By: Fran Skene (CUFF 2019 Delegate to CAN*CON in Ottawa) Email: fskene(at)shaw.ca
Canadian Unity Fan Fund (CUFF) nominations are now closed for selecting a fan delegate to Pemmi-Con (the 2023 NASFiC) in Winnipeg this July 20th through 23rd, 2023. We had one nominee*, Garth Spencer, who now becomes the delegate. Congratulations, Garth!
*People who would like to vote for Garth anyway, and support his trip, can vote anyway with a donation of $10 or more to the fan fund. Send by PayPal or Interac e-transfer to Fran Skene at fskene(at)shaw.ca.
Garth has sent us his bio. Scroll down for an entertaining read!
The primary responsibilities of the delegate are to:
- Attend the convention, take part in programming, and report back to fellow fans on the event.
- Assist in raising funds for the next year’s delegate.
- Administer (with the assistance of other Canadian fans) the process to select the next year’s fan delegate.
- Promote Canadian genre-related media and fan activities.
Click on https://fancyclopedia.org/CUFF for a little historical info on this fan fund.
As information on Garth’s schedule and his program participation becomes available, I will relay this in news releases. — Fran
Who is Garth Spencer?
Well, Garth is just this guy, you know …
Back in 1980, Garth joined a small SF club in Victoria B.C., and quickly discovered they had a library of fanzines – which meant, any small periodical a fan or club produced. At the time that was a major activity among fans. Within a few years (to the detriment of his post-secondary education) he was producing club newsletters and his own fanzines and, eventually, The Maple Leaf Rag – a newszine by and for Canadian fans, which succeeded Robert Runté’s famous New Canadian Fandom – with contributions from almost the whole country. His friends joked that he was a one-man threat to Canada’s forests.
Part of Garth’s thing, back then, was to clear up the unawareness and misconceptions some fans had about other fan groups and about convention practices. Another part was to find out what the Canadian SF and Fantasy Awards were. In 1985, Fran Skene in Vancouver asked Garth to handle the nominating and voting ballots for the Awards ((dubbed the Caspers at that time; more info inhttps://www.csffa.ca/)) at Canvention 6/VCON 14 in Vancouver the next year. Then he had to step down because he became a nominee in the first fanzine category award. He won for The Maple Leaf Rag. The next year, he moved to Vancouver and became an active part of the B.C. Science Fiction Association.
The Maple Leaf Rag also uncovered the Canadian Unity Fan Fund. In 1987, the Canvention hosted by Ad Astra in Toronto revived it. In 1999, Garth was the delegate to that year’s Canvention in Fredericton, New Brunswick; he titled his CUFF newsletter Or Something, and his trip report What I Did on My October Vacation. In 2006 he won the same award, now-named Prix Aurora, for Best Fan Publication again, for The Royal Swiss Navy Gazette.
Garth served as editor of BCSFAzine, during its changeover from hardcopy to online publication. He has continued to issue his own personalzines – variously titled Scuttlebutt, The World According to Garth, Sercon Popcult Litcrit Fanmag, The Royal Swiss Navy Gazette, The Art of Garthness, and more recently, The Obdurate Eye – and has joined APAs (Amateur Publishing Associations) based in Canada and in the United States. He has also produced an anthology of fannish articles, stories and humour, Confabulation, which is available on his website (https://www.vcn.bc.ca/~garth2/).
Today, Garth Spencer is 66 years old, but he still dresses the way he did in the 1980s (unless he decides to show you the Royal Swiss Navy field uniform). He still doesn’t know what to be when he grows up.