Last weekend was Creation Entertainment’s second Star Trek convention in Vancouver Canada with a guest list that included Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, Dominic Keating, Connor Trinneer, Rene Auberjonois, Nana Visitor, Barbara March, Gwyneth Walsh, J.G. Hertzler, and Robert O’Reillye. See below for our full report with photos from the con.
Star Trek Vancouver 2011
FRIDAY – Trinneer & Keating
I was not able to make it on Friday, but a friend reports that Star Trek: Enterprise stars Dominic Keating and Connor Trinneer were very entertaining, retelling memories made on the Enterprise set and convulsing the audience with a story about Dominic’s command of colorful language. For fans worried about Connor’s recent knee surgery, all is well, and although a frightening blood clot could have been life threatening, he is now on his way to a full recovery.
SATURDAY – Nichols,
The guest line-up on Saturday was exciting, beginning with one of Star Trek’s most influential actresses – the incomparable Nichelle Nichols. Greeted with the only standing ovation of the convention, Nichols was graceful and articulate, and won the hearts of the Vancouver audience by cheering on the local NHL Canucks. Nichelle spoke of her time at NASA, and even shared a small performance of Star Trek’s original theme. Repeating her challenge to NASA, she proudly proclaimed “To boldly go where no WOMAN! … or man has gone before!”, reminding the audience that Lt. Uhura had been fourth in command of the Enterprise. Nichelle concluded with a charming anecdote of her conversation with Zoe Saldana on the set of the 2009 Star Trek film, which may have strengthened Saldana’s portrayal of the iconic character.
The theme of strong women continued with an appearance by the Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Klingon Duras sisters – Barbara March and Gwyneth Walsh. Appearing in full Klingon costume (teeth included), the classically trained actresses drew an analogy between Lursa and B’Tor and the daughters of King Lear. They shared their experience of having met before their work on Star Trek, and even speculated with the audience as to why a new Trek series hasn’t been produced. Admitting that neither could really speak Klingon, they delighted fans with their classic scene; “Human females are so repulsive”!
Up next was Star Trek’s most energetic alumni, George Takei. Eagerly answering questions and interacting with the audience, George promoted his current and upcoming works including Supah Ninjas and Allegiance – an in-production Broadway musical about George’s experience in an American Japanese internment camp. George was visibly moved at the change to share his experiences through performance. In turn, George also impressed the audience when he described his work to ensure that dialogue about homosexuality is an option for adolescents in some repressive American communities.
The Klingons returned again when specialty make-up artist John Paladin demonstrated his craft. While turning a cheerful Aussie into a menacing Klingon, John entertained the audience with anecdotes and tips on doing your own theatrical makeup.
SUNDAY – Auberjonois, Visitor
The popular Klingon Breakfast launched the final day of the convention, setting the stage for appearances by J.G. Hertzler and Robert O’Reilly in full Klingon gear. Looking remarkably like a Klingon ZZ Top, J.G. and Robert danced, air guitar-ed, and bantered with the audience. Martok even threatened one of the younger audience members, humorously heckling him throughout the performance. Donning sunglasses surrendered by brave audience members, Gowron and Martok previewed their cabaret act to be performed later this summer at Creation Entertainment’s Las Vegas convention.
On the final afternoon, Deep Space Nine fans were rewarded for their patience with appearances by Rene Auberjonois and the stunning Nana Visitor. Nana shared her newfound love of hiking (and accompanying concern for rattlesnakes), her recent work on Torchwood, and her excitement at moving back to Los Angeles. Rene spoke enthusiastically about his work on Bored To Death with Zak Galifinakis, the joy he finds in his family, and then joined Nana. Together, they reminisced about their time on DS9.
After a brief intermission, Nana and Rene brought great emotion to the audience with “Cross Our Hearts: Poems and Prose read by Nana Visitor and Rene Auberjonois”. Fans were treated to an impassioned performance of poems, short stories and quotes. The audience held their breath as Nana and Rene recreated a scene as Odo and Kira, foreshadowing their eventual love. The dramatic performance reinforced to attendees the undeniable theatrical talents of the actors engaged in the Star Trek franchise.
COSTUME & CENTERPIECE CONTEST
Fans too showcased their transformative abilities in the costume contest, where three alien women took first, second and third prizes, including yours truly coming in second as an Orion.
A select group of fans capped off their Saturday evening with an intimate cocktail party that gave them a cherished opportunity to converse informally with the stars. Off stage, the actors got to know their fans on a personal level, laughing and joking, sharing stories of careers, parenting, and hobbies. A tribute to the Quark’s nightmare in the Ferengi Divine Treasury took first place in the accompanying centerpiece contest.
See you next year
Finally, exhausted and exhilarated fans, clutching their signed memorabilia, waved goodbye to their fellow Trekkies, and set a course for home. The success of this convention cemented the gorgeous Vancouver venue as a location for future Star Trek events, and fans looks forward to Trek returning to Canada’s west coast once more.