Prix AURORA Awards

Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association
Association canadienne de la science-fiction et du fantastique

1998 Host Selection

Overview

The 1997 Canvention meeting received no bids for hosting next year (1998). Under the provisions of Article III, Section 5 of the constitution, the 1997 Aurora subcommittee (Dennis Mullin & Ruth Stuart) was charged with the responsibility of finding a host. So here's how we did it.

  1. Bids for 1998 were accepted until November 30, 1997. At one point we had 3 bids, but one bidder had to withdraw. The two that were left in the running were:
    Con*Cept, Oct 2-4, Montréal, QC
    inCONsequential, Sept 25-27, Fredericton, NB
  2. Then the committee consulted the members of the Aurora mailing list (only those with e-mail addresses because of the time factor), those who read the canadian sf newsgroups (can.arts.sf and ont.sf-lovers), those who have stumbled across this website, and those who were informed via the fannish grapevine. This phase ended December 16th.
  3. The 1998 host was then selected by the committee.
Aurora Home

Report of the 1998
CANVENTION Site Selection Committee

The 1997 Canvention Business meeting (held November 2/97) was unable to decide on a site for next year's Canvention. Under the provisions of Article III, Section 5 of the constitution, the 1997 Aurora subcommittee, was given full authority to select the next Canvention site.

The selection committee, consisting of Dennis Mullin and Ruth Stuart, had a tough time coming to a final choice. Two very good bids were received by the November 30th deadline. They were from inCONsequential (Fredericton, NB) and from Con*Cept (Montréal, QC). We then asked the Canadian sf community for opinions. Since this was restricted to those with electronic access, we did not consider ourselves bound by the voting ballot that was sent out. What interested us most were the reasons by which people selected their first choice for the 1998 site.

Some of the reasons for choosing a site that we considered were:

(1) Not having had Canvention in that part of Canada before. New Brunswick and Quebec are provinces that have never hosted Canvention before. Result: tie.

(2) Competence of the bid committee. The selection committee has met Concom members from both bids and heard opinions expressed. Result: tie.

(3) History. 1998 will be Con*Cept's 9th con; it will be inCONsequential's first. Result: in Con*Cept's favour.

(4) Timing. inCONsequential is being held September 25-27; Con*Cept is being held October 2-4. It was pointed out to us that inCONsequential overlaps Word in the Street. However, cons do have a tendency to conflict with something. Result: More or less equal.

(5) Guests. This was something neither bidder could do much about (at bid time) considering that their guests had been invited before they decided to bid for Canvention. We did receive a number of favourable comments about Con*Cept's choice of guests. The selection committee liked both bidders selection of guests. Result: slight edge to Con*Cept for higher Canadian content.

(6) City size. This was a reason that hadn't occurred to the selection committee. At a well run con it's pretty easy to ignore where the con is located. Committee bias: Ruth has been to Montréal and wouldn't mind visiting Fredericton; Dennis has spent more time in Fredericton than Montréal. Result: We felt it shouldn't matter.

(7) Language. A number of people expressed opinions that it would be nice to have a bilingual Canvention. Result: slight edge to Con*Cept

(8) Promotion. inCONsequential makes a promise of much stronger promotion of the Prix Aurora Awards. Judging from who returned site selection ballots, their promise has some energy behind it. Result: in favour of inCONsequential

(9) Special events. Con*Cept will be hosting Boréal. Somewhat mixed in with item 7.

(10) Finances. The selection committee feels both bids are acceptable in this area.

The selection committee's choice: Con*Cept, to be held October 2-4, 1998.

For those of you planning vacations in 1998, the committee suggests considering one starting at inCONsequential, September 25th, in Fredericton and ending at Con*Cept, October 4th, in Montréal.

Dennis Mullin
Ruth Stuart
1998 Canvention Site Selection Committee

Index


Site Selection Ballot Data

First choice:

... 34 ... Con*Cept
... 27 ... inCONsequential
... 01 ... Either

Voters by province:
... AB 7
... BC 1
... MB 1
... NB 15
... NS 7
... ON 20
... QC 11

Index


Appendix 1: Selection Advisors

The selection committee would like to thank those who took the time to participate (via site selection ballots). They were:
Krikor Ajemian (QC), A. William Barteau (NB), Sv Bell (QC), Katerina Carastathis (AB), Marianne Charbonneau (QC), Carolyn Clink (ON), David Clink (ON), Andrew Crisp (NB), Brian A. Davis (NB), Jeff DeMerchant (NB), Mary Deveau (NS), Dave Duncan (AB), Daniel Flemming (NB), Mici Gold (ON), Charles A. Gregory (ON), Randal J. Gross (MB), Peter Halasz (ON), MaryAnn Harris (ON), Robyn Herrington (AB), Janet Hetherington (ON), Paula Johanson (AB), Jack Lafreniere (ON), Corinne Lewandowski (NS), Jean-Louis Trudel (QC), Monique MacNaughton (NB), Kelly Marney (NS), Brian McGee (NS), Ann Methe (QC), Leslie Mills (NS), Charles Mohapel (ON), Derek Nichols (NB), Cathy Palmer-Lister (QC), Tasia Papadatos (ON), Simon Parkinson (NS), Brock Parks (NB), Lynda Pelley (QC), Lloyd Penney (ON), Yvonne Penney (ON), Jean-Pierre Normand (QC), Capucine Plourde (QC), Thomas C. Richards (NB), Dale Roberts (NS), Chris Rogers (NB), Ernest Rogers (NB), Raymond Saulnier (NB), Christian Sauve (ON), Michele Savoie (NB), Alan B. Sawyer (ON), Robert J. Sawyer (ON), Doug Smith (ON), Jena Snyder (AB), Lynn Stapleton (NB), Jane Starr (AB), Lisa Dawn Steele (BC), David Stephenson (ON), Patricia Taylor (NB), Ernst-Udo Peters (QC), Edo van Belkom (ON), Joseph W. Casey (ON), Beulah Wadsworth (ON), René Walling (QC), Diane L. Walton (AB).

Index


Appendix 2: Comments
These comments are from the site selection ballots. Note: The list does not match appendix 1.

  1. Good reports on both cons in past. Either would suit me fine. Faint prejudice in favour of a Quebec Canvention, but only faint.
  2. I actually stand a chance of making it to ConCept, even if it is three weeks before my own con.
  3. It's closer for me and it'll be only the second Canvention with a substantial francophone component.
  4. [no comment]
  5. The emphasis on the literary SF world.
  6. This will be the first time the Auroras will be in Quebec, and if we're serious about saving the French Auroras, this will help.
  7. It is in Montreal, and Canvention should be held in Quebec.
  8. Montreal is hosting Boreal in 1998. It makes sense to have the two conventions, Canvention and Boreal together.
  9. SF outside the big centres needs all the support it can get. No insult to Quebec intended.
  10. Location and well run convention with a proven background.
  11. The fact that CanVention has never been in Quebec, whereas it HAS been in Atlantic Canada before; the fact that Con*Cept is an established con, whereas this is inCONsequential's first year; the fact that Con*Cept has chosen Canadian Guests of Honor (one English and one French), whereas inCONsequential has chosen American GoHs; the fact that Con*Cept does NOT conflict with the coast-to-coast Word on the Street open-air bookfairs, held in cities across Canada, but that inCONsequential does overlap the date for Word on the Street.
  12. Reasons: I think that Sept. is late enough to hold the awards. I feel that we should encourage the use of smaller conventions on the coasts as much as in the center of the country. If people are flying in anyway, let them experience a little bit of New Brunswick, rather than just another major center. As well I think this would promote their theme of the Literature of Speculative Fiction. I felt tied with voting for a bi-lingual convention, but it may happen without my vote. Good luck!
  13. It is far easier to travel to Montreal, should we decide to attend. Also, bilingual nature of convention appeals to me.
  14. Proximity and it will be bilingual
  15. I live close enough to attend.
  16. Easyist for me to get too...
  17. Live in Montreal
  18. I would like to see a Canvention in Quebec, and the convention appears to have a solid reputation. (On the other hand, if the New Brunswick folks plan some kind of Francophone programming at the convention, then I wouldn't be disappointed if they won the bid )
  19. Montreal is cheaper for me to get to than the Maritimes. Also, I haven't been to Montreal for a Con before.
  20. To help promote the Awards in New Brunswick.
  21. Because the people running InCONSequential have worked hard for over two years to make a fun convention, and I think adding the Awards to the con would help even more.
  22. 1. I know some of the people running inCONsequential and I have confidence in their abilities to host the Aurora Awards.
    2. I would like the awards ceremony to be held in the maritimes. (I live in Saint John which is about an hours drive from Fredericton.)
  23. Con-cept will be well-equipped to reflect the bilingual nature of the Auroras. Montreal is a wonderful city to visit, and is easily accessible by train, plane and automobile. My personal experience of Con-cept is that is a well-organized and fun convention.
  24. I think it is important to bring the strength of a strong literary award to the Atlantic region, to support science fiction writing. I'm also a nursing student with a penchant for writing fanfiction (within the sci-fi universes).
  25. The Aurora's have never been presented in Quebec. I feel it appropriate that a Canadian convention have Canadian guests of honour.
  26. As a resident of New Brunswick I welcome the opportunity to participate in hosting a Canvention. I was at Wolfcon in the year that it hosted and had a great time. We're up to the challenge, have tremendous bilingual facilities, are handy to both Quebec and the rest of the Maritimes and we are ready to give our best.
  27. I regularly guest at Con*Cept and have had a good time there. The food is good, both inside and outside the CON!
  28. I think that too few cons are held in the Maritimes, and having a NB site for Canvention will give them some well-needed exposure. I think the literary base of the convention will do well to promote speculative fiction across Canada. In a nutshell.
  29. Location and I am familiar with the buildup to inCONsequential. Sounds like fun.
  30. I live in Saint John, NB. I also find that the group at InCONsequential are a great group of guys and gals.
  31. Closer to home; better chance I'll be there to see it. Also, strong representation of French-Canadian authors.
  32. The people involved in inCONsequential are known to me and are dedicated to throwing the best durn con they can. The con has been planned for three years now and they have been actively promoting it throughout.
  33. It is in my home-town, for one. I was swayed by the description of "inCONsequential" as well: they seem to be emphasizing a commitment to promoting awareness of SF and SF awards, which I think is important.
  34. My first choice for the CanVention site is Con*Cept Boreal in Montreal, PQ. I believe Montreal is more accessible than Fredericton, and will attract more attendees.
  35. I have worked with the organizers of inCONsequential and know they would do a professional job and promote the AURORA Awards in the Maritimes.
  36. My first vote is for inCONsequential for a couple of reasons.
    First, I'm selfish. I live in Halifax, NS, and I could make it (and was planning to go anyway) to inCONsequential.
    Second, I personally know the organizers and several of the volunteers (I'm one of them), and believe that they can run a really good con. Some of the volunteers are the con comittee for Falcon, a Halifax con that has done quite well for the last three years, and they really know what they are doing. I know that there has been lots of effort and planning put into this con, and I know that it will be a great one.
  37. Montreal has a very active and large Sci Fi community. I had the opportunity this year to visit ConCept 97. This was only my second convention ever. The family feel of the Con astounded me but the people were also open to outsiders. In addition, in my mind, in the present political climate it is absolutely vital to have CANADIAN events happening in Quebec. I have not lived here in Quebec for very long but I seem to get the impression sometimes that Quebeccers feel excluded from other Canada wide activities. This is an opportunity for the Canadian Sci Fi community to demonstrate that that sentiment is misplaced. There is an advantage to having the Canvention in Montreal in that this is a strategic location. People coming from Ottawa have only 2 hrs to go and even people from Toronto can be here within 6hrs.
  38. [no comment]
  39. I live in Montreal
  40. The Maritimes needs some exposure in SF fandom. Let's have our turn for once!
  41. [no comment]
  42. Both of the above conventions make the point of stating that the Awards have not been held in their respective provinces before.
    My main reason for chosing the Fredericton convention as my first choice is knowledge of the area, and an acquaintance with a couple of the committee members. I believe they will do a good job, and are preparing for the convention in a well thought out and thorough manner.
    Secondly, they also made the point of wanting to build up knowledge of the Awards within the Maritime community. As someone who grew up in PEI, and a long time fan of SF&F, I believe that is important.
  43. Might as well be honest--it's close to home! But I really do believe Montreal has a lot to offer our guests. Con*Cept is well-run, has a friendly atmosphere, and is supported by local fan clubs who contribute programming. The hotel is downtown, close to the tourist attractions and the Fauberg which has food for all tastes.
  44. Most of the Auroras are literary too, so it seems appropriate to have the awards hosted by a more "lit" con. Con*Cept's past attendance is pretty good, too--the more people that hear about the awards, the better.
  45. I live in Montreal and have chaired Con*Cept in the past... Need I say more? :)
  46. *YES* Aurora Awards in Montreal's Con*Cept/Boreal Convention!!
  47. Why? I voted for ConCept so that more fans may share the pleasure of meeting Forrest J. Ackerman, the man who coined the term "SciFi". (His home is a museum worthy of a fannish pilgrim- age -- I know, I was there in 1996).
  48. seemed like a good idea at the time? Nah, it's closer to home, not that I'm likely to be able to attend.
  49. Personally know the organizers of inCONsequential. Believe them to be competent in the extreme.
  50. The organizers of inCONsequentianl have represented themsevles as extremely competant and I have every confidence in their abilities to successfully host the Aurora's.
  51. Would like to see the awards in the province of NB for the hope of promoting them here.
  52. Closer to my home. Met and worked with the BOD for the Falcon Sf & fantasy Society and convention. They are very well organized and are level-headed people that can put on a great Canvention. Very easy to work with
  53. I have lived in Fredericton, and worked in their fannish community. The people running the con are known to me and are good organizers/workers. And I agree with the principles behind hosting the Auroras in New Brunswick. Excellent exposure for the writers, the awards and fandom in general.
  54. Location plus nature of event
  55. The people organizaing this convention are doing a great job so far and understand the aspects of advanced promotions, open communications with other cons and groups and they've lined up great guests. I will be going to inCONsequential but I won't be going to Montrel. Even if Canvention were in Montreal I wouldn't go. It's simply too far for me and my car load of con goers. It will be a great success as many maritime fans are planning to make it the only con worth going to! Thanks and hope to hear soon about the vote results!
  56. To my knowledge there has never been a SF convention in Fredericton (I may be wrong). It would be nice to have the Auroras held there for this occasion.
  57. Planning to attend inCONsequential in Fredericton
  58. No travelling to Canvention!
  59. My mother is Concept chair
  60. I live in Fredericton :)
  61. An opportunity to build new fannish links between Maritime fandom and the rest of Canada.
  62. Ann and crew run a very enjoyable con.
Index

Appendix 3: Bid Statements

Con*cept-Boréal 98, October 2-4, Montréal, QC

1998 will be the 9th Concept and the third held in conjunction with Boréal. Our programming consists of four tracks, about 65% English and 35% French. Confirmed Guests of Honour are Robert J. Sawyer, Yves Meynard and Forrest J. Ackerman. We publish a 36 page bilingual program book. Our purpose has always been to be a general SF con, but the fan community considers us a "lit" con. Activities include video and animation showings, including amateur films when available, dealers room, model display, masquerade, Saturday night dance and a terrific art show. Last year`s paid attendance was 410. We are returning to the Downtown Days Inn.

We would like to host the Aurora Awards because of our interest and support of Canadian SF. As well, a Canvention has never taken place in Quebec.

Ann Methe is the Concept-Boréal 1998 Chair.

Current membership rates for Con*cept are:
$20.00 to March 31/98

Contact information:
Mail: P.O. Box 405, Station H, Montréal, Qc H3G 2L1
Voice: 514-381-4162
Fax: 514-381-7658
E-mail: "Ann Methe" <jp.normand@sympatico.ca>

....................................

inCONsequential, September 25-27, Fredericton, NB

"inCONsequential: A Speculative Fiction Convention for the Future" will be held by the New Brunswick Speculative Fiction Association, Inc. on the weekend of September 25-27, 1998. The venue is the Lord Beaverbrook Hotel in downtown Fredericton, New Brunswick.

The main focus of inCONsequential is the promotion of the literary aspects of speculative fiction.

The Directors of inCONsequential are Derek Nichols (Chair), Chris Rogers (Vice-Chair), and Brian Davis (Financial Officer). All have extensive experience working at various Canadian and American SF conventions. This includes being on staff for the 1994 Hugo Award Ceremonies, which were held in Winnipeg, MB.

The Guest of Honour is David Feintuch, who won the John W. Campbell Award (Best New Writer) at the WorldCon Hugo Ceremonies in 1996. The Master of Ceremonies is Christian J. Ready, Program Coordinator for the Hubble Telescope Project. There will also be various Maritime SF authors and artists. Programming will consist of three tracks. This includes a series of "science in science fiction" panels headlined by Christian Ready. There will also be the standards: Video Room, Anime Room, Art Show, Costume Contest, and Dance.

We would like to host the 1998 Aurora Award Ceremonies to help raise the profile of these Canadian awards in the Maritimes, and specifically New Brunswick. Nova Scotia is the only Maritime Province to have previously hosted the Auroras. To this end, we have discussed media coverage of the Awards with various members of the print and broadcast media. They have expressed an interest in covering the Aurora Awards, should they come to the Capital of New Brunswick. We would endeavour to give the Awards the widest possible public exposure.

Current membership rates for inCONsequential are:
$25.00 to December 31/97
$30.00 to June 30/98
$35.00 at the door.

Contact information:
E-mail: breeze@nbnet.nb.ca
S-mail: 403-527 Beaverbrook Court, Fredericton, NB, E3B 1X6
Voice/Fax: (506) 452-7479

Index


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