The Alberta Browncoats Society is a registered not-for-profit society, Alberta Registration #5015011389, formed in Edmonton in 2009. We are a fan-run, volunteer organization in no way affiliated with FOX, Universal, or any other license holders of Firefly, Serenity, or any other Joss Whedon product.
The annual Can’t Stop the Serenity charity screening was one of our main fundraising events from 2010-2013. Our members also participate in local charity events, such as the YESS.org Homeless for a Night camp out, host movie and web series screenings and operate sales booths at Sci-Fi and comic book conventions in Western Canada.
While the Alberta Browncoats society is a non-profit society it is not currently a registered charity in Alberta or the rest of Canada. As such we cannot issue charitable tax receipts. However, donations are always appreciated to help defray costs associated with the Can’t Stop the Serenity fundraising event.
What is a Browncoat?
Browncoat is a term applied to fans of the short-lived television series Firefly. The name is based on a nickname for the Independent Faction from the series. When the show was in danger of being cancelled fans campaigned heavily for it’s renewal. While their efforts to save the show failed, their support through DVD sales (a dedicated fan base to be sure), resulted in a movie being made based on the TV show. The movie, Serenity, was released in 2005.
What differentiates Browncoats from other fans who participate in ”save our show” campaigns is their high degree of dedication and involvement in local and global charitable works. Over the years, Browncoats around the world have donated thousands of dollars to charities such as Equality Now, Kids Need to Read, Food Banks, Women’s Hospitals, The Waterkeeper’s Alliance, and The Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation.
Can’t Stop the Serenity is a worldwide benefit movement created by fans in support of Equality Now – an international organization that works for the protection and promotion of human rights for women and girls around the world. As the event has grown in scale it has evolved to include support for locally based charties as well as Equality Now.
Why start a society now?
A few years ago a couple of Browncoats moved to Edmonton.
“Shiny”, they thought. “We’re now living in the hometown of Captain Tightpants himself. We’ll finally get to go to a Can’t Stop the Serenity screening.”
But it was not to be. The Browncoats hadn’t landed in time and Edmonton was going through a CSTS drought. No shiny screenings were anywhere to be found. So the Browncoats traveled far away, across treacherous mountains or prairies, to see screenings in other towns. And the Browncoats were very sad. Money they could have spent donating to the cause was being spent on flights, food and accommodations.
One year, the Edmonton based Browncoats traveled to the mythical land of enchantment – San Diego Comic Con – where they met many California and Austin Browncoats. There, they described their CSTS plight and were gently but firmly reminded that if they wanted to see a CSTS screening in Edmonton, perhaps they shouldn’t wait for others to organize one. Instead, they should get off their duff’s and organize one themselves. To sweeten the deal other, more experienced, CSTS veterans offered to help guide the Edmonton Browncoats through the planning and organizing process to help them get started.
After much whining and gnashing of teeth, the Edmonton-based Browncoats realized that the California and Austin Browncoats were right. Realizing that they couldn’t go it alone they gathered up a shiny crew and stomped off into the fray. The rest is history.