Sept 28/29 – Edmonton Expo

Edmonton’s Comic and Entertainment Expo is upon us. You’ll be able to find the shiniest charity booth beside Happy Harbor Comics (#1209) and the Comic Legends Legal Defense Fund (CLLDF) (#1208) booths.

We’re extremely excited to have another chance to spend time with a bunch of great browncoats and a few personal heroes as well. Both Geekographs (#821) and Jason Palmer Studios (#709) will be at the convention.

Both of these wonderful individuals have personally helped us raise a significant amount of money for charity. Matt (Geekographs) traditionally donates a beautiful piece of metal art to our booth which we raffle off before the end of the weekend. Not to be outdone, Jason has been donating copies of his limited edition Calgary Expo prints to our annual charity auction for the past few years.

We can’t wait to see what they donate this weekend!

The proceeds of our booth sales this weekend will be donated to YESS, the Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts, and Kids Need to Read. We’ll also have a few Equality Now specific items on hand should you want to support that great organization as well.

So don’t forget, come visit booth 1211 this weekend. Help us end our year with a big bang!

Not sure where booth 1211 is?  No worries. Here’s a handy dandy map!


(click to embiggen)

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…


Round of applause

With Edmonton Expo and the Pure Spec knit-a-thon right around the corner, it’s time to take a few moments and thank our knitting army. They work their fingers to the bone to help raise funds for EQ, KNTR, and!

When you buy a hat from us, please keep in mind that our knitters devote countless hours making these hats. OK, some of them counted and have determined they’ve spent over 750 hours knitting Jayne Hats over the past 12 months (Bev, Sheelagh)!

The team is made up of many people and varying skill levels. Some are locally made (Edm & area), some are made by friends and family of AB Browncoats located in other provinces (BC, NB) and we even have a volunteer knitter located in OH, USA!

Sometimes hats are big. Sometimes they’re tiny. Sometimes there’s a dropped stitch or slightly silly ribbing. As we all know, Ma Cobb had some challenges knitting the perfect hat as well… All are perfect as they raise funds for great charities.

So from all of us, to our knitting team, thanks so much for everything you do!