Welcome fans to the sixth annual GABIT Amanda Tapping Convention, AT6 “Ripples”!
This report focuses on the wonderful “AT6 Ripples” convention events conducted Saturday November 10, 2012 at the luxurious Marriott Renaissance Hotel located near the Heathrow International Airport. We include two perspectives on this fabulous event below for your enjoyment.
The first perspective is from a person you all know and admire, GateworldRocky (Mike). The second perspective is provided by SanctuaryAngel (Michelle Linardis), another individual dedicated to the worthy causes of charity supported by Amanda Tapping and the great team at GABIT Events!
Included above is our recent WormholeRiders You Decide radio interview with the talented and extraordinary celebrity photographer Dennys Ilic!
Our exclusive interview with Dennys Ilic was conducted on Sunday November 18, 2012, the week after the AT6 Ripples convention includes many references to GABIT Events AT6 Ripples convention as well as his photography adventure with Amanda Tapping in Paris, France before the convention.
Event Hostess Julia Hague and her team set about their mission, an outstanding intimate charity event supporting Sanctuary For Kids, The Nepal Orphans Home and Hearing Dogs for Deaf Persons.
As previously reported about the AT6 Cocktail Party, Ms. Hague made each of the attendees feel welcome at GABIT AT6 Ripples event which began in earnest the morning of Saturday November 10, 2012 to the delight of all whom attended!
We hope you enjoy our report about our experiences on Saturday at AT6 Ripples!
Saturday morning came, and I knew from the moment I woke up that this would be a Saturday like no other. After many, many months of waiting and anticipation, day one of AT6 had arrived, and what would happen over the course of the weekend would be more than I ever could imagine.
The GABIT Events organization is truly unique is all aspects. Since September of 2002 the GABIT Events team have been giving fans the chance to meet their favorite stars, not just that, but they have provided a family-like environment for all fans attending.
I was lucky to meet some GABIT staff before the actual event started, and they are such kind people that are there for any fan when one is in need. I had met Jenn Scheffler and Keely Mayo the day before, both very lovely women who I had known online for some time, but meeting them in person was my pleasure.
I also had the pleasure of meeting John Goode, who is a great photographer, very lovely man, and was in charge of the photos taken at the AT6, such as the cocktail photos, photo-op sessions, and the photos taken throughout the event. I have always been the biggest critic of all the photos I have had with celebrities before, but I was happy and impressed with the quality of my latest photo with the lovely Amanda Tapping.
Another important factor in why these GABIT Events work so well is the charming Becky Preen, she is the Secretary and Operations Director, who does a very fine job at that. The event is carefully thought out, along with a printed event schedule that each fan is given, that way everyone knows what is happening, and when it happens. Kay Jacobs is the brilliant woman who was in charge of registrations of guests. Kay is a lovely woman who worked very hard to make sure each fan was looked after.
Tracy North is the charming and brilliant mind who is heavily involved in the design and production of the Event programme and banners, which I have seen online from previous AT events and in person at AT6.
Becka Ford is Julia Hague and Peter Hague’s daughter. She is also the new Head of Charity for GABIT Events, having moved on from guest Services. I felt she did a very well and professional job in handling the items for the main and silent auctions.
Then of course is the remarkable Julia Hague who has earned her admirable and loving reputation by the fans. I have known Ms. Hague for a few years online, and she has always come of as respectable, kind and someone who I am glad I had the pleasure of meeting. Ms. Hague has the nickname among the GABIT staff as “The Boss Lady” and I believe she has earned title, it is not only a fan title, but a reminder to everyone that she is the boss for a reason, and someone who is there for Amanda Tapping and the fans.
Ms. Hague is not only the “The Boss Lady”, she is also an Olympic Torchbearer, who was generous enough to bring the Olympic Torch to the event where fans were able to have a photo with Ms. Hague holding the Olympic Torch. Ms. Hague is also the author of “You Is For Unique” book which has become quite popular with the fans who have read it and talked heavily about it online. Meeting Ms. Hague was an absolute delight to meet, she has a big heart and a kind spirit that immediately is shared with those who meet her.
Friday was only to open the registration for guests attending the convention, which was also the day for fans to preview and see what was in store for them for the weekend. I have been to two Amanda Tapping related conventions prior to this, Dragon Con in Atlanta, Georgia, and the Toronto Fan Expo, which is the city Ms. Tapping grew up in.
However, this was the first convention I have attended to include so many Amanda Tapping fans at one time, and I have never met most of the other fans in person, I have only known them online, but I already felt very close to many of those attending.
I felt like I was attending AT6 with people I call “friends-family” because I have grown very close to many of them over the years. Despite them living so far away, and only knowing them online, friendship is not measured in distance.
Friendship is measured in value and what you feel for someone in your heart. Those attending range far across the world, from Canada, Australia, Germany, Portugal, and so on, but we were all brought to that one hotel to see one another, as well as the brilliant Amanda Tapping.
The AT6 Ripples Opening Ceremony was such a lovely way to begin the convention, which was introduced by Becky Preen who was very clear on general rules, and what was to be expected for the day. I felt the GABIT team really came through for the fans because the photo-op and autograph sessions were well organized. The GABIT Events organization allowed each row to be called up and each fan was given their own special private time with Amanda Tapping.
The big moment had arrived when Amanda Tapping herself arrived, which of course was (and always is) followed by a very large cheer and applause from the fans as she walked and jumped her way. One thing that is sure when it comes to Ms. Tapping, is that she never disappoints.
As a fan of years for over five years now, I have never been bored or disappointed by Amanda Tapping as an actress, or person. Fired up and ready for questions, the lovely Ms. Tapping began taking fan questions, and answering them the best she could, no matter what kind of question she is asked, her answers are always fun to listen to, as well as heartfelt and meaningful.
Every new AT event, Ms. Tapping will say or do something that will stick with event for the whole weekend. One example was her impression of her seven year old daughter, Olivia on the set of Sanctuary walking as Bigfoot!
Topics such as Sanctuary, Random Acts of Romance, Space Milkshake, which was shown three times at the event for the viewing pleasure of the fans, and of course Sanctuary for Kids and Hearing Dogs for Deaf People were bought up, two charities Ms. Tapping takes to heart.
Many months before AT6, the lovely Jenn Scheffler was contacting fans and asking us to be involved in a special project for and by the fans, as well as the whole Amanda Tapping fandom.
Fans were asked to make and decorate a banner saying “I Support Sanctuary For Kids” and/or “I Support Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.” It was a success, because of the hard work by Jenn Scheffler, who many fans owe their thanks to. At the end of the first Q&A session, GABIT Events showed a short Tim Hortons commercial from 1989 with Amanda Tapping. Needless to say, Ms. Tapping was pleased, but a little surprised.
The time for first set photo-ops had come, which is always a special time for fans to have their private moments with their favorite star. Despite already having had four prior seasons with Amanda Tapping, and meeting her at DragonCon and Fan Expo Canada as previously reported here, I was quite nervous.
I was in the room watching as other fans got their photos taken with Ms. Tapping, I saw joy and pride on the faces of each fan as they got their photos taken, which gave me a sense of pride as well seeing them so happy.
I am man enough to admit that like some of the fans going up to get their photos, I too was a little teary because I have high respect and admiration for this amazing woman. Before going up to get my photo, the lovely Julia Hague pulled me aside for a moment to calm me down, bless her heart, and she did just that.
Finally, my moment came to have my photo with the always amazing Amanda Tapping. However I was still a little teary eyed, but Ms. Tapping gave me the biggest hug! I told her I was sorry for being in that state, she then gently said to me: “You never have to apologize to me for anything.”
After the hug she looks at me right in the eye, and tells me I am a great hugger. It was Ms. Tapping’s idea to have the photo we did, and I am quite happy with how it came out.
As a bonus this year, fans had the option to have their photo taken with the Olympic Torch runner herself, Julia Hague. I was more than honored to have my photo taken with not only an amazing woman, but was fortunate to hold the Olympic Torch as well!
Because this was an option, and the main camera equipment was being used to photograph Amanda Tapping and her fans, those who got their photo with Ms. Hague had to use their own camera, which I think is very cool, because now I have a photo like that to cherish the rest of my life!
As mentioned in our previous report about AT6 Ripples, GABIT Events presented Space Milkshake three times over the course of the convention. The film features the outstanding talent of Amanda Tapping, Robin Dunne, Billy Boyd, Kristin Kreuk and the voice of George Takei as Gary the Duck. The reason the film was being shown three times over the weekend was because other activities were going on at the same time, but did not require the use of the ballroom by Ms. Tapping or the GABIT staff.
The movie was much funnier than I thought it would be, and it was great seeing these actors go so “far out” and doing what they did in the movie. I would highly recommend this film to the fans of the actors, as well as fans who enjoy a good science fiction comedy.
Shorty after the movie ended, it was time for my best friend, Michelle Linardis (SanctuaryAngel) and I head out to meet with Jenn Scheffler where we would be heading into something we never thought would ever happen. We were off to interview the brilliant Amanda Tapping and lovely Julia Hague for WormholeRiders.
I would like to personally and professionally thank both Amanda Tapping and Julia Hague for allowing Michelle Linardis and myself to have such a great opportunity to have have an in depth interview with them, as well as giving them up some of their time in order to give us some very heartfelt and meaningful questions regarding Sanctuary For Kids and Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.
The interview is available to listen in the podcast in each AT6 Ripples report at Wormholeriders News Agency regarding the outstanding AT6 convention included below.
After the interview was over, and Michelle Linardis and I were able to relax for a brief while before heading over back to the main ballroom for the main auction. The auction was introduced Rebecca Ford who did a wonderful job getting the auction started.
Ms. Ford shared her feelings regarding her mother, Julia Hague running with the Olympic Torch. We were treated to a short video of Ms. Hague in her part in the Olympics. Even more fun was the lovely Julia Hague running into the ballroom carrying the Olympic Torch to inspirational running music, which of course got the fans standing and cheering for her.
After much cheering and tears from the attendees, the auction was on its way! Of course this earned big bids by the fans. The auction was a huge success and a lot of fun for not only the fans, but the Gabit staff as well, as a bonus for me having an isle seat in the middle of the room, I was able to watch all the action as the big players would walk up and down the aisle.
Items on sale included props from Stargate, Sanctuary, even items that were created and donated by the fans in order to raise money for Sanctuary For Kids and Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. One of my favorite items up for sale was a painting of Amanda Tapping’s two most famous roles, Samantha Carter and Helen Magnus trapped in an elevator.
However, one item was a special addition book containing many photos of Amanda Tapping from her photo shoot with the super talented Dennys Illic (Dennydenn).
Along with Kenneth Meere were there to help auction it off. Both are very lovely men, and both were more than generous to the fans the entire weekend.
These gentlemen had very kind words to say about Ms. Tapping before auctioning the item off, as did she have kind to things about them. By the way, the item sold for more than 3000 pounds, which comes to no surprise.
Finally, the auction had come to a close, but it was not done yet for the fans, for later that night was the Abnormals Ball in which fans would get the chance to dress as any real or fictional person/character they wanted to.
Of course I saw quite a few fans dressed as characters from Stargate, Sanctuary, even Space Milkshake. I myself went as Captain Jack Harkness (Doctor Who, Torchwood) portrayed by John Barrowman.
The Saturday night after the event was so much fun, as many fans took the time to cut loose, and enjoy themselves, we even got a surprise visit from gentlemen Dennys Illic and Kenneth Meere.
The night had finally come to a close, but it was not over yet, Sunday was still to come, along with more fun, more Amanda Tapping, GABIT Events, and of course, the fans whom were in attendance.
My friends (pictured above), Sophie Orchard and Jessica De Vries know how to have fun. I have never been to an event such as this, where so many people have common interests as me, and where those attending can just be themselves.
I would like to thank the lovely Amanda Tapping, Julia Hague and Michelle Linardis for making my first celebrity interview as pleasant as it was, I felt felt very lucky and honored to be in a room with such three amazing women I have so much respect for. I would also like to thank Wormholeriders for providing Michelle Linardis and myself the opportunity to cover the event to share with you here.
This includes my Saturday convention report. I hope you all enjoyed it, and will stay tuned for the third and final day of AT6, which we bring you as soon as possible. Live Peace. Speak Kindness. Dwell In Possibility.
A GABIT Events convention is unlike any other event when it comes to hosting guests. Starting up in September 2002, GABIT Events have been creating and hosting intimate and charitable conventions for just over ten years. These events could not be possible without the amazing GABIT 4 – Or G4 as it is commonly known.
As the Guest Services Director of GABIT Events; Julia Hague is the woman in charge of looking after Amanda Tapping during the event. This Olympic Torchbearer, author for ‘You Is For Unique’, and kind-hearted charitable woman makes sure the event runs on schedule, and smoothly, for both Amanda, the GABIT staff and all the attendees. Second up in team G4 is the lovely Becky Preen – Secretary and Operations Director.
The reason the autograph and photographic sessions with the guests run to schedule, along with the technicalities and the final details throughout the event. Kay Jacobs is the incredible woman behind all the registrations of attendees, and making sure the attendees are well looked-after.
Finally, I thank John Goode – Brilliant Photographer in charge of the amazing photos from the photographs session, cocktail party, and all throughout the event. His attention to detail enables the attendees to take home their photo – a wonderful memory – of the AT events.
Though of course the G4 could not have done it alone. The help of the incredible GABIT staff have made it possible to create such a memorable, worthwhile, and intimate event for all attendees to enjoy and cherish.
Special thanks to Jenn Scheffler, Rebecca Ford, Tracy North, and Keely Mayo for their hard work in getting AT6 up and running, and for aiding in the charity merchandise room throughout the weekend.
The Renaissance Hotel at Heathrow awoke with a buzz on Saturday morning, as attendees began to converge in the main hotel foyer, ready to start the amazing event that as AT6 in the event ballroom. Previously, Friday was open to all registration, so most attendees have already arrived by this point.
Though Saturday was the official start of the events, and many were excited, along with a few nervous first-time GABITers. AT6 was a place to rekindle old friendships from past events, and to meet friends for the first time. It was already starting to feel like a family. And so the energetic atmosphere began to grow.
Attendees began to pile in the main hall, which was set up like an auditorium. Gorgeous chandeliers lined the ceilings, a sea green backdrop coloured the room, a large screen at the font right-hand corner, along with a single table and chair, ready to be occupied by the one inspirational woman we came to see, the superbly talented and wonderful Amanda Tapping!
The Opening Ceremony was introduced by Becky Preen, who gave us all a run-through of etiquette, general rules, and scheduling for the day.
Though once that was done, row by row, we were called up to start the photographic session with Amanda Tapping, which would be the first time we would see her for the weekend.
Of course, it gave fans a chance to say a few words, give their thanks, or even a hug or two. It was a blessing to have the photo session so nicely timed, because it gave each fan a small moment with Ms. Tapping which was not rushed. Lining up was not a problem, and went quickly and smoothly as I had hoped.
Every fan had their own private time to share with Amanda. After my exchange of hugs, thank you’s, and kind words, I was off to greet Mike Carvalho, and many other friends of mine. Although we had a few hours before the first Question and Answer panel was set to start, we shared memories, stories, and generally delve in the life of a fan and the beautiful fandom surrounding the talented, warm-hearted, Canadian actress Amanda Tapping.
Soon enough, we all filed back into the room to begin the first Question and Answer session of the day. A warm greeting by Ms. Tapping set off a welcoming round of applause and cheers as she bounced on stage with incredible energy snapping her own keepsakes of the convention!
After standing for the photographic session for that time, and as incredible as she is, showed a huge amount of stamina and energy. A brilliant way to start the day!
Amanda continued to take photos of the crowd with her own camera, and then proceeded to take her place on stage. Questions from fans were fired immediately, and Amanda answered each and every question as gracefully as she could. Many things became the theme for AT6, such as the infamous Bigfoot walk, and various quotes used throughout the weekend.
With many laughs thrown in for good measure, along with a few tears when both Sanctuary for Kids and Hearing Dogs for Deaf People were bought up. But the room was filled with such an incredible energy and emotion, which was moved as Ms. Tapping spoke about those charities and projects dear to her heart as well as those of her admirers.
Once the first question and answer session came to a close, the first AT Participation video was shown for all to see. This was an ongoing project for many months before AT6, and both AT6-attendees and non-event goers were able to take part.
People were encouraged to mention ‘I Support Sanctuary for Kids’ and/or ‘I Support Hearing Dogs for Deaf People’, in the form of pictures and videos. It was definitely a success. A HUGE thanks for Jenn Scheffler for running this project, and putting it together.
After a lunch break, fans headed back to the auditorium to begin the second question and answer panel. With as much buzz as the first session, fans gave Amanda Tapping their questions, ranging from charity, to Sanctuary, Stargate, general questions, and her more recent roles – Space Milkshake and Random Acts of Romance.
This was rather spoiler-free, but thanks to Amanda, AT6 Ripples attendees were later treated to a showing of Space Milkshake, with proceeds going to support Sanctuary for Kids. Once this question and answer session was over, we heard words from the guests from Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.
This was followed by a video of Torch day from the 2012 London Olympics with Julia Hague as a runner and an inspiration. Julia Hague then treated us with the Olympic Torch itself and fully adorned in her runner gear.
It was an amazing and emotional moment, as the auditorium erupted in applauds, some tears, and ending with a standing ovation. Amanda Tapping stood next to Julia on stage, and even held the Torch itself. It was a beautiful moment for all to witness.
While the second part of the photos were in-progress, many fans were treated to the first showing of Space Milkshake. While those who were still in photos, there were also two other opportunities to watch this movie, so that no fan missed out.
Once the set of question and answer sessions were concluded for the day, the auction began and run by the GABIT Events Head of Charity – Rebecca Ford. Featuring many exclusive and one-of-a-kind objects were donated, little did we know how much of a success it was going to be. Objects ranged from artworks, to costume pieces of both Sanctuary and Stargate, signed shirts and photos, prop pieces and lovely fan packs from Sanctuary.
All modelled by Amanda Tapping and Tracy North, which bought on amazing moments and many laughs! Including in this auction was a very special addition. The original book containing the many stylised images from the photo shoot of Amanda Tapping, by the extremely talented international Photographer Dennys Illic.
Kenneth Meere also worked with Dennys Ilic on this book, who was in charge of the publishing, styling and concept. A gem of an item, which was displayed in heartfelt words on stage by both Dennys, Amanda Tapping, and Kenneth Meere.
After a long day of scheduling, photos, auction, videos and presentation, the day ended with the very much anticipated Abnormals Ball!
Many fans took this opportunity to dress up as whatever they liked. Characters ranging from Sanctuary, to Stargate, Space Milkshake, and even characters from other shows, rocked the dancefloor for a night of fun, laughs, and fan photos to sum up the night.
What an incredible day this was, and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank GABIT for enabling this event to run smoothly, and without any problems. I would like to give a big thanks to Mike Carvalho and Kenn Weeks for allowing me to collaborate in the interview with Amanda Tapping and Julia Hague on behalf of WormholeRiders.
This convention has definitely been a highlight for me, and GABIT truly knows how to make it the most wonderful event they can. It was indeed a worthwhile experience, and as a proud Amanda Tapping fan, I ended the day feeling content, and happy that this day was a great success. I could not have wished for anything more!
Stay tuned for our Sunday report coming soon!
Thanks to Michelle for supporting my reporting efforts with images. More thanks to Kenn for audio embedding, locating additional images, inserting Michelle’s images, extensive hyper-linking, and for working tirelessly to help to put the finishing touches on our AT6 Ripples Saturday report (despite a recent loss in his family).
More thanks to you for reading and visiting our news site dedicated to conventions at WormholeRiders News Agency.
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