Annual fan convention returns to Thunder BayCBC News · Posted: Sep 29, 2021 12:30 PM ET Last Updated: 6 hours ago
After being cancelled for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Thunder Bay's fan convention has its sights set on a big return next year. ThunderCon has announced the dates for its next two-day convention: Sept. 17 and 18, 2022, at the CLE grounds.
"I'm encouraged, and the board is encouraged with the level of vaccination in the region," ThunderCon chancellor Kevin Taylor said. "I think by next year a lot of the questions about how that is administered will be answered, and so we should have an easier time of having patrons understand why it's necessary."
"Hopefully, we are not dealing with any spike in COVID-19, or any new variations, that are going to derail us, but I think this gives us enough time to put our potential sponsors, exhibitors, vendors and everybody else on notice that we will be back, and can start planning with an actual date in place and on the books."
"That's probably our biggest and most urgent challenge, is to reconfirm some of the guests that we've been talking to before the last event was cancelled ... to hopefully find predominantly Canadian guests," he said. "We're hoping to avoid some of the international travel issues that could come up."
More announcements are expected in the coming months, Taylor said.
Organizers say they may hold some smaller events in the interim, but Thundercon will be back bigger and better in 2022.
THUNDER BAY – Even superheroes can’t break COVID-19 restrictions.
As a result, Thundercon has made it official and cancelled its 2021 event, promising to be back next year, with some smaller events held between now and then.
COVID-19 was cited as the reason for the cancellation, the second straight year the popular event has been sidelined.
“Even if we are technically allowed to hold an event of this size this fall, the uncertainty at this stage significantly restricts our ability to book guests, arrange travel and accommodation and properly prepare for a safe experience for attendees,” said event chancellor Kevin Taylor.
“We are planning some smaller events to lead us through the next year as we focus on our talented vendor community and will be back at the CLE grounds Fall 2022.”
On Friday the province announced it would move Ontarians into Step 3 of its reopening plan, which would permit larger indoor and outdoor gatherings.
There simply wasn’t enough time to pull off an event the size of Thundercon, which continues to grow each year.
Link to article HERE
Thunder Bay's popular fan convention has been cancelled for the second year in a row.
Organizers of ThunderCon said the 2021 edition of the two-day event won't take place, due to uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic.
We are moving into stage three [of reopening], but an exhibition takes a lot of planning," ThunderCon chancellor Kevin Taylor said. "We have many vendors and potential guests and, you know, out of town arrangements and travel.
"We certainly want to ensure that it's a safe environment for our patrons and guests."
The good news, Taylor said, is smaller ThunderCon-related events are being planned.
"Over the next year, we're hoping to focus more on events that can assist our our vendors and sponsors, and get them some more promotional opportunities, and, of course, get them ready for another event," Taylor said.
More information about those events will be coming over the next few weeks, he said.
Organizers are also turning their attention to the next full, two-day ThunderCon, which is scheduled for fall 2022, which will take place at the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition grounds, Taylor said.
"We have a venue, and that's a big thing for us," he said. "We have certainly some time to arrange both new agreements with past sponsors, and hopefully some new sponsors over the next year, where we can lock down some additional guests."
"We actually do have a couple in the pipe, but we won't be announcing those yet," Taylor said. "We're looking to come back bigger and better."
Link to article HERE
CBC's Journalistic Standards and Practices|
About CBC News
Report Typo or Error
CBC News · Posted: May 04, 2020 2:41 PM ET | Last Updated: May 4
Thunder Bay's popular annual fan convention, ThunderCon, won't take place this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers said Monday.
ThunderCon had been scheduled to take place in September 2020 at the CLE grounds, but the event has been pushed back until September 2021.
"You can't put people at risk for this, just for fun," said Heather Dickson, ThunderCon's media director. "Even though we love ThunderCon, and we love to get together, and we love to geek out, we certainly don't want to do that, risk harming somebody, risk harming communities, entire communities. That takes the fun out of it."
Dickson said a lot of work had already gone into this year's event, with guests booked. Organizers reached out to the guests — none of whom had been announced yet — last week, and they're expected to be able to attend next year's ThunderCon.
The outbreak also forced ThunderCon organizers to halt sponsorship requests, as well.
"You can't go look for fundraising and sponsorship when small businesses are struggling," Dickson said. "Then you hit May, there's just no way we can recoup the month lost."
Dickson said the delay may end up helping the next ThunderCon, as most of the hard work has been done.
"What we're going to try to do this year is, once we can start to have some limited ... social contact, like small groups, we want to start doing stuff for our sponsors, for our vendors," she said. "When we start announcing our guests for next year, we're not just going to announce that on Facebook — we're going to try to actually have an event around each of them."
"The programming that we've got coming, too, which is not just guests, but groups and people bringing in things to do, interactive events and interactive programs ... we're like, 'oh my goodness this is going to be incredible,' but we had no idea how that's going to look, or where we're going to put all that," Dickson said. "We've got a whole year to figure that out now, so it might actually work in our favour."
Dickson said guests will likely start being announced in the fall.
The next ThunderCon is scheduled to take place in September 2021 at the CLE grounds.
Here is the LINK to the article at CBC Thunder Bay.
Franchise fans eager to see how J.J. Abrams wrapped up a saga more than 40 years in the making.
By Leith Dunick
THUNDER BAY – Jawas, stormtroopers and BB-8 were out in full force on Thursday night, as Star Wars fans celebrated the release of the Rise of Skywalker.
Fans flocked to Thunder Bay’s SilverCity Cinemas, eager to see how director J.J. Abrams handled the end of the nine-movie franchise.
Darren Cano was among the first to arrive on Thursday night, joining dozens of others in full costume in anticipation, an event he helped organize in celebration of all things Star Wars.
“We have tons of people excited for this movie. As you can see, we have lots of costumed people behind us from the 501st Legion,” Cano said.
“We’ve been pumped about this movie for quite a while, to kind of close out the franchise. We love seeing other fans come out and dress up. It’s going to be an awesome event tonight and we’re really looking forward to the turnout.”
The Rise of Skywalker hits the silver screen more than 42 years after Star Wars’ initial 1977 release.
Die-hard fans, who complained about the ending to the previous installment, The Last Jedi, were hoping for a storyline that stuck more to the Star Wars universe canon, relying less on surprises, like the death of Luke Skywalker. They also hit the theatre looking for answers to several questions, most notably the origin of Rey, the female Jedi poised to keep the order alive. The movie’s multiple trailers created a whole new batch of questions, notably Rey apparently turning to the dark side of the Force and C-3PO declaring he was looking at his friends for the last time.
Heather Dickson, the chair of the annual ThunderCon event, was also on hand for Thursday’s opening night.
It’s exciting, she said.
“This is the premiere for Thunder Bay. Everybody’s got the energy. We’re all jazzed about it and I think the whole city is turning out over the next few days. It’s bringing back your inner child. You get to be that kid again, that fan,” Dickson said.
Being one of the first to see the film is also pretty cool, she added.
“I think there is something about a premiere, or a first showing of anything, right? Because you’re on the cutting edge and there’s an energy – it’s not be out two weeks and everybody’s seen it and they’re going back to see it again, which is still fun,” Dickson said. “But that opening night, there’s an energy, that red carpet thing. We don’t really get that in Thunder Bay, but at SilverCity, you get that.”
According to Box Office Pro, The Rise of Skywalker is expected to gross up to $190 million domestically, down from the $220 million collected by The Last Jedi two years ago. The Force Awakens, the first movie in the final trilogy, grossed $247.9 million on opening weekend.
Read the Article on TBNewsWatch HERE
Tony Amendola's credits include Annabelle, The Curse of La Llorona, World of Warcraft
A veteran actor with more than 125 film, television, and video game credits has been announced as the first guest of this year's ThunderCon fan convention.
Tony Amendola's film credits include the role of Father Perez in two films set in the Conjuring Universe: 2019's The Curse of La Llorona, and 2014's Annabelle.
Amendola also boasts a long list of TV credits, including Shooter, Training Day, Star Trek: Voyager, Dexter, Netflix's Castlevania series, and Seinfeld.
He's also voiced characters in a number of video games, including Final Fantasy XV, World of Warcraft, Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Fallout 4, and Hearthstone.
Heather Dickson, ThunderCon's media director, said Amendola was originally booked to appear in 2018.
"He had a work commitment that changed their filming schedule, so he had to cancel, sort of at the last minute," she said, adding that Amendola said if he could appear in 2019 instead, he would.
"We contacted his agent, and she was like 'yep, absolutely,'" Dickson said. "We're so happy to have him back."
Dickson said Amendola will be appearing on at least one panel while at ThunderCon.
"Our theme is sort of heroes and villains," she said. "Tony's had a hand at playing both, so we'll just see how that rolls out."
Dickson said more guest announcements will be rolling out over the coming weeks.
This year's ThunderCon is scheduled for September 21 and 22 at the CLE grounds.
THUNDER BAY - A prolific actor who has travelled the stars, fought evil, and has been both a hero and a villain will share his extensive experience in film and television during the city’s popular sci-fi and gaming convention later this year. ThunderCon announced actor Tony Amendola will be one of the special guests at this year’s convention next September.
“We are really excited to have him. He is a pretty big name guest,” said Heather Dickson, ThunderCon media director. “He is that guy everybody recognizes, he’s been in amazing movies and great TV shows. He plays heroes, he plays villains, he’s just a very versatile actor, voice acting, stage, the guy does everything.”
“Tony was booked for last year but then he had a work commitment that changed his filming schedule on him so he wasn’t able to come,” Dickson added. “So we thought, ah man, we lost a really good one, but he said he absolutely he was happy to come back this year.”
Amendola has more than 125 titles to his credit, including the role of Father Perez in Annabelle and The Curse of La Llorana in the Conjuring series, The Legend of Zoro, and Lone Star, as well as popular television series such as Stargate SG-1, The X-Files, Seinfeld, Dexter, and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
Beyond his work on the big and small screen, Amendola has also voiced characters in several big video game franchises including World of Warcraft, Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Fallout 4, and Final Fantasy XV.
Dickson said it’s really important for ThunderCon guests to offer such a diverse set of skills and experience because the convention caters to so many different people and fans of different genres.
“It just shows that we want to bring up somebody who is going to represent everybody’s fan base,” she said. “If you are interested in video games, this guy can talk you through it, if you are interested in movies, voice acting, he’s the man. He’s got all the answers.”
Programming has not been finalized yet but Amendola will be participating in panels throughout ThunderCon. Dickson said there will also be more big name guests announced in the coming weeks.
ThunderCon will be held on Sept. 21 and 22 at the CLE Grounds. For more information visit the ThunderCon website.
by Doug Diaczuk
(For the full TBNewswatch article, click HERE.)
Thunder Bay's popular fan convention has found a new home.
ThunderCon is moving to the CLE grounds for its 2019 installment, the event's media manager Heather Dickson said Wednesday.
"On the fifth year, we're deciding to kind of switch it up a little bit," Dickson said. "We have clearly outgrown our previous space."
ThunderCon's former home was the Valhalla Inn.
"It was lovely, very luxurious, wonderful to have everything under one roof," Dickson said. "But we are growing too fast and too big to keep staying there."
Dickson said current plans involving running ThunderCon out of the CLE's Heritage and Coliseum buildings. Some outdoor events will also take place.
"Everybody's super excited to have it more downtown, more central, very accessible, and with lots of outdoor space, lots of parking," she said. "We're kind of really excited to see what's going to happen here."
This year's ThunderCon will take place on September 21 and 22, 2019.
Dickson said guests will be announced over the coming months.
Link to Article HERE
Check out the great article on page 49 of this month's Walleye Magazine!
Just sharing some cool stuff that we've done.