The popular fan-run Stargate convention, Gatecon, has been an annual highlight for many fans worldwide for the past nine years. This year the show will be taking a break, and GateWorld has the lowdown.
“Our decision to not hold the next Gatecon till 2010 is more of a positive than a negative,” Allan Gowen, co-founder of Gatecon LLC, told GateWorld. “With the current world economic status it is making it harder and harder for people to attend conventions.
“Even though the economic crisis only became evident in 2008, we started to see it’s effects as far back as 2005. Attendee numbers started to drop at the conventions and we would constantly get emails and messages from people who couldn’t attend simply because they couldn’t afford it.”
Do not despair! GateWorld has learned that there are plans for Gatecon to return to Vancouver in 2010 for their 10th anniversary show. “By holding it in summer 2010 it gives everyone over a year and a half to save and make plans for annual leave,” Gowen said.
Fans may not realize the scope in planning a half-week event like Gatecon. In many respects it is a full-time job almost all year around to plan and coordinate, even among a group of dedicated organizers.
“We haven’t had a break in nine years,” Allan told us. “It will be good to sit back this year and not have to worry about running a convention for a change. Even though the convention only happens over one weekend, for us it’s a year-long job and it literally takes over your life in the four to six months leading up to the convention.”
A charity-driven event, Gatecon has raised over a quarter of a million Canadian dollars since its inception, the bulk of which has gone to the Make-A-Wish Foundation dedicated to brightening the lives of children with various medical concerns and disabilities. Last year Gatecon dedicated its convention to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, pulling in around $30,000 to its cause — which Allan says is a typical amount for one of their conventions.
Gatecon 2008 saw the second appearance of Richard Dean Anderson to the Stargate convention stage, the first being Avalon in 2006, and in many respects he was in full form for the very first time.
Amanda Tapping, Richard Dean Anderson and Rick’s daughter Wylie at Gatecon 2008. Click here for the full gallery!
“It was my first outing,” Anderson said at the closing ceremonies. “I mean, Avalon was Avalon. It was great meeting everybody but I felt a little confined. This was fun! So much so that I’d be willing to do this again!”
GateWorld asked Gowen if Richard had anything to do with Gatecon not returning in 2009. “It has been difficult to get hold of Richard for a definite answer about this year,” he said,” but we had made our decision about 2009 well before our cut-off date for the hotel and guest confirmations.”
Don’t think the Gatecon team is going to sit back and turn into couch potatoes! “Over the next few months I am going to be going back and re-visiting the footage from past Gatecons,” Allan said, “and also taking my first look at some footage from our 2005 convention that was thought to be lost to the world.”
Gowen plans at looking to develop re-releases of past DVDs with brand new content, and free-to-view video clips on Gatecon’s new Web site, all of which will be developed in the next couple of months.
Stay with GateWorld for an exclusive, hour-long documentary on Gatecon 2008 arriving very soon!