Gatecon 2002

Day One:

The City Tour and
Sekh’s Party

Vancouver, B.C. Canada  September 12-15, 2002


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Last Updated 10/22/2010

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After a loooooong, tiring trip from Orlando, we rolled into Vancouver and the Richmond Inn around midnight Tuesday night. After settling a slight mix-up with our reservations (in spite of the fact that we had called that very morning and confirmed everything!), we sorted everything out and tried to order the advertised 24 hour room service. Don't you believe it. Fifteen minutes after we ordered, we got a call back saying they were out of everything except cold sandwiches! Not being willing to pay something like $11.00 each for a cold sandwich, we went without.

I found a little magazine in our room about what to see and do in Vancouver and was surprised to open it right up to a page with a picture of Colin Cunningham on it! Turns out he is in a play here, as some of you know, during a Fringe Festival. He is interviewed in the magazine and here are some excerpts for those of you interested.

This is from "Bewitched by the Fringe" by Louise Phillips in Where Vancouver.

“In the soul of mild-mannered accountant Irene Astle lurks a tale-spinning gypsy dancer. Film and TV actor Colin Cunningham yearns to sustain a character "without someone yelling 'Cut!' every two minutes." Katie Murphy hopes to morph from newly minted Fine Arts grad to employed actor. They all need a modern version of Shakespeare's Puck, and they have found it in the Vancouver Fringe Festival.

<lots about the Festival snipped>

The casual, accepting atmosphere of the festival is a useful leveler of traditional barriers in a cut-throat industry. Fringe regular Colin Cunningham loves the easy social networking. "The spirit of the Fringe is wonderful," says the Californian transplant, who produces, directs and stars in "Before Eva." "It's festive, meeting different people from all over the world. Hang out, see a show, have a beer, Meet actors and directors. Fantastic."

There's a very nice little b/w photo of Colin. To read more: www.wherevancouver.com

Do a search for "fringe festival" under features and you can see the entire article including the photo of Colin. (This might not work any longer, alas. I don’t know how long they leave their articles up on the web.)

We were up at the crack of dawn to have breakfast. Just about the first person we ran into in the restaurant was Sue Seeley (of the Gatecon C4). We finally got some food and headed out to board Bus #1 for the special Gatecon City Tour! They gave us special laminated bus badges with a really cute picture of Teal’c stopping the psychedelic bus in 1969 printed on them and told us to pick up our box lunches from a big table. The itinerary throughout the day was a lot of fun and it was great recognizing so many spots where episodes were filmed. Someone had written up a commentary for our "tour guide" to read as we went to each spot, explaining which episode was filmed where, complete with amusing comments sometimes ("And we're driving..."). There were only a few stops advertised on the tour, but in reality the bus driver often let us jump out for five or ten minutes to get better pictures. It was 9/11, btw, and I was touched to see that every place we went the Canadian flag was at half mast.

Some of the places we saw were the Bloedel Conservatory (Gamekeeper) where there are absolutely gorgeous gardens (we're going back on Monday, to tour the inside where there are tropical gardens and birds); the NID Mansion from Teal'c Interrupted, Daniel's Mansion from Absolute Power (where we all piled out of the bus and took pictures past the iron gates! Luckily, we later learned it was not a private residence, because a car came passed us into the grounds as we were milling around and we had visions of the police coming to find out who we were!); the Plaza of Nations (2010/Bane), Daniel's Apartment (The Light), the Law Courts seen in Foothold (where we ran into a bunch of Firemen having a ceremony for 9/11...this had significance to us later in the day!), Hamburger Mary's Diner (Holiday); Jericho Beach (Fire and Water) where we got to walk on the beach for a few moments, and the Planetarium and Vanier Park (1969/Prodigy).

Bloedel Conservatory

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Bloedel Conservatory

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Daniel’s Mansion

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Daniel’s Mansion

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Plaza of Nations

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Plaza of Nations

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Plaza of Nations

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The Law Courts

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The Law Courts

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Hamburger Mary’s

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The things you see in Vancouver!

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Jericho Beach

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Flag at half-mast (Vanier Park)

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We had a picnic box lunch at Vanier Park. The weather was absolutely clear and gorgeous all day and just perfect for a picnic. The Vancouver Museum was at the top of the hill with a fantastic giant metal crab in front of it with a fountain spraying water up through it. (See below) We visited the gift shop and spent some money, of course.

There were huge sea gulls and crows everywhere and they all wanted to share our lunch. The box lunches provided as part of the tour were quite tasty, btw. One couple of girls from our bus were eating in the grass and started feeding the birds...the next thing we could see, they were completely surrounded by birds of different species all trying to have a bite of their lunch! Down by the water, there were lots of big red and white tents set up for the Bard on the Beach (Shakespeare Festival).

After lunch, we saw young Carter's house (Jolinar's Memories), Sam's House (Ascension) and headed up Burnaby mountain to a university that has served as Tollana in Pretense, Between Two Fires and Upgrades. It was instantly recognizable. On the way down Burnaby mountain, we stopped at Horizons, aka O'Malley's. The views of the Vancouver and the surrounding mountains were breathtaking and Horizons, although the sign was different, was also immediately recognizable as O'Malley's.

Bard on the Beach

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Vancouver from Vanier Park

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Attack of the Birds!

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Vanier Park

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Vanier Park

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The crab

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Horizons

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Burnaby Mountain

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Burnaby Mountain

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Burnaby Mountain

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Burnaby Mountain

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Our next stop was Bridge Studios. It was quite a thrill to see the MGM and Bridge signs and especially to recognize the front entrance from Wormhole X-Treme. One of the other buses was there before us and they said that we had just missed Don S. Davis and his dog, Lady. I later heard that some folks came out and threw hats and t-shirts over the fence to the tourists! Leah ran across the street to a little cafe to get us drinks and said there appeared to be some technical people in there talking shop. A few folks from the administrative offices waved at us out of the windows. Just as we finally loaded up the bus and started to pull away, a big bay began to open up on the side of the building. We asked the driver to stop, but he kept going. We later heard that as we pulled away, a MALP was wheeled out. So, we missed out at Bridge! But it was still fun to see the studio.

Bridge Studios

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Bridge Studios

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Bridge Studios & Me

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Bridge Studios

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I can highly recommend this tour to any Gatecon fan if you have the opportunity to take it (perhaps next year?) and must thank everyone, the committee and the volunteers who worked to put it together and to run it for the fans. One of the best parts of it was its unique nature and the opportunity to see so many different sections of Vancouver that would never be included in a standard city tour. We saw absolutely gorgeous houses and gardens (there are soooo many flowers in bloom here right now) and a great deal of the "real" Vancouver, out and about with the natives, so to speak.

We saw a few more spots on a drive-by on the way back to the hotel and then it was time to get ready for Sekh's Party. We only had about an hour until our bus would leave, so we had to scramble to get upstairs and changed. I also had to reload the camera and make sure I took the right flash equipment. I had promised to do some photography at the party.

Our bus driver was quite bemused as one woman after another, many of them quite dressed up, trooped on to his bus. He was really enjoying helping the ladies up the steps. He asked us what was going on and we told him it was a Stargate convention. He said he was a big fan of the show, so we chatted a bit. QS came onto the bus after we were all loaded and gave us a little talk and then yelled "On with the Sekh's Party!" which sentiment we all loudly echoed. The bus driver turned around and said "Did you all just say 'Six thirty'?" "No," we told him. "SEKH'S PARTY!" He turned back around and started the bus with a little smile on his face, saying "I just could not live in a better world!" And we were off...

The party was at the Plaza of Nations this year, at Mavericks on the Water. I liked this venue better than last year's because it seemed much more comfortable as far as seating arrangements and the like. There was a lovely buffet later in the evening with all kinds of wings and pastas and salads and such and even later there were absolutely scrumptious desserts. Fan music videos played almost continuously on the monitors and some of them were incredibly moving while others were screamingly funny and even others were just plain fun. There was an hilarious Jack and Daniel one done to the tune of Pinky and the Brain (you can guess who played "The Brain"). Some of the other videos, just as a sampling, was one to the theme of The Love Boat with Jack as the “Captain”, Sam as “Your Cruise Director,” Daniel as “Your Purser”, Teal’c as “Your Bartender.” It was hilarious! They also showed the vid that made Amanda Tapping and Michael Shanks cry at Wolfcon: a Meridian based vid to the tune of “What If?”

At Sekh's Party that night, two of the firemen who had been part of the ceremony at the Law Courts overheard that some of the charity money from the party was going to the 9/11 Orphans Fund. One of the firemen had been very involved in doing fundraising and the like, apparently, and had even traveled to New York City last year and will go again later this year for a special ceremony that was held last October 11th and again this year on 10/11. He and his buddy were having a beer at Mavericks and I saw them next to our table listening to some of the sentiments expressed up on stage during the opening ceremonies. They later asked to come up on stage themselves and speak to the crowd. They stayed throughout the night, joining in the party with us! I heard later on that there were a number of firemen at the party that night and when they heard about our charities, they wanted to come up and speak, even if they were a little inebriated!

JR Bourne didn't arrive until quite late (apparently he had to take his dog to the emergency vet), but he was his usual charming self once he did get there (unfortunately, Colin Cunningham, who had intended to attend, was unable to make it). JR pulled some of the major raffle prize winners, including, among other things, a beautiful print of the original cast, a Stargate painting with dolphins, a set tour (Darren Duncan was one of the winners and donated his back for another lucky winner since he had already purchased a set tour in the auction!), and more. Many items will still be awarded to lucky winners over the convention. JR was giving hugs and kisses (or handshakes) to the winners when they would come to collect their prizes. One young lady got so excited about winning that she bounced right past JR who was leaning over ready to hug and kiss her and he hovered there, looking quite forlorn. She came back real quick for her hug, though! QS told us that they started out with 3000 books of raffle tickets and I believe they sold them all by the end of the day. JR then helped auction off some unique items like Richard Dean Anderson's pants (signed by RDA, of course), some jackets (autographed), an Amanda Tapping shirt (which JR had to sniff, of course), and more. At one point, JR auctioned off his Wormhole X-Treme shirt and someone asked him what it smelled like. He said "Like Febreeze. I sprayed it this morning!"

The auction finished up with a gorgeous quilt made by Becky and signed by all the cast on the label. It went for over $1000.00.

Everyone then begged JR to please remove the silly knit cap he'd been wearing all evening. He adamantly refused, maintaining his hair was very long for a part he's going to play (as a drug addict). He finally said he wouldn't remove it for less than $1000 for the charity. He was joking, of course, but someone marched up to the stage and threw down the money and said "Done!" What could he do? In the end, he removed the hat! (And he looked FINE from where I was standing! LOL!) Unfortunately, I had already put my camera away for the night and was heading for the doorway, so I didn’t get any decent photos of the moment.

We hobbled (in my case) back to the buses and finally made it back to the hotel after a long, long day!

Mavericks

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JR & Sekh

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JR & Sekh

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JR auctioning

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JR auctioning

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JR & the quilt

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JR & Martouf’s costume

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JR auctioning

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JR auctioning artwork by Don S. Davis

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The raffle prizes

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Robert Vogel

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Lisa & Curtis

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Some of Sekh’s Aids

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Some of Sekh’s Aids

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QS auctioning

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The firemen

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The Party

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Rowan

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Day Two – Gastown and the Cocktail Party

Or

Return Home

Gatecon 2001

Featuring pictures of Brad Wright, Alexis Cruz, Virginia Hey (from Farscape), Jay Acovone, Jay Brazeau, Tony Amendola, Erick Avari, Gary Jones, Teryl Rothery, Don S. Davis, Dan Shea, Amanda Tapping, Colin Cunningham, JR Bourne and more!

Wolfcon SG-4

Featuring pictures of Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping, Tom McBeath
and Lexa Doig (from Andromeda)


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