Grand plans and call for volunteers

Thanks to the wonderful generosity of our sponsors and the Calgary Expo team, we will be hosting a charity screening of Serenity (2005) as part of the official Calgary Expo programming on Friday, April 17, 2015.

If all goes as planned, this will be the first of three planned screenings taking part throughout Alberta (Edmonton in Sept, Lethbridge in Nov) to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the Alberta Browncoats Society and the 10th anniversary of the Big Damn Movie!

As with our screening at Edmonton Expo in 2014, this screening will be an un-ticketed event; your Calgary Expo ticket (Friday or Weekend pass) is all you need to come join in on the fun.

However, this is a charity screening so donations will be greatly appreciated. Donors will receive a draw ticket making them eligible for door prizes. Remember last year when we gave away Nathan Fillion autographed items as door prizes? Keep that in mind. This year’s donations are equally epic!

Of course, an event like this (and our charity booth) can’t run by itself. If you are attending Calgary Expo and are interested in volunteering to help at the screening or at our charity booth, please send us a wave by March 31, 2015 with your contact information.

And we’re home… Calgary Expo 2014

Huge kudos to our amazing volunteer team for all their hard work this weekend. Our booth staff give a lot of themselves to attend the Calgary Expo each year. They pay their own way (gas, food, lodging) and take vacations days from work to make our booth an amazing place to complete all your “guilt free” shopping . Next time you see them give them a big thumbs up for their dedication to our organisation year after year.

Thanks to the phenomenal support of Calgary Expo attendees, we raised a record $5575 CAD for charity! Pat yourselves on the backs; you deserve it!

The breakdown for the funds raised this past weekend are:

*Funds were distributed to G.R.I.T Calgary on April 28th. As YESS, KNTR and EN are all beneficiaries of our on-line auction, we will be completing our donations to these organizations later in May.

Thanks also go out to Matt Stevens (Geekographs) and the South Eastern Browncoats for their donations to our table raffles this weekend.

We also owe a debt of gratitude to Kyla Richards (Kyla Richards Sculpture Studio), Matthew Bryan, Felicia Day, Nathan Fillion and Jason Palmer (Jason Palmer Studios) for their amazing donations to our next charity auction scheduled for this fall!

Calgary Expo 2014

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

Please stop by our Alberta Browncoats booth (#200) at the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo (April 24-27, 2013) and help us raise funds for G.R.I.T. Calgary SocietyEquality NowKids Need to Read, and Edmonton’s Youth Empowerment & Support Services (YESS).

Calgary Expo 2014 - Floor Map for Booth 200

Click to embiggen – Calgary Expo 2014 Floor Map – Booth 200

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

  • James Hance‘s “The Shiny Gang” prints
  • “Serenity Crew” car decals
  • QMx Mal Reynolds dog tags
  • QMx maquettes – Wash, Inara, Book and Penny (Dr. Horrible)
  • ‘Verse related t-shirts (limited quantities)
  • and so much more!

Browncoat Charity: No Power in the Verse Can Stop Us
Got fandom? Want to make a difference in the world around you? Our Calgary Expo panel will discuss the pitfalls and successes of organizing and running a fandom based non-profit.

The panel will be held in the Palomino C room from 11:30AM – 12:15PM on Sunday, April 27, 2014.

Calgary Expo – Results

After months of planning and organizing, we loaded two vehicles with stock and shelving and headed off to Calgary on April 25th. Many long hours and forgotten meals later we’re happy to announce we had a wonderful convention.

When we say we’re a charity booth at a convention, and that all profits from our booth go to our chosen charities, we really mean it. Much of our stock is provided on consignment from other Browncoat groups and craftspeople (they rock!). Our hats are knit by volunteers. Our booth is manned by volunteers who pay their own gas, hotel, and food bills while at the convention. The booth fees and banner costs are covered by our amazing sponsors (Christie Communications, CHAS, Jay C Noden Professional Corp, & Happy Harbor Comics). We do use some of the funds raised to pay for autographs for items used in our charity auctions throughout the year.  Once we pay our outstanding stock bills, the remainder is provided to our charity partners.

This year the Alberta Browncoats Society raised $3167 for charity at the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo (CCEE). The funds will be distributed to our charity partners as follows:

We could not have stocked our booth without the help and support of the following organizations:

A little convention history…
We’ve been hosting a charity booth at the Calgary Expo since 2011. In our first year, our society’s Chair and a Director decided to try manning a charity convention booth as a “proof of concept”. They personally paid for all stock and fees associated with the convention. Our stock was so tiny that we shared a single booth with two amazing Alberta based small businesses: Geek Badge and Dragon Chow Dice Bags. All three of us crammed ourselves into a 10×10 booth, placed our tables in a U shape and hoped for the best. At the end of the convention, we’d raised $1000 for charity and believed the convention to be a success. The funds raised at the convention were added to the Can’t Stop The Serenity (CSTS) event charity totals for 2011.

We weren’t the geniuses you see before you back then, so we didn’t think of doing important things like saving some funds to reimburse the stock costs or booth fees to our members!

In spring of 2012, we shared a bigger booth space with Geek Badge and Dragon Chow at CCEE. Thanks to a few amazing Browncoat groups (see list above), we arranged for some stock to sell at the booth on consignment. Our knitting team had grown and we managed to bring 200 hats with us. Of course those hats sold out quickly! We’d learned our lesson from 2011 and paid our 2013 booth fees before making our charitable donation. After we paid for our stock, we rolled the profits into our 2012 CSTS event donation.

In fall of 2012, the Edmonton Comic and Entertainment Expo (ECEE) launched. We quickly arranged for a booth and stock and threw ourselves into manning a booth in our hometown. We’ve learned a lot about manning a convention booth along the way and one of the most important things is that you need to be able to pay for your booth (in subsequent years), stock, and still have a great donation at the end of the convention. We also realized that we need to separate our convention based charity donations from our CSTS event.  The CSTS event needs to stand on it’s own two feet – even if that means that the annual donation from the event is smaller than in previous years. Otherwise, we can’t afford to continue running our charity booths at conventions. At the end of our first Edmonton Expo, we’d raised $500 for YESS.

And the rest, as they say, is history…


Busy Little Browncoats

April is shaping up to be a busy month.

First, there was #jaynehatgate.

Now we’ve got coffee and knitting hats of a certain colour & style scheduled for April 10th & 24th. For our musically inclined members, we’ve got a weekly knitting & karaoke session every Friday evening. On April 20th we’re hosting a screening of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-along Blog at Happy Harbor Comics (CSTS Affiliate event) followed on April 21st selling 50/50 tickets at an Oiler’s game on behalf of Then it’s off to Calgary at the end of the month for the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo (Fri-Sun) and a Browncoats Shindig featuring Vanessa Cardui on April 27th.


When we said we’d be working to make this group a lot more than 1 or 2 social events a year, we weren’t kidding.

For more details on any of the events listed on this page, please see our Shindig calendar.