Calgary Expo: Goodbye and Thanks for all the Fish

Those of you who know me know I love to cross the fandom streams.

Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo 2017 marked our 7th and final year as a vendor at this wonderful convention. CCEE is where we got our feet wet running charity booths and met people who have become as much family as they have been friends.

We’ve been attending Calgary Expo since 2010 and have always had a wonderful time. Each year we’ve watched it grow in size and duration and we’ve had a ball meeting Browncoats from around the world. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end – even if only temporarily.

For those of you who aren’t aware, the AB Browncoats is a 100% volunteer run organization. In addition to volunteering our time, those of us who attend conventions also personally pay for the privilege to chat with you, sell you draw tickets and shiny goodies, and run panels, screenings, or post-con concert events.

What this means in practical terms is that convention volunteers take vacation days from work, pay to travel all around the province to conventions, pay their own hotel and food bills, and often pay for tickets to attend the convention just to stand behind a booth all day when extra vendor badges are required.  In our first few years of operation, these individuals also pooled funds to pay the booth rental fees and for all stock carried at the booth. Dedication and love kept this group flying at conventions in its early years and shiny fans like yourselves ensured we were always able to donate funds to a variety of service organizations.

One thing has remained constant over the years, our volunteers give a lot of themselves to each and every one of our events and we’ve never properly acknowledged their sacrifices and commitment.

Due to changing life events – our board chair is returning to school while working full-time, other board members have changed jobs and have limited vacation time, while still others have retired and are living on fixed incomes, etc. – we are unable to staff and finance the annual trek to Calgary in 2018. Accepting this reality broke our hearts a little, as we’ve met so many wonderful people, had a great time on our travels, and know the chances of returning to Calgary Expo as a vendor in years to come with be a challenge as the waiting list is long.

While we’ll be absent from Calgary Expo for a while, we hope to continue to see you out and about in our home base of Edmonton.

2016 Calgary Expo

This year our small pool of volunteers continued to work long and hard to bring all the shiniest goodies in the ‘verse to our Browncoat brethren.  Thanks to the amazing generosity of our con family, Alan arranged for the creation and donation of 49 custom  Browncoat Powerseed devices using a design by member Nat Dempsey.

We didn’t host a Serenity screening this year, but we did manage to donate an impressive $2695 to charities as a result of booth sales and donations.

The donation breakdown from Calgary Expo 2016 is as follows:

  • GRIT Society (Calgary): $2045
  • Kids Need to Read: $208.00
  • Canadian Red Cross (Ft. McMurray Fire Appeal): $500

Thank you everyone for making this a great experience. See you next year (or, at Edmonton Expo in Sept!)

Calgary Expo: Wrap-up

We have to admit, out hearts jumped into our throats when we learned Neil Patrick Harris was not only coming to Calgary Expo as a last minute addition, but that he’d been scheduled for a panel at the same time as our charity Serenity screening. But, you lovely, loyal and amazing Browncoats proved we had nothing to be worried about. Despite the conflict in scheduling, 110 Browncoats eschewed NPH and came to our screening, raising $669.  Our booth raised another $1382 for a total of $2051 to donate to charity this month.

The donation breakdown is as follows:

  • GRIT Society (Calgary): $1080
  • Kids Need to Read: $505.50
  • YESS (Edmonton): $332.50
  • Northern Food Bank: $133

Thank you everyone for making this a great experience. See you next year (or, at Edmonton Expo in Sept!)

Calgary Expo – Booth & Screening Updates

New shiny goodies. Same location. Same old charity fundraising*.

Please stop by our Alberta Browncoats booth (#200) at the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo (April 16-19, 2015) and help us raise funds for G.R.I.T. Calgary SocietyKids Need to Read, and Edmonton’s Youth Empowerment & Support Services (YESS).

Click to embiggen – Calgary Expo 2015 Floor Map – Booth 200

Along with our usual Jayne hats, we’ll have some amazing new items at our booth sure to please.

Click on photos to enlarge & view some “new to us” items we’ll be featuring at the booth this year.

Serenity Charity Screening
Date: Friday, April 17
Time: 6 – 9 pm

Don your best flowery bonnet, grab your rain stick & join the Alberta Browncoats for a charity screening of Serenity (2005). This is an un-ticketed event; your Calgary Expo ticket (Friday or Weekend pass) is all you need to come join in on the fun.

Cashy money donations will be greatly appreciated. Donors will be eligible for door prizes, including some autographed items from the cast. We’ll also have a quick live auction* with 1-2 amazing items donated by the cast.

Costumes & Evil Laughs welcome.

*Cash/Credit payments will be accepted for all booth sales and the live auction items at the Serenity screening. At this time, Debit is not an available payment option.

Calgary Expo: Call for Volunteers

If you are attending Calgary Expo and are interested in volunteering to help at the Serenity screening Friday evening or at our charity booth (Thursday – Sunday), please send us a wave by March 15, 2015 with your contact information.

Help is always desperately needed. Shifts for new volunteers are 2-3 hours, based on volunteer preference, and new volunteers are always be paired with experienced booth staff.

For volunteers in Edmonton & Area, a general orientation session will be held Thurs, April 2nd at the Carrot (9351 118 Avenue NW) from 7 pm – 8-ish pm. Volunteers from outside of the Edmonton area will get a “crash course” at the booth one hour before their first shift.