Thursday, 13 June 2013

Vulcan, Alberta, Canada - Hosts Spock Days



An annual, community-wide Star Trek Convention, Spock Days, is occasion for perking up one’s ears and pursuing a bit of recreation in Canada’s Star Trek capital. Four fun-filled solar rotations of costume parties, celebrity appearances and mingling in the interest of inter-planetary friendship, Spock Days has been turning other bastions of science-fiction fandom green with envy for the past 21 years. A crop-circle-worthy locale on the undiscovered prairies, the festival’s birthplace in Vulcan, Alberta is more than the namesake of Spock’s logic-espousing home world it’s a cosmically certified tourist destination.

“The Town of Vulcan is genuine,” confirms Star Trek enthusiast and repeat Spock Days attendee Shannon Sigvaldasson. “For the residents of Vulcan and the surrounding area, this weekend is their Mardi Gras and they go all out! The whole community sees the benefit of aligning with Star Trek culture and, in so doing, creates a larger, world-renowned identity for their town.”

Enhancing Vulcan County’s reputation for being a veritable Rigel 7 of dark skies and space culture, curators of fandom Michael Mangold and Devan Daniels have announced the impeding launch of Canada’s only Star Trek-themed museum. The Trekcetera Museum is set open during Spock Days with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring this year’s special guests. Actors Robert Picardo “The Doctor” and Ethan Phillips “Neelix,” of Star Trek Voyager fame, and senior illustrator Rick Sternbach are slated to headline this year’s festivities.

“The real joy of seeing celebrities in Vulcan is that the setting provides for more up-close encounters and one-on-one time,” says Sigvaldasson. “There is a kind of freedom and safety that being in Vulcan allows the stars versus the comparatively rigid schedule of a typical convention.”

Guest of honour and Spock Days emcee Robert Picardo, who is also known for his roles as Richard Woolsey from the popular TV series Stargate, will be delivering an original live performance along with his former Voyager co-star and astro-gastronomer, Ethan Phillips. A senior illustrator and designer for Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Voyager and the first two seasons of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, special guest Rick Sternbach will also regale the congregation with insights into his role in creating hundreds of props and set-pieces for the franchise and personal stories of assisting the show’s writers.

“Go for the whole weekend, there’s no reason to leave! Book a hotel room or campsite early, they fill up quickly. Be sure to catch the Parade! Walk the main streets; each shop you wander into will have some fun and unique Trek memorabilia. And, if a group of Klingons invites you to drink with them, do it!”

Spock Days runs from June 7 to 9 in Vulcan, AB.

Originally published in BeatRoute Magazine June 4, 2013
By Christine Leonard

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