in the Leacock and Wright theaters. Leacock was also a frequent speaker giving talks about his climbing and mountaineering adventures to groups such as the Knights of the Round Table and at the Banff Springs Hotel.
Leonard Leacock passed away on December 3,1992. More of his papers and photographs can be found in the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies in Banff.