Save the Stargate Convention!

A few days ago, I received some heartbreaking news:

All good things must come to an end unfortunately, so no more polls and such, this is the absolute last time we’re presenting The Official STARGATE SG-1/Atlantis/Universe Convention.

Okay, so no one died, there was no plane crash or nuclear disaster, but if you’re a Stargate fan, it’s pretty much the geek equivalent of such a disaster. Stargate is one of those shows that had a long and successful run (the entire franchise adds up to 17 seasons of content) before every single show in said franchise was unfortunately cancelled by SyFy – thus going the way of other landmark shows, like Star Trek, which were excellent but were axed by the network for a variety of financial reasons. Like Star Trek, Stargate was thought-provoking and funny, profound and lighthearted, entertaining and touching at the same time. It was the best of both worlds when it comes to sci-fi: it gave you hope and made you think. Unfortunately, that wasn’t good enough for SyFy, and these days, there’s almost no new Stargate content out there. A few tie-in novels (which, as I hear, are terrible) and a game here or there is all that gets released. But for all intents and purposes, the franchise is more or less dead.

Except for when it’s not. It still remains alive in the hearts of its fans, who love it even years after cancellation and rewatch it, and it stays alive in new fans who discover the franchise every day. But most importantly, to me, it also stays alive at the Chicago Stargate convention – the only remaining convention dedicated to Stargate in the world. It is a convention I attend every year, and it is a truly magical experience each time. In the four years I’ve been going, this convention, and the people who attend it, have done some amazing things:

  • forging friendships: I can’t count the number of amazing friends I’ve made from all over the world in years of going.
  • creating life-long connections: it was at this convention that I befriended someone who is now one of my very close friends, James – at whose wedding I will be a bridesmaid next year!
  • marriage: two people who met at this convention and started a relationship are now engaged to be married (at the convention itself) after a proposal that happened at the convention itself (I wrote about it in my last post).
  • saving lives: once again, I can’t count the number of Stargate fans I’ve been who struggle with depression, anxiety, and all sorts of other mental issues, for whom this show and this convention has literally been a lifeline. The show and its characters keep them going, while the convention itself is the highlight of their year, a time they spend with friends and like-minded fans, celebrating the show they love. For many, it is this one weekend a year that keeps them going the other 51 weeks of the year.
  • raising money for charity: every Thursday night, before the con, a wonderful fan named Kimberly organizes a charity auction. Everyone donates Stargate-y and geeky items that get bid on, and we always raise thousands of dollars for medical research.
  • shenanigans: need I say more? Often, the celebrities at the convention join the fans to hang out, and lifelong memories are created. Ah, the stories I could tell!

And this is just a handful of things that this particular con accomplishes. I’ve been posting all about the convention this week, with more posts to come, and if you want a small glimpse into just how fun and amazing this convention is, give them a read! Stargate may have been off the air for years, but it continues to truly make an impact in people’s lives. I can’t overstate the significance of a show, and its convention, that literally saves lives and creates families. In addition, the Stargate fandom is one of the most welcoming and uplifting fandoms I’ve been in – just like the show itself. It’s difficult to find a group of fans that are that open and open-minded, no matter how far and wide you look, and we can’t let that die out.

And yet, Creation Entertainment insists that next year’s Stargate convention will be the last one. Despite all the life-changing things this convention is responsible for, Creation doesn’t want it to keep going. I’m not sure why – perhaps their profit margin isn’t high enough compared to something as lucrative as Supernatural. But Stargate is about more than just the money: it’s about meaningful relationships, life-long memories, and life-changing actions. This convention is one of the few remaining places where fans of this amazing show can come together, celebrate their show, and accomplish these wonderful things.

Stargate fans and good friends at the 2015 con.

Stargate fans and good friends at the 2015 con.

We can’t let that end. To that end, I’m beginning a campaign to beg Creation to continue these conventions. 2017 will be the 20th anniversary of the television franchise, and it would be a shame to pass up having a convention that year – or the years following. I know many are heartbroken that next year is the last. I know many fans who have been saving up to go to a con and would like to have more than a year to do so. I know fans who are saddened that they won’t have this touchstone in their lives anymore. So, please join me in keeping this convention going.

There’s several things you can do at the moment: LIKE the Facebook page, share it, invite your friends, and post your stories, memories, and photos on the page so that others can see how meaningful this con has been. Publicize this post and the Facebook page as much as you can. Tweet, instagram, and use whatever other social media platform you’re on. Once we get enough traction, and enough likes, we’ll start taking more actions, such as contacting Creation directly. But for now, the most significant thing you can do for this convention, and for the people who love it, is to spread the word.


Posted on August 29, 2015, in conventions and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Куда нажать чтоб спасти?

  2. mominhighheels

    While I agree with you, that a 2017 convention would be great, the quality of the cons have gone down, IMO. The vendors room is pitiful, TBH, and the big names keep canceling. I understand that it sometimes happens, due to scheduling, and I actually really like the minor players, but a lot of people buy tickets for the big names, then get really upset, when they don’t get to see them. The dessert party has really gone down, and the virtual cattle call for the autographs is no fun. Still, I’ll go, but I think Creation needs to step it up a bit. JMHO.

    • I would agree that the quality of the convention could be improved in general, but I’m not sure it’s gone down. I’ve been going for the past four years in a row, and I recall that four years ago the vendors’ room was practically empty – we had at least 2-3 new vendors this year. Plus, Stitch’s Loft had a lot of really cool stuff. And while I think there’s a lot of other things Creation could improve (like selling fewer autograph tickets so we can actually talk to the stars and get personalized autographs), the stars cancelling is objectively not their fault. Believe me, there’s a lot I’m unhappy with at the con, but I think it’s just pure bad luck that Ben and Amanda found acting/directing work right at the same time.

      Still, there’s a lot of amazing things about the con that are not directly done by creation – for example, the fan-organized charity auction, and all the late-night hanging out and fun that we have every night. The stars join us sometimes, and it’s so much fun to hang out with other people who love stargate. Plus, it’s really special to see all the costumes, here people’s stories, see their photo ops, and gather with hundreds of other people that love the same thing. I think it’s special in a way that no comic con is, because everyone is in one place and loves the same thing. Plus, if this convention goes away, then it would be really hard to meet a *lot* of the Stargate stars because they don’t do a lot of other cons (David Hewlett, David Nykl, Torri HIgginson, etc…don’t really do a lot of other cons as far as I know).

  3. Pardon me for resurrecting an old post, but as an old school fangirl, I was wondering how your Creation petition was going. I was also wondering if you’ve ever been to a fan-run convention? They’re an entirely different animal, being run for love of the show and the fans, versus being run for profit. If you love Stargate so much, try putting on your own con; it will be smaller, but I can guarantee that it will be more fun.

    Okay, you may go bankrupt, destroy friendships, and learn to hate fandom, but then again you may not. I’m sure there are resources out there to get you started, and real cons to attend and learn from.

    Just a thought.

    • By all means, do resurrect an old post! I love it when readers do so! The project has sort of been on the back burning, but the facebook page has been getting a lot of likes, so I think I really need to harness all that energy to write letter campaigns and petitions to creation – especially because Amanda Tapping and Michael Shanks pulled out of Gatecon, which means that the Creation con is kind of the only way to meet them right now.

      In terms of a fan con, it’s an *enormous* undertaking. It requires a financial investment to begin with, with the possibility of, as you mention, ending up bankrupt, and I simply can’t take that kind of financial chance. It also requires time, and in order to get guests to attend, you need a reputation as a con organizer, which I don’t have. Unfortunately Creation has certain advantages in that being a big and long established company, they have money and a reputation, which means they can ‘start up’ cons and have a lot of power to “move and shake” in the entertainment world, which I personally don’t. Also, my impression is that attending the con is more fun than running one, so putting on my own con…well, i wouldn’t have time to enjoy it!

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