Making it to the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo at the BMO Stampede Centre was…interesting to say the least. Pouring rain on the highway and my windshield wiper blade flew off! Right over the top of the car! I decided to stop on the shoulder and go back to see if I could find it whole. Nope. It was road kill and I was dripping wet, soaked to the skin by the time I got back to the car!
Then I got lost when I got to Calgary but that is beside the point. I finally made it to the BMO Centre where where some 50,000 fans converged for Calgary Expo 2012.
My Day One:
Okay, it was day two of the Calgary Expo but day one for me. I was fortunate to arrive there at opening, thank goodness! I went straight to the autograph/photo op area. Chris was a bit late (I was hanging out there but I wanted my photo first before the autograph). I stayed in the area because I did not think I would get back in time for Amanda’s first autograph session if I left. Massive amounts of people in that area; it was like a sardine can lol!
I arrived at Amanda’s line and the volunteer said she could not let anyone else in until it moved and could I please move around and then come back. Aaaaack! How to move? That was the point though, to clear the hall a bit. It literally became a fire hazard. Sooo I just walked a wee way ahead and did a 180 and went back and got in line! Whew! So I waited.
I talked to some nice people in line; all Amanda fans like me, squeed with the girl behind me. It was her first time meeting Amanda as well and we bounced together! I caught a few glimpses of Amanda through the people as the line moved, which only made me more nervous! When I got up to her, I thought I was okay, not too flustered…okay maybe a bit, but she is very calming!
It was after I left that my hands were shaking and my knees were jelly! I really felt I needed to sit somewhere, but I had to get going if I was going to get through the crowd around the photo ops to get mine with Chris Heyerdahl.
What a fantastic (and very handsome) guy, but his gaze is so intense it’s hard to hold it! I squished him in the photo and he got down to my level and squished back…yep, good times! Then I was off to wade my way through the masses to get to the Sanctuary panel.
After a little more waiting when I finally got through to the Boyce Theatre. That’s okay, more Amanda and Chris; I can deal!
I saw some interesting characters in costume walk by, for example a guy dressed as Gandalph and a guy with not much on but a smile! I tried to get pictures the whole day but unfortunately, not many were usable, in fact only three.
A photographer I am not (yet). Thanks to Kenn for finding images and videos from the event to share with you here in my report.
AJay Fry from Space Channel’s Inner Space moderated the panel and the crowd cheered when Amanda and Christopher came out. Then to everyone’s delight Ryan Robbins made a surprise appearance and joined them for the panel!
Ajay Fry introduced Amanda who started the panel by sharing some news about Sanctuary that she felt we should know because we have been waiting so long and that was not fair. The answer? Syfy did not pick up Sanctuary in time.
In the meantime, Beedie Development Group, a division of Beedie Industrial, the firm that has been financing Sanctuary got nervous because they were not picked up for a fifth season in the time allotted. To make matters worse, the Sanctuary studio facility rent was doubled and the landlord also wanted three months rent in advance. Yikes!
The end result was that all the Sanctuary stuff was packed up and put into storage. This may sound ominous, however Amanda said Sanctuary is not dead…if you look really closely you can see the chest rising and falling! She is waiting with the paddles! Maybe next year in 2013 and we all hope such is the future of Sanctuary!
Clearly she is not blaming anyone. Syfy has not been unsupportive but their hands are apparently tied by their higher ups. She knows fans are nervous that the cast is off doing other projects, but she said “it is just that they want to keep busy in the meantime so they do not implode!”
Amanda Tapping and Damian Kindler have shopped a “super cool”, six part miniseries in Los Angeles which was well received. She shared that the miniseries is about a time travel journey that would take characters to different eras. Sounds good to me!
Amanda told the hilarious story about a crazy difficult mathematical equation in one of the Stargate SG-1 scripts. As she read it, she realized that the conclusion in the script was wrong!
Amanda understands this because she researches and had become the astrophysicist she always knew she could be! So, she took the script up to Brad Wright and, after excitedly explaining the error and giving him the correct conclusion, all he said was, “So change it.” Then all the craft services guy had to say to her after her excited explanation was, “I’m pretty.” She’s so funny! All that knowledge and no one appreciates it!
The answer to a question was about whether or not we would ever get more Stargate, Amanda responded that Brad Wright had written a great script for that which would involve Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe, but alas it is not in the works, yet. The MGM Studios Stargate franchise is not dead If you look really closely!
We also learned the reason Ryan was in Calgary is that he is currently working on the show Hell On Wheels. He will make an excellent addition to the cast!
The Sanctuary cast is a crazy, goofy bunch! When asked how they get anything done, Amanda said, “It’s a miracle! It takes us 7 years to do one season!” But they say they ARE a family, no matter how cheesy that sounds. They feel comfortable texting each other at 3 am with a problem and it is okay. I think this sense of family clearly shows in the cast and is palpable. Christopher said there is one common denominator and of course the audience “awwwwwed”, knowing he meant Amanda.
Amanda, Ryan and Chris are wonderful people! Below are a couple of nice video clips of the Saturday Calgary Expo Sanctuary panel by Ann Liang and MichelleEdits via YouTube. Enjoy!
By the end of the day, I had acquired photo ops and autographs of both Amanda and Christopher, which was my goal. The overcrowding, a potentially dangerous situation, was being addressed by the Calgary Expo team so that Sunday would be a better day.
My Day Two:
Sunday was a much better day in terms of the crowd. The lines were still very long, but much more organized and moved more quickly. There were only a limited number of day passes being sold and people who had pre-purchased passes had priority. I chatted with a lady whose child was squashed up against a door frame in a crowd surge on Saturday, which must have been very frightening. Another couple went outside and couldn’t get back in, even though their minor children were still inside. The extraordinarily long line I was in to get inside in the morning cheered when a volunteer announced no more day passes were being sold.
The Sanctuary For Kids panel was great. There were not as many people there, so I had a great seat in the third row aisle! Again, I tried for photos, but I am so sorry my old camera just could not do the job. Also, my hands were shaky and that did not help. Time for new equipment methinks.
Amanda is so passionate about the charity and it’s contagious! Since 2009, Sanctuary For Kids has raised well over $200,000 to support children in need.
Smaller amounts of money have added up to make a big difference to the smaller things S4K supports. Hence “little ripples make big waves”. For example, the $10,000 that was donated to Nepal Orphans Home (NOH) means the kids can eat better foods like meat and vegetables for healthier lives.
She touched on a few of the charities supported such as NOH, where seven sets of sisters have recently been reunited, as well as Asha Nepal Children’s Home in Kathmandu, which supports young women who have been victims of sex trafficking, sexual and physical abuse. Rehabilitation and education are important in getting them on the road to a better life.
A question was raised as to whether or not more charities would be supported and she said that they are very protective of the ones they already support, and don’t want the funds to be spread too thin so that they don’t properly benefit.
I asked if she was planning another trip to NOH to visit the kids in the future. Amanda’s answer was yes. She and Jill Bodie are planning to go in the fall of 2012.
An audience member asked Amanda’s advice on what to tell a girl from China who had been abandoned by her family and adopted by the audience member’s relative. Amanda was emotional as she said that the baby was adopted and is a gift. She shared that a member of her family had also adopted from China and is a gift as well.
When asked if she would ever leave acting to be involved with S4K full time, Amanda said no, she would not want to quit acting. Her career has also given her a platform for Sanctuary for Kids and the two are completely interwoven; there is a healthy marriage between them.
The Annual General Meeting for Sanctuary for Kids was referred by Amanda to be “three people sitting around drinking tea”. Very funny! I am sure there is strategizing going on there as well! Their long term goal is sustainability.
She said the sci-fi fandom is no issue and socially aware and what we can do is go online to SanctuaryForKids.org and check the stories, make a donation, spread the word. Little things like a kid’s bake sale are fantastic. She said, “spreading the love is the best thing we can do as human beings”.
Amanda Tapping’s heart is so enormous that there seems to be room in there for all of us; her family, friends, S4K, her fans and then there’s room to spare. I utterly adore and admire her. We include a brief portion of the S4K panel by via ChildCareWonder from YouTube.
After getting all emotional at the Sanctuary For Kids panel, it was time for me to leave for the trip home. I got a wee bit lost in the exhibition hall first while I cut through it to get out of the building, so I looked around a bit.
I really wish that I had been able to be there on Friday to really check it all out properly because the crowds on Saturday were impossible, while on Sunday I had limited time. All in all though, my first convention ever was absolutely wonderful as I did achieve my initial goal. That was to finally meet Amanda Tapping and I could not have asked for a better experience!
I hope you have enjoyed my first news article. As always thank you for visiting WormholeRiders News Agency. Please feel free to share this news article by clicking one of the social media icons below.