Mirthful mayor honoured with humour award
By John Bermingham, Province Newspaper
He’s the clown prince of city hall.
Vancouver Mayor Larry Campbell has donned a clown nose during council meetings.
He’s staged a punch-up with colleague Jim Green and flaunted his Scottish kilt all over town.
For putting the silly back into city hall, Campbell has just won Vancouver’s first “humour in the workplace” award.
“He’s really put a human face on city hall,” said Lee-Anne Ragan, spokeswoman for corporate training firm Rock Paper Scissors, which chose Campbell as its winner.
“People feel they can contribute more. If you feel that people are approachable you are more likely to make a significant contribution.”
Campbell was away from city hall yesterday, but staffers and councillors were pleased he won.
He has brought in local entertainers to brighten up turgid council meetings and his quips and one-liners frequently appear on CBC Radio One’s Quinn’s Quiz segment.
“He knows lots of jokes about kilts, but they’re not suitale for a family publication,” said his executive assistant, Geoff Meggs.
After posing as a bruised boxer for a magazine photo shoot late last year, Campbell attended a high-level meeting still wearing his makeup. He told a shocked deputy police chief that Coun. Green had just given him a lickin’ in the hallway.
Green said Campbell started hamming it up and he jumped on it.
“He started it,” said Green. “We had the time of our lives. The staff enjoyed it and it built morale.
“Larry is a very serious guy, being a former coroner and an RCMP guy,” said Green. “You can’t be gloomy all the time.
“It’s totally deserved. It’s a lot of fun being around him.”
Meggs said Campbell will often don his trademark kilt and attend two or three social events a night.
“He thinks life is to be enjoyed and if you are not enjoying it, you are doing something wrong,” said Meggs.
The mayor gets the last laugh – he’s currently fighting off sunburn on an official trip to Australia. He’ll receive the award May 25 at Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club.