My friend, Elizabeth went to Vancon this year and has kindly written up a report to share her wonderful experiences! Don't forget to give her some love in the comments!
The Creation Entertainment Supernatural Convention in Vancouver (#VanCon) is always a very special experience. It is the “hometown” of Supernatural. The show has filmed every episode but The Pilot there so any place you go you can easily stumble upon locations used in the show. It makes the world of Supernatural feel real in a way. I love being able to stand in a place and say “Sam and Dean stood right here.”
This convention was the first weekend of a nearly month long vacation so I am going to try my best to remember the highlights these many weeks later :D
This year the convention was held at the Vancouver Convention Centre in downtown Vancouver. It has normally been held at the Sheraton Wall Centre which is a hotel. You could easily walk down from your hotel room to the convention. This year everyone had to stay off-sight. I thought it was going to be a bigger problem than it was but our hotel ended up being only two blocks from the convention center and an easy walk (even in some of the rainy mornings). The convention center was GIGANTIC!!! I really enjoyed having VanCon here but did kind of get nostalgic when we drove by the Wall Centre later in the week. Though, I count it as a good sign that the conventions are getting so big they have to look for larger buildings to hold them in.
We all arrived in Vancouver on Thursday. There is a small group of us who make this journey (pilgrimage?) (I kid...) (maybe) to Vancouver every summer. For most of us, this is the only time we see each other all year so it is always a great reunion. Registration started around 8pm and even though we were re-upping the same seats for next year we still loved to hang in the registration line with everyone. After we got registered we did a quick recon of the center to familiarize ourselves with the new layout. Even for the size, it was surprisingly easy to navigate. The convention center had its own security that was handling the lines and mass of people. They did such an amazing job. It was great to have them around.
I love Fridays at Supernatural conventions. There are not as many people and the energy is always really high! Louden Swain and Richard are a house band and MC to beat no other. Their chemistry is electric and they play off each other so well. They joked in Dallas that they should record a convention song album with all the songs that have become standard at SPN conventions. Like “Rules and Regulations” and “The Last Question” I think that would be hilarious and I would so buy one (to get autographed, of course) :D
The breathtaking Mr. Gil McKinney kicked off VanCon with his solo panel. Gil is in New York trying his hand at singing and acting there. He shared some stories about his dogs not liking NY. Pretty funny. Of course, a fan asked a singing question and he broke into As Time Goes By from Casablanca. His voice...so perfect...so rich...so (what? Oh sorry)
Tyler Johnston was up next. I was able to see Tyler at his first convention appearance in Vegas in March. He is such a stage presence and ridiculously funny! He also tells a version of the classic Kim Manner’s Bee Story from the episode Bugs. It is also interesting to hear him talk about the difference between working on the show in Season 1 and then again in Season 8.
Osric’s panel was amazing as always. We had heard there was going to be an epic cosplay but when he arrived on stage he was just dressed in his normal street attire. He shared the story of an amazing fan who had worked so hard on his cosplay (and even drove DAYS to hand deliver it) but Osric could tell that he wasn’t satisfied so he told him to keep working on it and Osric would premiere it at another convention. Aww! *heart clench*
It was so fun to have Erica Carroll at her first convention appearance in VanCon. She was a little nervous when she got on stage (she confessed to reading some fan reactions to Hannah) but she was so sweet and amazing and the crowd just loved on her. She brought cupcakes to hand out to the people asking her questions. Her panel was amazing. Fun fact: When Hannah is naked in front of Cas (10.07 Girls, Girls, Girls) that isn’t actually Erica. She used a body double for that scene because she has made the choice not to be naked on film. I really respect her courage. The sensational Ruthie Connell also made an appearance at the end of Erica’s panel. The two knew each other before Supernatural so it was neat to hear them squee about being on the same show.
Those were the panels for Friday. My friend Jilly and I had decided to do a Louden Swain photo op together last minute. I had done one before but she had not. When we got up to the band, Jilly said “This is my first Louden Swain photo op!!” All the guys were like “YAY!! We have to do something special!!” Mike offered her his bass and Billy, Rob and Mike all squeezed in around her. I wanted to hug Steve (because drummers need love too!!). It was a great photo op and when we got them to sign it on Sunday they all cracked up seeing it. Side note: when we did another Louden Swain op in Dallas two weeks later (yes, we were addicted), Steve remembered me and said “More hugs for the drummer??” when we were leaving the op. He gave me an extra hug. Love him <3
|photo by Chris Schmelke|
We skipped karaoke because some of us were sick and all of us were tired with a few more weeks of vacation left but from all accounts it was a great night!
Saturday opened with high expectations! There had been some rumors about a certain person showing up to Saturday Night Special.
Ruth’s panel was up first. She also brought gifts because she didn’t want to be outdone by Erica. But she confessed to not being as on top of it as she could have been so she just brought all the free toiletries from the hotel to hand out! It was completely hilarious. She is a gem of a woman. Strong and so capable. She might be my new girl crush (she totally is). I can’t wait to see Rowena again this year.
Theo Devaney (who played Crowley’s son Gavin) made his first convention appearance. He was sincere, funny and completely stole the crowd. Plus...his accent is really sexy. Sexy. Like a lot sexy...
where was I?
Oh yes. Theo is sexy.
Osric and Gil did their joint panel has as become tradition. They love to tease and play off each other. It is very fun to watch. Osric was teasing Gil that he needed to find a Jasmine costume for him to wear sometime after Gil admitted in his solo panel that he kinda liked Jasmine as a kid.
Always one of my absolute favorite panels of any con weekend is Mark Sheppard’s. He is so snarky, witty and hilarious. I love how he roams the crowd. This time he found a little girl wearing the “I Wuv Hugs” shirt and she matched wits with him for a couple minutes. It was EPIC! Find the video on YouTube. It is a must watch. Mark always closes his panel with a sincere thank you to the SPN fans. He is such a huge supporter of us just as we are of him.
Always makes sure to go pee before the R2M (Richard, Rob & Matt) panel. You will regret it if you don’t :D The highlight this year was when someone brought the hamster from ComicCon and they did a whole rift with it again. THE LAUGHTER TEARS WERE REAL!! They are so spontaneous and are the best of friends. I loves them <3
Last panel of the day was Misha’s. This panel at VanCon was probably the best Misha panel I have ever seen. Of course, everyone teared up when he come on stage because this was the first time he had appeared since he was mugged in Minnesota. Everyone was so glad to see him looking so good. The love was obvious in the room.
We were able to have a nice long break to run back the hotel and freshen up before the SNS that evening.
SATURDAY NIGHT SPECIAL
This amazing night that Louden Swain puts together every convention is...honestly, there are no words to describe it. The energy and passion is perfect. I look forward to the SNS every convention. There is nothing like it.
When we arrived and took our seats I spied Clif over to the right side of the stage. I laughed and said “That can only mean ONE thing!” But as the music got started, I kinda forgot about the extra treat we were expecting. Louden Swain is magic on that stage. They pull in the talented cast of SPN and of the Creation staff and put on a DAMN good show. Gil singing is always an epic highlight! He sang a Maroon 5 song this time. That boy...he really can sing anything.
After Louden Swain and Rich sang Seven Bridges Road (personal favorite, btw), Rob turned to the curtain and invited a “new to the convention tour” guest. He then broke into this huge grin and said “J-dawg, will you get out here?!”
Nothing prepares you for Jensen Ackles jumping up on stage dressed in dark green pants and a black t-shirt with a 6-string slung around his neck. Nothing...NOTHING I TELL YOU!
|photo by Karen Cooke|
I was in Vegas when he sang Sister Christian at the SNS but just adding the guitar to this performance made it 500 times sexier. Shew! Okay...
Jensen sang Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd with Louden Swain, Richard, Mark Sheppard and Adam Malin. It is pure joy to watch Jensen 100% enjoy something. When he sings he is in this bubble of happiness. He is a rocker at heart. I could watch him forever. (If you somehow missed this 8th wonder of the world ;-) ...here is the link).
After Jensen, Louden Swain and Gil lead everyone in Carry On Wayward Son. It always gives me chills to sing that song in a room of fellow SPN fans. CHILLS!
Bright and early Sunday is the J2 Gold panel. I don’t usually remember much from this panel because JARED AND JENSEN ARE 20 FEET AWAY!!! I usually have to go watch YouTube afterwards (shoutout to the awesome fans who record these panels for us so we can relive memories!) But some of the things I do remember is the beautiful discussion that the boys had about balancing families and work. They talked lovingly about their wives and how they are so patient and forgiving about finding that delicate balance.
They also expounded on the snake story from Yellow Fever and how Jared was the one freaking out about the snake even though it was coming over the couch on Jensen’s shoulder. Of course they demonstrated :D
They also told a story about driving from Vancouver to L.A. after the season one year in separate vehicles but together [Jensen: “It was a convoy. I’m not going to lie.”] They had walkie-talkies and demonstrated the conversations between vehicles. “What’s your 20?” “I’m still right behind you!” Boys <3
After the panel, it is always a blur of J photo-ops. I loved all my photo op experiences and I love how they take a minute each time to make you feel special, heard and loved. The one experience I will share is in Jensen’s solo photo op, I had just done a op with a friend and him. She was walking away and Jensen held my arm because we had told Chris as we walked up that it was a double and then a solo. I stood there with Jensen holding my upper arm and looking at me and I couldn’t figure out why he wasn’t doing the pose idea I had. It felt like a minute but I am sure it was just a few seconds before I realized I hadn’t actually told him the pose idea! I started laughing and was like “I need to tell you my pose!” Jensen laughed and said “I was waiting!” By that time I had forgotten the pose so I just asked for a hug. He said “Absolutely.” and hugged me really tight. Later when I picked up my op from the photo table, I burst into tears. WHICH I HAVE NEVER DONE BEFORE, MIND YOU! It is my favorite solo op.
|photo by Chris Schmelke|
An extra special treat this year was having the promo of the Supernatural Fan Movie at the convention. Clif and his brother Mitch and Jason Fischer did a short Q&A about the making of the movie and their hopes for the future of the project. Their love for the fans was so evident that I am tearing up just writing this. They wanted to put into words and video the magic of the SPN Family and judging from one of the best 8 minute promos I’ve ever seen, they have done just that. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place as we all watched this tribute to the lightening in a bottle that is our family.
Here is the link to the promo and the fundraising page for the project. Check it out.
One of the cool things that happened on Sunday (I don’t remember when it exactly happened. Sorry...fuzzy brain) Richard and Rob were on stage talking about how someone from Entertainment Weekly had done a piece about Jensen singing the night before and had mentioned everyone performing with him EXCEPT for Louden Swain!! It was their concert and they weren’t even mentioned!! So they asked us to all tweet them and tell them to credit the band. I believe the hashtag was #dontforgettheband Less than an hour later, they came back on stage to share the tweet that EW had posted on their official account giving credit to Louden Swain. They were VERY impressed by our fandom influence! It was a great moment.
The boy’s afternoon panel was a lot of fun. I loved Rob and Jensen’s back and forth about how they showed up both dressed alike. Rob did this pantomime about he and Mike climbing a ladder and looking into Jensen’s window to see what he was wearing so he could dress the same. Hilarious!! :D Then there was the running gag about Jared’s fake quote about volcanoes being mountains that are volcanoes and Jensen’s “comedy elbows” They were in a great mood.
Things became more serious when they were asked to describe each other in 3 words. Jared called Jensen “Talented, loyal to a fault, genuinely caring.” Jensen called Jared “A good friend.” The sweetest moment was when they were answering a question about their favorite moments on set and Jensen said his favorite was watching Jared fall in love with Gen. (awwwwwwww!!!!!) He told this funny story about Jared interrupting Gen reading on set between scenes (which apparently she doesn’t like) and trying to start a conversation. It was a beautifully precious.
|photo by @jillyrulz|
They wrapped the panel with the standard last question song. Rob gave Jared his own cow bell that had JPAD written on it in case he wanted to join SNS in the future!
I am know there were so many other things that happened but this re-cap is already nearing novel length. Thanks for bearing with me.
I am so grateful that I am able to go to conventions. I will never take it for granted. The opportunity to meet and talk with our cast and crew. To meet and develop amazing friendships with fellow fans. These conventions are like huge family reunions.
Thanks to Amy for letting me relive the awesomeness <3 I will be back in a few weeks with a DenverCon recap! I am so excited they are FINALLY coming to my home city!! I still have to pinch myself to make sure I am not dreaming the whole thing!