davemerrill: (harvey)
Every year I try to put together a calendar of shows and sales and events that are of interest, just to have 'em all in one place for my reference. Here's 2017!

Jan. 22 - Woodstock Nostalgia Show & Sale http://www.collectorshows.ca/EN/home.php
Woodstock is a little far for us to get to. Probably won't make this one.

Feb. 5 - Ancaster Nostalgia Show http://www.collectorshows.ca/Shows/NOS_2017-02-05.php
Ancaster is just the other side of Hamilton and is much more 'doable' for us.

Feb. ? - Eyesore market, Eyesore Cinema 1176 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON
Eyesore Cinema is doing vendors markets and there's one in February we're going to be at selling Mister Kitty zines and kitschy junk!

Feb. 12 - Record Sale & Swap Meet, Guelph http://www.vibrations.ca/en/record-shows-and-fairs/icalrepeat.detail/2017/02/12/141/15/record-sale-swap-meet

Feb. 19 - Toronto Comic Book Show http://www.torontocomicbookshow.com/
This is the comic book show held at the hotel that hosted a few early Anime North conventions.

Feb. 19 - Anime North staff meeting (in Hamilton!)

March 5 - Ancaster Collectibles Extravaganza http://www.collectorshows.ca/Shows/TOY_2017-03-05.php

March 12 - Hamilton Record & Music Collectibles Show http://www.vibrations.ca/en/record-shows-and-fairs/icalrepeat.detail/2017/03/12/145/15/hamilton-record-music-collectibles-show

March 19 - Anime North Staff Meeting

March 26 - Toronto Downtown Record Show http://www.vibrations.ca/en/record-shows-and-fairs/icalrepeat.detail/2017/03/26/142/15/toronto-downtown-record-show

April 9 - Toronto/Mississauga Musical Collectibles Show http://www.vibrations.ca/en/record-shows-and-fairs/icalrepeat.detail/2017/04/09/98/15/the-toronto-mississauga-musical-collectables-show-sale

April 29 - Anime North Staff Meeting

April 30 - Toronto Comic Book Show http://www.torontocomicbookshow.com/

May 7 - Ancaster Collectorfest http://www.collectorshows.ca/Shows/TOY_2017-05-07.php

May 13-14 - TCAF http://www.torontocomics.com/
This is downtown and free and we might just drop in!

May 22- Anime North Staff Meeting

May 26-28 - Anime North http://www.animenorth.com/live/
Going to be doing Anime Hell and some panels at this one!

June 4 - Ancaster Collectibles Extravanganza http://www.collectorshows.ca/Shows/TOY_2017-06-04.php

June 9-11 - Anime Next http://www.animenext.org/
There's been some talk about us attending this show, so stay tuned for further developments.

June 25 - Toronto Comic Book Show http://www.torontocomicbookshow.com/

June 25 - Ancaster Nostalgia Show http://www.collectorshows.ca/Shows/NOS_2017-06-25.php

July ? - Liberty Village Yard Sale
No date announced yet, but this was a fun neighborhood thing we did last summer and hope to do it again this year.

July 28-30 - Con Bravo http://2016.conbravo.com/
We missed this one last year but we might swing by this year.

August 6 - Toronto Comic Book Show http://www.torontocomicbookshow.com/

August ? - Zine Dream http://zinedream.com/
No date announced yet but our intention is to get a table & sell some zines!

Sept. 24 - Toronto Comic Book Show http://www.torontocomicbookshow.com/

Sept 28 - Oct 1 AWA http://awa-con.com/
Gonna be doing Anime Hell and panels at this one too, obvs

Nov. 26 - Toronto Comic Book Show http://www.torontocomicbookshow.com/

(edited to add Anime North staff meetings)
davemerrill: (milky)
Here, for my own edification and the edification of others, is a schedule of things of interest to me happening this year in the GTA area and beyond. Some are definites, some are maybes. Some are no-effing-ways. But here they are!

Holiday Inn Burlington Hotel & Conference Centre 3063 South Service Road
9:30 am to 3:00 pm
Early Entry $10, General Admission $5

Feb 2:The ANCASTER NOSTALGIA AND SMALL ANTIQUE SHOW AND SALE Sunday, February 2nd, 10 a.m.- 3 p.m., Marritt Hall, Ancaster Fairgrounds, 630 Trinity Road. $5.00 Directions: Exit Highway #403 at Exit 55 (Copetown Road Exit) and go one-half mile south on Highway #52, proceed south across Highway #2 and turn right at the Fairgrounds exit. (there are a bunch of these shows, just about every month, it seems)

Feb 17 (Family Day) HAMILTON TOY AND COLLECTIBLE SHOW Michelangelo’s Banquet Centre, 1555 Upper Ottawa St., Hamilton ON Hours: 10 am to 3 pm Admission $3.00 (on a Family Day civic holiday Monday, that's a good idea)

Feb. 23: OSHAWA RECORD SHOW, 38 LVIV Blvd Oshawa, 10am-4pm, $3. http://www.vibrations.ca/

March 2: ANCASTER TOY AND COLLECTIBLES EXTRAVAGANZA Marritt Hall, Ancaster Fairgrounds, 630 Trinity Road, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Adm: $4. http://www.ancastertoyshow.blogspot.ca/

April 6: TORONTO DOWNTOWN RECORD SHOW, Estonian House, 958 Broadview, Toronto, 11am-4pm, $5 http://www.vibrations.ca/

April 6: ANCASTER NOSTALGIA AND SMALL ANTIQUE SHOW AND SALE Sunday, February 2nd, 10 a.m.- 3 p.m., Marritt Hall, Ancaster Fairgrounds, 630 Trinity Road. $5.00 Directions: Exit Highway #403 at Exit 55 (Copetown Road Exit) and go one-half mile south on Highway #52, proceed south across Highway #2 and turn right at the Fairgrounds exit.

May 10-11 TCAF Toronto Reference Library 789 Yonge St (downtown, free, awesome)

May 23-25 ANIME NORTH http://www.animenorth.com/live/ (doing a bunch of panels, already have my hotel room)

July 18-20 CON BRAVO Hamilton Convention Center, Hamilton http://conbravo.com/ (dunno if we're doing panels this year, might drop in anyways)

Michelangelo’s Banquet Centre, 1555 Upper Ottawa St., Hamilton ON
Hours: 10 am to 3 pm
Admission $3.00

September sometime: the SF/Anime Flea Market is usually early September, so stay tuned.

Sept. 26-28 ANIME WEEKEND ATLANTA http://www.awa-con.com/ (a must)

Oct. 4 - HAMMER TOWN COMIC CON Saturday Oct. 4 10-7 Hamilton Convention Center http://www.hammertowncomiccon.com/ (new show, no ticket prices yet, if it's reasonable we'll go)

Not even bothering to list the Hobbystar shows, as they have priced themselves right out of my range. I'm not going to spend $10+ just to shop; I don't care about their guests or the ability to photograph cosplayers.

More will likely be added to this as it becomes available, so stay tuned to this station for further developments!
davemerrill: (milky)
So here's what I know: there's an anime con in Seattle named Aki-Con. Their 2012 show had some problems; the Dealer’s Room, Artist Alley, the Haunted House, the arcade, table-top gaming, LARP, and food service were all in the 'Exhibition Hall' which was a parking garage. Literally a multi-deck parking garage, in Seattle, in October, which means it was cold and wet and water was leaking down from the ceiling being caught in little blue buckets and being emptied by embarrassed-looking maintenance workers into 40-gallon garbage cans. There's a full report of the 2012 show here from someone who was in that AA and didn't like it.

So that's bad enough. What's happened since then is their 2013 show, at which one of their DJ guests sexually assaulted a woman. And that's bad enough, but as it happens, this DJ guest had a previous arrest and conviction for sexual assault. And THAT's bad enough, but the convention was informed of this person's history and not only continued to have this person as a guest, but deleted the public post warning them of the situation. The convention's subsequent post-convention responses have been to delete their entire message board and to work a little victim-blaming on their Facebook; not really constructive.

Initially I found out about this through a link to an online petition concerning the situation. This had the initial effect of looking like just more fan complaining. I had to do a little more digging to find the real meat of the case. If you have an issue you want to spread awareness of, online petitions are not the way to go, people.

Anyway, it raises tons of questions about the responsibility of fan conventions, liability issues, and questions about background checks, and it puts it all squarely in the middle of the larger debate happening right now about sexual assault, intimidation, and abuse in the fan community and at conventions. It's sparked some discussion on the ACML, some members of which are actual lawyers. I'm quoting EML here from the list, which is a public archive (so I'm not betraying any secret SMOF secrets here).

1) i am a lawyer.

2) from a legal standpoint, the issue isn't about whether cons should do
background checks. frankly, that is too onerous. the issue is that aki con
had constructive notice that this was a dangerous condition. under CO
premise liability law, the convention, as an assignee of the hotel (or
whatever venue they're in), has a duty of care owed to their licensees
(attendees). one of those duties is if they know of a dangerous condition,
they have a duty to inform any licensee that comes on the property of said
dangerous condition. they breached this duty of care.

3) that this warning that the individual was a convicted child sex offender
was placed in a public forum, managed and maintained by aki con, creates
constructive, if not explicit warning, of a dangerous condition. it does
not matter if aki con's board of directors, or whoever is managing the con,
saw it or not. aki con's agents/representatives (under agency law) saw the
warning, and responded by deleting the entire post. these actions raises
the actions from negligent, or even reckless disregard of their licensees'
safety, to to a willful and wanton disregard to their licensees' safety.
under CO law, you'd be looking at exemplary (punitive) damages for that,
which usually are treble damages, or even more, since this is the case of a
sex offense against a possible (not sure what the girl's age is) minor.

in short, if i was a practicing attorney in WA, i'd take this case in a new
york second. and, frankly, i hope the girl sues the convention into
oblivion. PIERCE THE CORPORATE VEIL!! go after personal assets!!!!

If you're involved with any sort of fan gathering this is important stuff to read and internalize and put into practice. Common sense stuff, really. I used to take a more laissez faire attitude towards this - people should take care of themselves, we're not police or parents, etc. But it's becoming clearer and clearer to me that predators are using our fan conventions as their hunting grounds, that the hard work we put into having fun and enjoying things we like is merely the bait used by abusers and molesters, Ed Kramer.

I can't speak for legal responsibilities or big moral pronouncements. What I do know is that if this happened at a con I worked at, I would be horrified that something I participated in led to this kind of trauma.

I believe -strongly- we need to work hard to make our fan conventions a safe place for everybody to enjoy.
davemerrill: (milky)
Like most Americans I'm fascinated and horrified by the Kennedy assassination. You learn about it in school, you maybe go to Dallas and peer through the window in the Book Depository and are creeped out. If you're of a certain age you watched Oliver Stone's movie, you read a couple of books, maybe had lunch with a guy who served with Oswald in the Marines, and you started to question not only the Warren Commission but darn near everything official. And that's a good thing, to examine what you're told and where the evidence comes from, to have some skepticism and some doubt. I spent a lot of time in the conspiracy world in the late 80s - early 90s -reading zines, small press books, and mass market paperbacks, watching amateur videos, and immersing myself in the counterculture conspiracy culture. It led to the Phenomicon convention of 1990-91, a gathering of like-minded nerds interested in THE TRUTH behind UFOs, the Kennedy assassination, the Men In Black, the Illuminati, and the Christian Crusade To Stamp Out Science Fiction (the truth of only one of these topics was conclusively determined).

What I learned from my experience in that culture is that many of these people are really annoying. "Truth" takes a back burner to selling whatever amazing story can be sold to true believers through magazines, TV, books, or lectures; evidence presented by doctors, scientists, and universities is rejected in favor of hearsay, wishful thinking, "what if", and outright lies. The same old tired frauds are dragged out over and over again, no matter how many times they're debunked, because there is no money in boring old facts. Nobody feels like a special seeker when everybody can look things up in the library or verify things for themselves.

It's now fifty years since JFK was shot in Dallas, and it turns out the three tramps were just three tramps, that the magic bullet wasn't quite so magic after all, that Oswald was a desperate, troubled man eager for attention and notoriety. That sometimes a nut with a rifle in the wrong place at the wrong time can change the course of history. It doesn't fit in with any grand scheme or pattern, and humans are pattern-seeking animals, so there's always going to be a tendency to try and find connections. Sometimes they aren't there, no matter how many times the book says "Could it be that...?" or "Perhaps..."

The danger in the conspiracy mindset is being forever stuck in the research stage, never having the balls to say, well, we've been looking for flying saucers for 70 years and nobody's found one yet, maybe it's time to move on. They would have caught a Bigfoot or a Nessie by now, let's find something more productive to do. Maybe Oswald really did shoot JFK, time to use my research skills on something else. It's tough to cut your losses, to walk away from the dry hole, to tell the wide-eyed believers that there's no there there; but unless you want to spend all your time in the world of what ifs and could it bes and just supposes, you gotta do it.

This leads to paralysis in just about everything else, too; convinced the world is a giant interlocking criminal conspiracy, that the TRUTH will never be found out because everybody's in on the scam, that nothing can ever be taken at face value, why not spend all your time questioning everything? It absolves you of any responsibility for your own life. Your problems are always the fault of the Illuminati or the MIB or the FDA or the CIA or pick any Evil Conspiracy you like.

And that's where the real fun comes in, because the deeper you dig into conspiracy culture, the more you find the chewy chunk of racism and anti-semitism at its core. Ernst Zundel selling Nazi UFO books along with his actual Nazi propaganda, David Icke and his "lizard people", right on through the John Birch Society and the conspiratorial mindset behind the extremes on both the right and the left. All looking for the puppet masters behind the scenes, the "other" they can hang all the world's problems on, and then hang.

And that, my friends, is stuff I want nothing to do with. We walked away from the "big Sub-Genius" devival in 1991 to see Man Or Astroman? play in the hall, and I haven't looked back. Turns out MOAM? delivers.
davemerrill: (milky)
Feb 3 - Ancaster
Ancaster Nostalgia and Small Antique Show and Sale
Marritt Hall, Ancaster Fairgrounds,
630 Trinity Road, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Adm: $5. Info: 519-426-8875, email Ian at toyshow@kwic.com or visit ancastershow.blogspot.com

March 3 - Ancaster
Ancaster Toy and Collectibles Extravaganza
Marritt Hall, Ancaster Fairgrounds, 630 Trinity Road, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Adm: $4. visit ancastertoyshow.blogspot.com

March 3 - Mississauga
Toronto Nostalgia Show & Sale
Capitol Convention Centre, 6436 Dixie Road, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Adm: $6. Info: torontonostalgiashow.@gmail.com

Toronto ComiCON (Hobbystar)
March 9-10

Toronto Downtown Record Show
March 24, Estonian Banquet Hall, 958 Broadview $5

April 7 - Ancaster
Ancaster Nostalgia and Small Antique Show and Sale, Marritt Hall, Ancaster Fairgrounds,
630 Trinity Road, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Adm: $5. Info: 519-426-8875, email Ian at toyshow@kwic.com or visit ancastershow.blogspot.com

April 14
Toronto Musical Collectibles Record & CD Sale
Capitol Banquet Centre
6435 Dixie, Mississauga

May 11-12

Anime North
May 24-26

Con Bravo
July 26-28

Zine Dream
August 12 @ Tranzac

Sep 7 2013 Dundas, ON
Canada’s favourite antique show. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., rain or shine. $10 admission.

Sept 27-29

Oct. 20
Toronto Musical Collectibles Record & CD Sale
Capitol Banquet Centre
6435 Dixie, Mississauga


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