AvCon 2009 – The Summary, Day One

This is the first of a three-part summary of the events of AvCon 2009: The Last Hurrah, as provided to us by Sonya. We apologize for the delay in getting this online. Parts two and three will be posted in the coming days.

July 24, 2009

It was with much anticipation for all the committee members when we gathered once again two years later at the Black Creek Pioneer Village parking lot to launch our last AvCon event.  It had been a long journey of hard work and planning for all of us. We were sad to be without our Shelly Taylor (AvCon ’04 alumni) and Nan Conner (working diligently behind the scenes) who has each been an integral part of AvCon since the beginning in 2004. We watched as newbies and past attendees arrived one by one, family by family. There was a lot of buzzing about while everyone caught up with each other, introductions made and pictures taken. There was a definite excitement in the air.  And it all went up a notch with the arrival of Dan Matthews, SE’s location manager  and Mark Reitsma (a.k.a. Paperboy of the Anne3 message boards).

This year, we were fortunate and grateful to Sullivan Entertainment who organized and financed a bus for all the 56 filming site attendees (no more car caravans, getting left behind at red lights and getting lost). Kevin Sullivan and SE have always been supportive and cooperative in our AvCon endeavors, and we are so very grateful for their generosity and kindness. We were also happy to have sponsorship from Bruce Macnaughton of the PEI Preserve Company in New Glasgow, PEI.

Just like in 2007, the filming sites tour was sold out, and unfortunately we had to turn people away due to space constraints.  Zsolt checked everyone off as they boarded the bus, and Angel & Marcel kindly offered to drive their van for those needing to leave early or were overflow from the bus.  Throughout the filming sites tour, Dan narrated and told us stories about each of the filming sites and what went on behind the scenes. Mark was, as Dan put it, “my paparazzi” and he documented and filmed everything most of the day.

First stop:  RTA and Anne 4 Stunt Bridge near Leaksdale where Aunt Hetty fell into the water in Old Quarrels, Old Love with Romney Penhallow, and it was also used for Alex and Roger’s fight scene in Family Rivalry. Everyone roamed about and tried to get different shots of the water. The area looked much smaller in person than on screen.

Second stop:  L.M. Montgomery’s house in Leaskdale. We were lucky enough to be able to go inside and take a self-guided tour of the house and also take pictures of both the inside and outside.

Third stop: Pine Grove Church in Uxbridge, a beautiful white painted church, which was used in several episodes of RTA.

Fourth stop: Junior Ranger Camp where the scene of the haunted woods was filmed in AoGG. Other RTA scenes were filmed there, especially ones with horses.  Then we took a break for lunch in Uxbridge and ate at Tim Horton’s, Swiss Chalet or McDonald’s.

Fifth stop:  The famous King Farm a.k.a. the Macdougal’s house. Everyone enjoyed meeting Mr. and Mrs. Macdougal and spent some time talking to them and wandering around the property. We were grateful that they let us come since Mr. Macdougal recently recovered from a serious illness. The committee members brought a basket of goodies from each of their hometowns to present to them. Mark also filmed some fun trivia question & answers and interviews with a few of the Avonlea fans. I was very impressed with the RTA knowledge of the Taylor and Webster girls.

Sixth stop: Anne’s “Kissing Bridge”; Emmanuel International, Stouffville.  We all walked across it and if I remember correctly, I wanted  Angel and Marcel to reenact the famous kissing scene,  but they didn’t go for it.

Seventh & last stop: Diana Barry’s house/Avonlea Manse; Bruce’s Mill Conservation, Stouffville.  Dan knocked at the door but no one seemed to be home (or maybe they were scared to open the door to us crazed fans). However, we did all get out and took a look around and even had our group picture taken in front of the gate area! Then we all headed back to Black Creek Pioneer Village tired but thoroughly amazed and extremely satisfied with all of the sites we saw and thankful to Dan and Mark for their time and expertise.

2 Responses to “AvCon 2009 – The Summary, Day One”

  1. 1 AvCon 2009 — The Summary, Day Two at Avonlea Convention 2009
  2. 2 AvCon 2009 — The Summary, Day Three at Avonlea Convention 2009
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