GateWorld’s guide to summer conventions
While some areas of the United States are only just now beginning to feel like spring has arrived, the startling part is that summer itself is only a bit more than a month away. Children aren’t in school for the summer, and many families will go on a summer vacation or two. And for fans of Stargate, sometimes there’s no better way to spend the summer than getting to meet your favorite stars at conventions!
It’s in that spirit that GateWorld presents a guide to this summer’s upcoming cons — a listing and description of some of the potentially best events for Stargate and genre fans. While some events this summer are well-known – like the cons put on by our good friends at Creation Entertainment, there are others that are brand-new or nearly new and struggling for notice. Others are completely fan-run, and some are purely charity events. But with some small exceptions, there is a convention in the United States featuring Stargate actors almost every weekend.
Below is a list of this summer’s notable events, covering the span from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
- TimeGate 2011 — Returning to Atlanta at the end of this month is TimeGate, a small, intimate event that is big on fun. TimeGate celebrates Doctor Who and Stargate, and this year’s big Stargate guest is Mike Dopud (SGU‘s Varro, among a number of other roles over the years). Also look for the less famous but equally spectacular David Read from GateWorld, plus Stargate novelist and frequent GateWorld Podcast guest) Diana Botsford! TimeGate will be held May 27-29.
- Creation Entertainment (Vancouver) Star Trek — Running from June 10-12 in Vancouver, B.C. (Stargate’s home!). While it’s technically a Trek-only themed event, several Stargate alumni will be attending including Connor Trinneer (“Michael”) and Rene Auberjonois (“Alar”)
- Wizard World Comic-Con (Philadelphia) — Quickly gaining popularity nationwide, Wizard World events draw both massive amounts of comic book and sci-fi fans, and it’s growing size shows in the quality and number of media guests they are able to pull in each year. The Philadelphia event, which will run from June 17-19, will feature appearances by Alaina Huffman (“Tamara Johansen”), Julia Benson (“Lt. Vanessa James”) and Adam Baldwin (“Dave Dixon”, Firefly, Chuck).
- Trek Expo (Tulsa, Oklahoma) – Running June 24-26, the Expo is going strong as it gears up for its twenty-third year. Special events for this year include charity auctions and a cast reunion of the series Buck Rogers & The 25th Century. Stargate actors in attendance include Christopher Judge (“Teal’c”), Jewel Staite (“Jennifer Keller”) and Armin Shimmerman (“Anteaus”).
- StarCon 2011 (Richmond, B.C.) — A first-year event that is also a charity event with proceeds going to Sanctuary For Kids. The impressive list of actors attending include notables from Battlestar Galactica, Eureka, Farscape and many, many more. Stargate alumni include Julia Benson, Pierre Bernard Jr. (“O’Brien”), Bill Butt (SGU‘s “Vince Kwan”), Frank Cassini (“Col. Grieves”), Mike Dopud (“Varro”), Aaron Douglas (“Moac”), Peter Flemming (“Agent Malcolm Barrett”), Barclay Hope (“Col. Pendergast”), Peter Kelamis (“Adam Brody”), Niall Matter (Atlantis’ “Lt. Kemp”), Aleks Paunovic (“Shaq’rel”), Dan Payne (various roles), Dan Shea (“Siler”), Cliff Simon (“Baal”), Jennifer Spence (“Dr. Lisa Park”), Craig Veroni (“Grodin”) and Alex Zahara (various roles). Con organizers are aiming for the event to be the “Canadian version of the San Diego Comic-Con with a little bit of DragonCon thrown in.” Also planned is a Guinness Book of World Records attempt for “Most People Dressed as Aliens In One Place”. StarCon 2011 will run June 24-26.
- Creation (Parsippany, NJ) Star Trek – Also running June 24-26 on the East Coast, with a great mix of talent from all four of the Trek iterations. Stargate alumni attending are currently identical to June’s Vancouver event.
- Shore Leave 33 (Baltimore, MD) — This long running fan-run event has a great mix of actors from many different series that include Warehouse 13, Star Trek, Sanctuary and more. Christopher Judge, Cliff Simon and John de Lancie (“Col. Frank Simmons”) are scheduled to appear. The event will also feature real-life astronaut John Grunsfeld. Shore Leave 33 kicks off the new month, running July 8-10.
- Creation (Boston, MA) Star Trek – Running July 15-17, Connor Trinneer will be in attendance. Also scheduled to appear is “Captain James T. Kirk” himself, William Shatner.
- Cyphan 2 (Chicago) — Running July 29-31, this multi-genre con enters its second year in the Windy City. Completely fan-run, it successfully caters to genre as a whole with emphasis on sci-fi, fantasy and steampunk. Ticket prices are economical, allowing for more purchasing in the massive vendor room. Scheduled special events include a robot room, film screenings, a costumed “Imperial Ball”, and a reunion of stars from the original Battlestar Galactica. Following in first-year guest Jewel Staite’s footsteps, this year’s headlining guest of honor is fellow Atlantis cast member Robert Picardo (“Richard Woolsey”). Stars from both Star Trek and Babylon 5 will also be on hand.
- Creation (Nashville, TN) Star Trek — Also being held July 29-31, with Stargate alums Connor Trinneer and Armin Shimmerman in attendance.
- Wizard World Comic-Con (Chicago) — Think June’s Philadelphia event, but on a larger overall scale. Some of genre’s biggest names and legendary actors are in attendance this year — including Bruce Campbell, Felicia Day, Patrick Stewart, Christopher Lloyd and more. Cast members from Buffy, Angel, Torchwood, Eureka, and Star Trek (among others) will also be making appearances. Stargate actors making the trip to the Windy City include Julia Benson, Alaina Huffman, Morena Baccarin (“Adria”, Firefly, V) and Louis Gossett Jr. (“Gerak”). Opens with a preview on August 11, but officially open for full days from August 12-14.
- Creation (Las Vegas) Star Trek – Also running from August 11-14, Creation’s largest Star Trek event of the year is host to more celebrity guests than any other — which means more actors with Stargate ties, too. Connor Trinneer, Armin Shimmerman, Rene Auberjonois and John de Lancie are currently scheduled to appear.
- Creation (Chicago) Stargate — If you’re looking for some of the most Stargate bang for your convention dollar, this is one of the best ways to do it. Creation’s annual Chicago event is their largest Stargate event of the year — featuring almost as many celebs and more attendees than the Vancouver annual event. Scheduled to appear currently are Ben Browder (“Cameron Mitchell”), Christopher Judge, Joe Flanigan (“Col. John Sheppard”), Kavan Smith (“Major Lorne”), David Hewlett (“Rodney McKay”), J.R. Bourne (“Martouf”), Alexis Cruz (“Skaara”), Gary Jones (“Sgt. Walter Harriman”), Paul McGillion (“Dr. Carson Beckett”), Alex Zahara and Dan Payne. The convention runs August 19-21.
- Trek-Gate to your Star (Dusseldorf, Germany) – Summer’s only sci-fi convention with Stargate actors in Europe, this first-year event features Robert Picardo. But it’s even more notable for the other Atlantis cast member attending: a rare convention appearance by “Elizabeth Weir” herself, Torri Higginson. Who says Americans have all the luck? The event runs August 27-28.
Many of these conventions also feature actors not involved in any way with Stargate. Clicking on the event name will take you to the event’s full Web site which features the most up-to-date information. And as always with conventions, everything from schedules to guests is subject to change. Members of GateWorld’s editorial staff may also be present at a handful of the listed conventions, so if you see us there, don’t be a stranger!
Keep your browser locked on GateWorld for more news as it happens, and check out our complete Conventions Calendar to see what else might be happening in your area this year.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chad Colvin is a GateWorld editor and convention correspondent. He lives near Madison, Wisconsin. Follow him on Twitter @ChadColvin. (More)
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