Report on UK Sanctuary Convention – Haven 1 or Three Men & a Lady

Sanctuary Convention: Haven 1
Hosted by Wolf Events

Three Men & a Lady by Rebecca Lorna Macias

Guests: Christopher Heyerdahl, Robin Dunne, Chuck Campbell and Emilie Ullerup

Haven 1 began as any other Wolf Events convention with a ‘Meet & Greet’ party in the hall of the Conference Centre at the Thistle Hotel, Heathrow, London. This party is where the guests are introduced to the eagerly awaiting fans as they circulate the tables and find out just what they’ve let themselves in for. Christopher Heyerdahl and Chuck Campbell knew what to expect having attended a Stargate Atlantis convention hosted by Wolf Events back in January. Robin Dunne and Emilie Ullerup however were the designated ‘con virgins’ (as is the term for a first appearance at a weekend convention). The two were visibly blown away by the enthusiastic reception they received as event organizer Brian introduced them to the room.
Robin had a bit of a shock when he got to our table as a friend had placed a copy of ‘Teenage Space Vampires’ in plain view. He jokingly freaked out, but then went on to explain to us that it was a movie he’d done twelve years ago when he’d ‘needed the money’ and ironically where he first met Sanctuary’s Director, Martin Wood who wrote and directed the movie shot on location in Romania. Warning though, the film is only for diehard fans who want a good laugh and it was fortunate for Robin that the Wolf Events dvd player spat it out and refused to play it as everyone including the guests were dying for a laugh at poor Robin’s expense.

After the ‘Meet & Greet’ party the ‘con dancing’ began. For the unenlightened, con dancing consists of popular ‘old skool’ songs that dance routines have been worked out for, songs like YMCA, Star Trekking, Doctor Who, Rocky Horror Show, Cotton Eyed Joe, Men In Black, Prince Charming (Adam Ant) etc. What ‘surprised’ the guests was practically all the con attendees were up on the dance floor like they’d been doing it for years (some had of course at past conventions). What ‘shocked’ the guests was the rendition of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody with ‘alternate’ words being sung by everyone. Robin was apparently ‘changed forever’ afterwards and Emilie tried to cover her ears throughout the song, donning a bemused look of shock on her face until the end.
Christopher actually joined in the dancing having learned a few moves in January and after a while Robin and Emilie were both tempted to have a go whilst Chuck did what he does best, entertain people with his stories at the bar.

Saturday and Sunday’s from 9am were rounds of question and answer sessions with each guest individually and the inclusion of a guest panel on Sunday afternoon. In between there were photo sessions, signing sessions followed by more partying in the evenings, con dancing included.
The guests are not actually obliged to attend the parties and did their own thing on the Saturday night, though Chuck did pop over for a while.
Robin and Christopher saw a bit more of London than they expected when their driver got stuck in traffic en-route to an evening at the theatre. Both being the adventurous type, their driver let them out of the car with the GPS and they sprinted through the heart of London towards the theatre. Once they found it, they were told the play had started and as they didn’t have a pre-booked ticket they wouldn’t be permitted inside, much to their disappointment, especially Christopher who’s a big theatre buff and had been really looking forward to it. However as they moved away from the ticket office out of the blue a guy appeared and discreetly attracted their attention. Turns out the guy recognized them both as he was a big Sanctuary fan, and as he worked there he found a way to sneak them in so they didn’t miss the play after all. Always amazes me the power of fandom, how far it stretches to where you’d least expect it!

Anyway, a few comedy moments occurred during Haven 1 thanks to Robin; one being him dropping his pants on stage, apparently he explained he likes to do this when an occasion calls to lighten the mood, or break the ice and he gave an example of a time he’d done it in front of Amanda Tapping, Damian Kindler and Martin Wood. The three Executive Producers of Sanctuary had seemed a little nervous just before they’d had a meeting with some ‘important’ people and so Robin dropped his pants! Anyway whatever his excuse for this random act of behaviour, the ladies at the convention were unexpectedly, but all pleasantly surprised he actually did it, oh and half an hour later the video was on YouTube as some naughty attendee had apparently been videoing it on her iPhone…tut tut!

Robin Dunne 1

Another Robin moment was when he was describing a time during filming Season 2 that he realised he’d accidentally touched Amanda Tapping’s breast. He re-enacted the scene and his facial expression of complete horror at the thought of offending Ms Tapping was also caught on camera and boy did we all laugh! I’ll be sure to ask Amanda about it at her convention AT4 in London in November!

Christopher apparently received the two coolest gifts from fans over the weekend, ironically from my friends and myself. Christopher being a beer drinker, we thought it appropriate at the Meet & Greet party to present him with a ‘Jack the Ripper’ beer towel and coasters set we found by chance in Covent Garden’s market. He carried the towel around with him all evening, actually using it to mop his brow after dancing with us all rather than to soak up any spilled beer, but hey a towel is a towel, right, and when in need…

Chris Heyerdahl 1

The other great gift was given to him by an American friend of mine, Sherry, who’d flown over for the convention. It was, as she explained, a ‘Stargate Multiverse Track Challenge Coin’ with an interesting history to it that you can read here and see a picture of the coin but in short challenge coins are used in the Forces when in a bar, the ‘challenger’ would produce their coin on the bar, if a person challenged could not provide their coin, they owed the ‘challenger’ a drink. However, if the challenge was met (coin presented), the ‘challenger’ would buy the challenged a drink. In this case, the coin was produced for the Stargate Guests (and the fans) at Dragon*Con in Atlanta this year and apparently Jason Mamoa (Ronon Dex, Stargate Atlantis) had great fun using the coin and getting free drinks the whole time. The coin presented to Christopher was to protect him from Jason’s game if the two were to meet in a bar in the future. He loved the coin and carried it around with him the whole weekend, even telling the story in his question and answer session for those who wondered what it was.

On the Sunday evening the guests hung around for the party and talked with fans in the bar areas well into the small hours before it was hugs all around and they were driven back to their hotel. Did they have a good time over the weekend? Well they certainly verbally stated so and after Haven 2 was announced for possibly the end of 2010, they expressed an interest to return. Did the fans have a blast? Most definitely! It was a small, friendly convention and we know how to look after the guests, make them feel welcome and at ease amongst us and we certainly know how to have fun, both on the dance floor and in the Q&A sessions!
Just a quick mention about Dave from Geek Syndicate who turned up early Sunday evening, it was great to finally meet him. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to introduce him to Christopher, Robin and Chuck; hopefully from this, Geek Syndicate may be able to arrange interviews in the future with them, something to look forward to! Before Dave left, he wowed everyone on the dance floor with some fancy moves, showing off?? Just maybe!

All credit to Brian and the team at Wolf Events for creating the opportunity for everyone to come together at the Sanctuary convention, hopefully the first of many they host in the UK. Keep an eye on for details of upcoming conventions.

GS Reporter: Rebecca Lorna Macias

(Pegasus Angel on Twitter)

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  1. sez101 /

    A really nice write up of the weekend, thought it was great

  2. Sherry Fowler /

    Great write up, Becki:)

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