After planning four conventions — 2004
, and 2009
— we have stepped down from planning any more of them. There are a few reasons for this.
1) After five years, we were simply ready to move on to different things in our lives. Planning AvCon takes the better part of six months to a year, and this is done largely over email, Skype, and (sometimes) old fashioned phone calls, given we on the committee are scattered across three different countries — Canada (Ontario), US (California, Michigan, New Hampshire, Maine), and Hungary. Many of us have jobs and other things we need and want to do in our day-to-day lives. The same is true for the actors we have invited over the years. Needless to say, planning a fan convention — and one centred around a TV show that has not aired in first-runs in North America since 1996, and had not aired in reruns since the early 2000s — has dropped on our list of priorities.
2) Planning a convention not only takes a lot of time, but also money. AvCon, Inc., was a registered non-profit corporation/organization. We have paid the expenses for every single convention out of pocket; we have never asked attendees for donations to help us out. Renting the auditorium at Black Creek Pioneer Village was one of our heftiest expenses. There are other things we’ve had to pay for. (Cast and crew who have appeared have never taken nor asked for an appearance fee. Mike Matthews, our auctioneer for every convention, did charge a fee for his services but often turned around and made a donation to [one of] our charity/charities of choice anyway.) Attendance fees are never kept, either; they’ve always been used to help pay for/recoup convention-related expenses. These days, given our current economic climate, it simply isn’t feasible for us to continue doing this when we have other needs to attend to in our own lives.
3) It seemed quite fitting to end when we did, in 2009. Our final convention took place five years to the weekend of our first. The year also marked twenty years since Road to Avonlea
first went into production. The following year, 2010, saw the twentieth anniversary of the show’s debut as well as the silver anniversary of the first Anne of Green Gables
Please note we are not complaining, nor are we bragging. We are simply stating the facts. We, those of us who spent much of the last decade working on AvCon, are done; AvCon, as organized by us, will not happen again. We know there are those out there who would welcome another convention. Please note we are not stopping you from organizing it, if you want. Get some like-minded kindred spirits to help you, too!
Much love to: All the cast and crew members who have taken time out of their schedules to come and interact with the fans; the staffers at Black Creek Pioneer Village who have been very generous to us with the use of their space; the various charities we have loaned support to over the years — American Cancer Society, the Ontario chapter of the Make-a-Wish Foundation, the now-defunct ShakespeareWorks, Doctors Without Borders, the Royal Ontario Museum, and The Good Shepherd; Mike and Dan Matthews; the staff at Sullivan Entertainment; the PEI Preserve Company, who helped sponsor our final convention; Kevin Sullivan; and to everyone who has supported us over the last several years — whether you’ve attended a convention, donated something for one of our auctions, or have just leant moral support. It has meant a lot to us.
Where To Find Us Now
Our Facebook page
is still up and running and will remain permanently available. We invite all former attendees (and any cast and crew who were a part of this, for that matter) to come and join us and reminisce. Share your photos, your stories. Meet and reconnect with other kindreds.
~ The AvCon Committee Emeritus