2019 Can-Con Bid



SUBMITTED BY: Derek Künsken (Co-Chair Programming), Marie Bilodeau (Co-Chair Corporate)

Can*Con is a fan-run literary scifi, fantasy and horror conference running in Ottawa, first on-and-off from 1995-2005 and then yearly in the fall since 2010. Can*Con  is growing quickly, from 90 attendees in 2010 to 250 in 2016.

Can*Con strives to do two programming tracks very well: literature and science. Can*Con’s decision not to pursue media, filking, collector, gaming or costuming tracks has allowed us to put more energy and time into getting major editor Guests of Honour every year (Asimov’s, Analog, DAW Books), and since 2016, Agent Guests of Honour from New York literary agencies (last year JABberwocky, this year the Morhaim Agency). We typically run 5 tracks of programming for readers/fans, writers, and science enthusiasts.

Since 2013, Can*Con has taken the difficult decision to run downtown. This means that out-of-towners have walkable access to Parliament Hill, the museums, the Market, Elgin street, the river walk, the canal, and shopping at the Rideau Center. This is challenging because there is no doubt that it is far more expensive to run a con in downtown hotels, but it also allows us to reach out to youth and people with mobility issues, because we are never more than 2 blocks from transit arteries.

Because of the quality of our programming and the downtown attendee experience, Can*Con has picked up multiple Aurora nominations and a highly skilled volunteer cadre, despite our modest size. Can*Con last hosted the Aurora Awards in 2013 and it was a great success.


Can*Con 2019 would like to submit a bid to host Canvention in Ottawa in 2019. We understand that CSFFA expects Can*Con 2019:

1.   That one or more Guests of Honour be Canadian;

2.   That a room or appropriate space be provided Friday evening for presentation of nomination pins (the presenters should be former nominees)

3.   That the Aurora Awards ceremony take place in a ballroom in a ticketed lunch/formal tea/dinner setting (depending on what is decided on), but that once the presentation ceremony begins the ballroom be opened to the general public with appropriate seating in place to accommodate them.

4.   That at least one ConCom member (probably a Vice-Chair) is responsible for organizing the Banquet & other Canvention events and activities, and in general act as liaison with CSFFA.

Can*Con is able to meet these requirements, but would also like to suggest some specific value-added features for 2019:

With respect to presenters for the pin ceremony, if we could find national political or literary figures, would that be an acceptable substitute? For example, if we could find a high official in the Canada Council, or a CBC reporter, or a member of Parliament or Cabinet-level official, the chance of publicity coverage and respect for the Auroras goes up. This is not a guarantee, but should our bid be successful, we feel this could be a value-added feature Can*Con could offer Canvention.

With respect to a ticketed lunch/dinner, there are many people who would like to attend the whole ceremony, but frankly, don’t have the money. We refer to writers in difficult financial means, the disabled, underemployed and students. If we could get a reception sponsored by a local winery or brewery, we are envisioning a mix and mingle event with GOHs, writers, artists, aspiring writers, etc over drinks. We are envisioning a pre-awards reception, then award from 7:30-9:00pm and then the possibility of parties. This kind of structure would allow all those who wished to attend to do so, regardless of funds.

We further understand that CSFFA expects Can*Con 2019:

5.   To provide a room two hours Sunday morning to hold the CSFFA AGM and that it be open to all interested individuals whether CSFFA members, Can*Con attendees, or members of the general public;

6.   To include Canvention and the Aurora Awards in all advertising, with at least one page on the Can*Con web site devoted to same, and a prominent link to that page clearly visible on the home page of the web site;

7.   To publicize Canvention in its promotional and marketing materials, including information about Canvention and the Aurora Awards, as well as press releases specifically devoted to Canvention and the Aurora Awards;

8.   To make every effort to attract media attention to Canvention and the Aurora Awards;

9.   To arrange for the taking of stills and record video of the pin ceremony, the Aurora Awards ceremony, and possibly the AGM, that can immediately be downloaded for publicity purposes;

10.                 To provide a display case to CSFFA for a weekend-long display of appropriate items provided by CSFFA for display/publicity purposes. Display case to be secured in the Dealer’s Room;

11.                 To program one or more panels/lectures to promote CSFFA, Canvention, the Aurora Awards, or any other topic deemed appropriate to CSFFA;

Can*Con can fully meet these requirements, and between now and 2019, we would be delighted to assemble a ConCom committee under a Vice-Chair to look at how to innovate and excel at each one.


Can*Con possesses the infrastructure, the community enthusiasm, and the track record of success to properly host Canvention 2019. We hope that you will find our bid to be not only acceptable, but competitive.

Thank you for your consideration,


Derek Künsken Marie Bilodeau

Co-Chair Can*Con Co-Chair Can*Con

Programming Corporate