Canadian Town Of Vulcan Seeking $2 Billion To Start Building Actual USS Enterprise (OK, not really)


The people of Vulcan, Alberta Canada are hoping to build Star Trek’s USS Enterprise. Not a model, but the real thing. There is even a $2 Billion crowdfunding effort to "Help Vulcan Alberta Build the USS Enterprise." TrekMovie talked to the people behind the effort to find out what is going on here.

Vulcans Want To Build The Enterprise?

The town of Vuclan, Alberta Canada has gone out of its way to play up its Star Trek name, including being named the official Star Trek capital of Canada and getting Leonard Nimoy to drop by to dedicate a bronze bust in his honor. Visitors of the town are even greeted with a scale model of "Starship Vulcan" – but now they appear to want to seriously super-size it.

Starship model in Vulcan, Alberta, Canada

The $2 Billion (Canadian) "Help Vulcan Alberta Build the USS Enterprise" campaign on Indiegogo is raising some eyebrows. The “plan” isn’t to build a full-sized ship tourist attraction (like the one proposed for Las Vegas back in the 90s), but to actually attempt to build the real thing. In fact the $2B is just R&D start-up money, as explained in the Indiedgogo page intro:

The far reaches of space – the final frontier – are within mankind’s grasp now more than ever. And the town of Vulcan AB, located in the Canadian Badlands, is set to bring the future of our civilization, our species and our planet one step closer with this monumental 40-year, $1.132 Trillion project to build a 1:1 scale fully functional U.S.S. Enterprise starship.

To prepare the full project launch, we need to raise an initial $2 000 000 000 in order to fund important research into the creation, and development, of warp-drive technology.

Promo video for "Build the Enterprise" campaign

This scheme to build an actual USS Enterprise in Canada includes some sketches and even a detailed $1.132 Trillion budget. For example, one budget line item is allocating $40B for "wormhole theory – creation / stabalization." They propose using the current Royal Canadian Air Force Station in Vulcan as the basis for a new "Vulcan Spaceport" where the Enterprise will be built (so they are taking the JJ Abrams era built it on the ground approach and foregoing a spacedock). In fact, if you donate $1B they will name the spaceport after you. And for just $500M, they will name the “Vulcan Super-Luminal Research Centre” in your honor. There is also a timetable with the plan to launch the ship in 2050 to begin testing and eventual warp trials, all wrapping up by 2058.

One of the images from the Vulcan "Build the USS Enterprise" proposal

A Warp-speed Publicity Stunt

So far the campaign has attracted around $2,000 in donations, so it doesn’t look like they will meet their $2 Billion short term goal when it wraps up on October 4th. But that’s OK – in fact that is exactly the point according to Chris McLellan, of Canadian Badlands Tourism and the man behind the campaign. McLellan tells TrekMovie that the tourism bureau was "looking for a little bit out there type of campaign" in order to attract attention to the Badlands area of Alberta. "We wanted to see if we can get some notice," said McLellan. And it has worked, garnering media attention inside and out of Canada.

"Trek Station" tourism center in Vulcan, Alberta, Canada

McLellan noted how he was "surprised" to find that while "most understand it was for publicity, there are a few who think it is serious." He made it clear that they are not actually collecting any actual donations from the Indigogo campaign. "The money was not the goal, we just thought it would be quirky and fun," explains McLellan.

You see, every year the town of Vulcan holds a "Spock Days" event which includes a parade and community events along with a sort of mini Star Trek convention, including some Trek celebrities. This year Rene Auberjonois was the big star (see him in parade video below). In recent years other Trek celebs attending "Spock Days" include Robert Picardo, Walter Koenig, Nana Visitor, and Ethan Philips. For 2015 they plan to split the con portion of the event out, and hold the Spock Days parade and community games and fair in June and a separate "Vul-con" Star Trek convention in July. And the Indigogo campaign was part of the effort to draw attention. "We wanted to help give Vulcan an additional push," noted McLellan.

So there you have it. A small town in Canada – originally named for the Roman god – continues to have some fun with its Star Trek sounding name. May they live long and prosper (and hopefully attract more tourists).

2014 "Spock Days" parade in Vulcon, Alberta, Canada + tour of Trek Station and Starship model (video by: Ryan Heavy)

More on campaign at Help Vulcan Alberta Build the USS Enterprise. And more about Vulcan at


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The people of Vulcan need to get a new hobby!

Are you out of your Vulcan mind?

You do have to admire the utter audacity of a city that keeps itself on the map with this kind of crazypants stuff, and taking it a step further by trying to make the dream real…which very few other agencies seem interested in.

How about crowdfunding for something tangible, and slightly realistic, like cancer research, homes for the homeless, environmental causes, etc.?

This is an example that not all “Vulcans” are familiar with logic.

How about raising money to build a museum of space travel, technology, philosophy, inspiration, etc. in a building shaped like the Enterprise? That would be a far more realistic approach to bringing tourists to Vulcan.

It’d get me to go to canada

I think they should just focus on building a life size model that tourists could visit, like the one proposed for Vegas.

Instead of actually trying to invent real warp technology.

Come on guys

Is there one amongst us who would not LOVE to see this actually happen? And who knows, maybe halfway through construction someone somewhere will discover the secret to warp drive!

I mean geez, lighten up fellow trekkies

The Canadians might not be serious, but the guy who runs that website is..

3. Chuckunit

I’d appreciate it if you’d keep my pants out of this conversation Chuck. Thank you very much. ;-)

Even if you could build the Enterprise, I’m guessing CBS would immediately swoop in and give you trouble for infringing on their copyrighted spaceship design.

This could not ever be an accurate build.

Yeah, I know. You can never completely satisfy a Star Trek original series fan.

Wow! This is awesome!

I’m totally stoked about this!

Don’t have time to read the whole article at the moment, but I’m donating my $1,000 tax refund right now to make this happen!

Will read the rest of the article this evening.

Let’s see. What can we do with 1.132 Trillion… Improve healthcare? Anti-polution initiatives? Repair crumbling infrastructures? Education? Funds for the homeless? No all that is a waste of money. Let’s build an actual USS Enterprise! Not a cheap full scale model that would cost only mere hundreds of millions, no a REAL one!

It boggles the mind how some people can be such idiots. I can’t believe it… The collective IQ of these people must be lower than a sloth’s.

Ok, so I should have read more of the article… It’s a publicity stunt. Still idiotic.

I always thought a 1:1 Enterprise would be a great attraction. Mainly so we could all walk the corridors and see inside the ship. For that, it shouldn’t cost more than a typical (large, upscale) hotel/resort.

16 Steven Maines

I would actually be in favor of a full scale Enterprise as an attraction. It could actually serve as a hotel as well (there are crew quarters for 500 after all). As long as it’s funded responsibly and intelligently. The only issue is, would it be structurally sound? Enterprise was built in the 23rd century with advanced materials and techniques that we don’t have today and, it was never really meant to withstand gravity (despite what ST 2009 would want us to believe).

Funny that the entire point of Star Trek is to celebrate the human spirt via exploration of physical space, yet so many people here are immediately ready to dismiss something that could lead to exactly what Star Trek was created to represent. Sure, warp travel isn’t something that will happen tomorrow. But neither was powered flight when people first started thinking about it. And neither was going to the moon when people first started dreaming about that.
If your first reaction to things that are new and different is “no” then you’re doing life wrong.

the nay-sayers here are the idiots… I salute “Vulcan” and their plans! =)

these people are trying to create a positive future! =)

those who cry “waste” are ignorant of our corrupt society’s true exploits… =(

That first image is actually from a serious proposal to build a full size Starship Enterprise @ Las Vegas.

The ONLY reason it did not get built was because the Paramount CEO @ the time thought it would be negative PR if anything went wrong on such a high profile project!!

In the 2nd picture above, why is the Enterprise on the monolith/obelisk from “The Paradise Syndrome”? Ah, it’s really an asteroid deflector hidden in plain sight. Darn clever those Preservers. ;^)

(Now all we need is nu-Kirok to appear to the natives as their messiah. nu-Miramanee is waiting.:)

I was glad to see that they aren’t actually collecting money for this project, and the whole thing was just a publicity stunt. I adore Star Trek, but I’d rather see two billion dollars used to bring clean water to the Third World or to give medical care to people who need it. So it’s nice to see that they weren’t serious about spending that much money in this way.

@22 Corylea:

Y’know, the new technology that could come out of these endeavors could benefit humanity in ways we cannot even imagine yet. Do not discount any scientific research.

I’ve always thought someone should build a full size replica. That would be a giant helping of serious cool for virgins across the world.

I’ve always thought someone should build a full size replica. That would be a giant helping of serious cool for virgins across the world.

TOS tells us that humankind went to the stars after Earth was politically unified and after most of Earth’s problems had been solved. I only hope that both of those things will actually happen by 2266. ;-)

Re: #8. Mellvar

I’m with you, on this.

Let’s “Git-R’-Done”, to coin a phrase.

I dunno. Building a for-real spaceflight R&D centre in that town seems like a worthwhile goal. Publicity stunt or not. Yes, there are other places around the world where that work’s getting done. But why not in Alberta, too?

Why don’t they just use some of their vast oil money instead of asking me…


OMG It’s just a publicity stunt!?!

Where did my $1,000 donation go???

That looks like a group of people that know how to have a good time. Well done!

Yes, serious research on weighty matters of the world must happen, but don’t get lost so lost in the quicksand that you forget to laugh a bit.

I support Vulcan! Canada, that is.

I may have a solution to your problem. First, a huge ship like that would have to be built in orbit or even at a La Grange spot between here and the moon. Secondly, 304 meters is really over kill for a first ship. I would suggest half scale and make the edge one deck thick instead of two. Thirdly, if you want a ship you can fly around in in your lifetime I would suggest an air ship Enterprise. I spent 12 years working out the dimensions, weight to lift ratios and materials to use and it can be done for a few million, maybe even one million if you get some volunteer workers from college. The air ship can be done with minimum dimensions of 162 feet wide at the saucer section, over all length of 340 and a peak height of about 88 feet. Some dimensions are thicker for structural strength

reasons, like the neck and arms to the nacelles. Helium would be needed but some Hydrogen could be utilized in the inner bags as it is much cheaper and more available. Ship design includes an elevator, a dozen or so rooms, 24 ft diameter bridge, phasor cannon, water cannon, photon torpedoes , shields , sensors and possibly a repulsor field and landing gear. For more information contact Ronald Wade Cooper on face book.

@14. Apparently the Canadians have none of those problems, hence they can afford to build the warp drive tourist trap….

Funnelling some of that oil money into such a project would likely be a good thing. It’s not going to be there forever, either due to exhaustion of available oil, or exhaustion of the profitability of the oil. Why not get this going while they still can?