With UNLTD Media now at the helm of Prince George’s premier science fiction and fantasy convention, the reality of what is needed to run it all has come into the spotlight.
Norm Coyne made an announcement today (Aug. 28) in the Kin Centre Atrium that his company is taking over the operations of Northern FanCon, five years after its 2015 inception, but it comes with a public call for financial aid.
The founding director explains, as a result of UNLTD’s solo captaincy, the annual event needs to raise at least $100,000 in order for 2020 to have a Northern FanCon.
“There’s a lot of things that come into play,” said Coyne when asked by PrinceGeorgeMatters about the complexity of putting together the convention. “Last year was our fifth anniversary, but our attendance dipped slightly, which for something like that, it’s like ‘Wow, that seems kind of odd.’ I think that people need to understand that in order for these things to keep happening, they need to support them. So, it’s absolutely critical to support.”
The crowdfunding campaign starts on Friday (Aug. 30) and will run for 30 days.
.@northernfancon, if they hit their $100,000 fundraising target 30 days after Aug. 30, will tentatively run at the CN & Kim Centres from May 8-10, 2020 🦸♀️🦸♂️ | #CityOfPG @PGMatters— Kyle Balzer (@KyleBalzer) August 28, 2019
Coyne made a plea to residents, fans, and other fantasy fans alike to contribute to the cause by buying advanced single-day tickets, VIP experiences, Ultra-VIP tickets (a new addition to the 2020 event), and even booths, which are all at discounted rates.
In turn, the organizing committee is taking the Avengers: Endgame moto to heart in doing ‘whatever it takes’ to get to next year.
He says the theme behind Northern FanCon won’t change as much, but admits some dynamics may have to depend on the outcome 30 days from Friday.
“We have a very solid plan for the event [...] We’re not going to do a lot of branding changes. I think we made a lot of leaps forward in where and how I want it to look. You’ll see a little bit more leaning into the quality of guests; they’ll be at a higher level as long as we hit those targets. Rather than 12 guests that are high-level guests, mid-level guests, etc., it’ll be about five high-level guests.”
Coyne explains there are some guests already lined up to come to Prince George, but they can’t make travel plans, or even be named, unless the $100,000 target is met.
If the campaign is successful, the tentative days for the sixth Northern FanCon will be May 8-10, 2020.
He adds he’s been in ‘good conversations’ with sponsors, but also want previous FanCon attendees to share their favourite moments and why they’ve appreciated having the event in Prince George.
“100 per cent,” said Coyne on whether he has confidence in the community’s generosity. “Since we started this event, it’s such a big idea and it’s such a big undertaking, I have never ever once doubted that it would move forward. That’s what we do. We do whatever it takes, and we’ll do whatever it takes this time around.”
So while today’s announcement may not have been what fans were hoping to see on social media, such as a celebrity guest line-up, Coyne is hopeful fans heard his cry to help make Northern FanCon 2020 possible.
.@northernfancon Director Norm Coyne says a 30-day crowdfunding campaign will be launched on Friday Aug. 30 for a target goal of $100,000 in order to make the 2020 event possible 💰 | #CityOfPG @unltdmediaevent @PGMatters pic.twitter.com/Qfaa82UP9z— Kyle Balzer (@KyleBalzer) August 28, 2019