Fan Funds

We are delighted that two fan fund delegates will be traveling to attend Pemmi-Con.

The Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund was founded in 1953, to provide funds to bring well-known science fiction fans across the Atlantic. TAFF is funded entirely by donations. The TAFF delegate is chosen by a vote of fans. The TAFF delegate to Pemmi-Con is Sandra Bond.

The Canadian Unity Fan Fund (CUFF) was founded in 1981, to bring science-fiction fans across Canada. CUFF is funded by donations and the CUFF delegate is chosen by a vote of fans. The CUFF delegate to Pemmi-Con is Garth Spencer.

The fan fund delegates will attend the convention, take part in programming, and write trip reports.

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 in 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 (

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.

Sandra Bond

From Sandra: “I have won TAFF. Goshwowboyoboy. 

“When I look at the illustrious list of previous winners, I cannot help but feel like Romulus Augustulus. But there’s one difference, at least; which is that I shall not be the last of my kind. I shall strive to be the best TAFF delegate and administrator I can be, and to safeguard it on behalf of all fandom. 

In her platform Sandra wrote:  “I tripped over fandom at the age of seventeen, and immediately fell in love with it, in that blundering and overblown way in which teenagers tend to conduct romance.

“In the thirty-five years since then, I’ve partaken in pretty much every branch and every subdivision which fandom has to offer, and the one constant about it all is that I’m still in love with it.”

“…I shall look after TAFF with love.

Pemmi-Con looks forward to working with many aspects of Winnipeg fandom, including cosplayers, artists, comic creators, local artisans, and folks from Canada’s furry community. Do YOU have a programming item to suggest? Tell us about it on the programme suggestion form!

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