Saturday, October 20, 2007

Canadian conventions

Today I have not crossed the continent to go to VCon in Vancouver. Montreal is actually within reach, but last weekend I nevertheless stayed in Kingston and did not attend Con*Cept.

I downloaded the Con*Cept pocket program PDF and looked it through. Immediately I felt the effect of being on several concoms through the years, and could not help critically evaluating the schedule. Are people really going to show up at opening ceremonies at 9 in the morning? (Maybe a cultural difference, at home I wouldn't dream of starting the programming that early.) Is it really a good idea to have Tanya Huff on two consecutive panels? But more important: what topics could I reuse or adapt for another convention? I am really thoroughly indoctrinated to think about these things.

But I think these conventions are about an order of magnitude larger than those I've been involved in organizing. Swedish conventions outside of Stockholm rarely have over 150 members. On the other hand they tend to be more focused on literature, perhaps with a gaming corner and a film room but not with much happening except the panels and talks and fannish games and those things. Not much gaming (you go to a gaming convention instead, where noone has heard of fandom -- i like those too) and very little costuming or filk. (But there are lots of important things happening in the bar of course, where people meet and make grand plans for the future (or just have a good time).)

Anyway. When will I go to a Canadian convention? Perhaps at the end of March, to Ad Astra in Toronto. The web page is ugly and has some navigation problems, and is probably not going to attract anyone who does not know about conventions from other places. It works well for the purpose of informing someone like me, which is probably the intention of it anyway, so I should not complain too much. But this is strange:

If there is a Panel you wish to see please go to the Panel Suggestion Page.

Note: Anything submitted after January 5th, 2007,
may not make it into the panels for 2008.

It has to be a typo, or they will not get any suggestions at all -- and then they could just remove the option to leave suggestions.

Well well. Keycon has a much more attractive web page, and I would be tempted to put it higher on my priority list if it was not located in Winnipeg. Far away. Sort of. Not as far away as Vancouver and VCon, but far enough to scare me a bit even though I'm not sure what it means in money or time. Canada is enormous, in case you didn't know. The distance from Kingston to Winnipeg is 2245 km -- the length of Sweden from north to South is 1572 km.

If I'm going to a convention far away I have my old dream of visiting Readercon, which could be possible now that I'm on the right continent -- this is clearly a higher priority than Keycon.

Moving here has been incredibly expensive, even after being reimbursed for the actual travel costs. As a postdoc I'm better payed than ever in my life, but I'm not yet really sure what that means in practice (with a family to feed and everything). I'll have to start saving soon, and hope that I can afford some travel next year! (I have good hopes for Ad Astra at least.)


Peggi said...

There is a Canadian Filk Conventon as well, usually near the date of Ad Astra - should you be so inclined.

Elliot said...

Ha. That reminds me of what I heard a professor say last Friday. He was talking about the importance of regionalism in American politics, just because our countries are larger. He said "Everything is so much bigger in the New World. Australia is a whole continent. Brazil is half a continent. Denmark, on the other hand, is the size of this room."

Elliot said...

PS: By "American," I mean North and South America.

Elliot said...

PPS: While it would be cool to meet you and your family, even in passing, I'm not sure Keycon is worth the trip. I've never been, since it always seemed over-priced and under-interesting. A friend tells me the key organizers are the owners of a local gaming store, which may give the Con's contents a certain slant.