AvCon 2009 — The Summary, Day Two

This is the second of a three-part summary of the events of AvCon 2009: The Last Hurrah, as provided to us by Sonya. Feel free to read the Day One summary, if you’ve not done so. Day three’s summary will be up before Christmas.

July 25, 2009

Doors opened at 9:30 am at Black Creek Pioneer Village, which was also used as a filming site in RTA. Elisa and I registered, checked in, gave out door prize tickets, and handed out AvCon ’09 goodie bags which the committee members assembled the night before and consisted of an AvCon ’09 pencil, Snickers bar, fruit snack packet, and an AoGG commemorative coin). There were about 75 registered attendees.  The fans mingled and walked around looking at the tables littered with awesome raffle and door prize giveaways and baskets.  There were AvCon scrapbooks on the table and information about The Good Shepherd, our charity this year.  And fans were able to buy raffle tickets to try their luck of winning some fantastic prizes (PEI Preserves, RTA jacket, candles, DVDs, RTA books, etc).

Then things got going and after some technical difficulties, we were graced with a short video presentation put together by Kevin Sullivan who was unfortunately unable to be with us.  Kevin welcomed everyone to the last AvCon event and thanked the committee members for their hard work and for inviting him. He announced that a new high definition digital restoration of RTA seasons 1 & 2 would be out in the fall with brilliant quality and lots more details that no one has ever seen. He talked about the challenges of writing good RTA scripts and trying to create a dream world that reflected the times of 1900s PEI. He said he had no idea that the series would have such an “overall appeal” to so many people but felt the stories of a tight knit community which had people sticking together no matter what is what touched so many people. Patricia Hamilton, Mag Ruffman, and Cedric Smith made brief appearances in the video and talked about how they felt about Avonlea and the storylines and what other people’s reactions were to the show.

Then, our first actual guest of the morning was James O’Regan (Constable Abner Jeffries). As always, he was enthusiastic, funny and entertaining. The crowd loved him. He talked about his time on RTA and also discussed his current projects and acting career. He signed autographs and posed for pictures with the fans, and while he was doing this, we drew lots of numbers with the help of fans and gave away lots of door and raffle prizes.  We broke for a lunch, and people were free to eat at the Halfway House, at the BBQ court area at BCPV or go out or bring their own lunch. After lunch, Mag Ruffman and John Welsman arrived, and they were all together for a bit before James had to rush off in his taxi to catch his flight back to Ottawa. John Welsman spoke about his beautiful music that he composed for RTA, and Mag Ruffman presented a wonderful slideshow she put together of her personal life and also her experiences with her fellow RTA actors.  They both signed autographs and posed for pictures. They were joined briefly by an extra from RTA, a gentleman named Richard Walker.  And then Mag also had to rush off to catch a flight out of Buffalo. While we waited for our next guests, Ruth organized a fun game for the attendees which consisted of some of them getting a name tag with an obscure RTA character put on their backs and having to guess who they were by asking other attendees  questions that were only able to be answered by “yes” or “no”. I must say that was very very hard, since one of the characters was not even human! 

Alas, our next guests arrived: David Fox and Michael Mahonen. Oops, before I forget, Ian D. Clarke did pop in briefly to let us know he arrived after driving several hours from Kingston, Ontario only to have his car break down near BCPV.  He called a tow truck and left right away. Needless to say, we were all very disappointed. I think a few people were able to snap some pictures of him before he rushed off. Well, Mickey was, as usual, warmly welcomed and spoke about his experiences on RTA and discussed his current projects. He did his Gus Pike accent in anticipation of being asked since that’s what everyone wants to hear when he comes to AvCon.  David Fox was debonair and very friendly, although he did not wish to speak. He signed autographs and posed for pictures at the table alongside Mickey. We ended our time at BCPV but the fun did not end there. Most of us trekked to Swiss Chalet for our group dinner and we were joined by John Welsman, Michael Mahonen, and David Fox. Unfortunately, David Fox had to leave before dinner arrived as it was getting pretty late before anyone got their dinners. I think Swiss Chalet was not prepared for such a big crowd that night even though we made reservations well in advance.

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