New Zealand in 2020 Bid Changes Proposed Worldcon Dates

The New Zealand in 2020 Worldcon bid is announcing they have changed the dates of their potential 78th Worldcon to Wednesday, July 29 through Sunday, August 2, 2020 due to the unavailability of one of the main facilities.

Their proposed location is still in the same facilities in central Wellington, New Zealand. They include TSB Arena, Shed 6, the InterContinental Wellington and the Michael Fowler Centre. The date change will ensure that a New Zealand Worldcon will have “unfettered access” to the facilities and accommodation required to run a successful event, should the NZ in 2020 bid be awarded the convention.

The site selection vote will be held at the 2018 Worldcon in San José. New Zealand is running unopposed.

Long-time science fiction fan, Norman Cates is the chair of the NZ in 2020 Worldcon bid. He said in a press release:

We appreciate that this date change would make our Worldcon early compared to previous Worldcons. We did a lot of debating about this, and moving the date was the best overall option to preserve our best possible Worldcon.

The committee’s original dates were August 12-16, 2020. The new July 29 starting date will result in the earliest Worldcon since Torcon I ran July 3-5, 1948. On the other hand, the New Zealand Worldcon would be positioned to start only about a week sooner than Interaction, held August 4-8, 2005.

File 770 asked what happened to preempt NZ in 2020’s dates. Cates explained:

We had a meeting with WREDA (Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency, the group that deals with our facilities) and they told us that a long-running and much larger event swooped in and booked the TSB Arena from August 5th into October. This blocked out our dates.

We asked why this wasn’t known much earlier, and we were told that the event has a contract directly with the city, that over rides WREDA. This appears to have blindsided WREDA as well.

Bear in mind that until we can pay a deposit, they don’t really consider the facilities properly held. We had a memorandum from them agreeing to the dates.

We didn’t see much point in wailing and shouting at that point… It appears to be a case of a higher power over-riding.

So our best option was to shift dates, which our GOHs are fine with.

Losing facilities to an event able to sign a contract is an experience several U.S. bids also have suffered over the years.

Even though New Zealand is unopposed and in a position to consider paying a deposit to keep facilities available, Cates said the required amount was beyond their resources.

NZ in 2020 is offering “pre-supporting” memberships for NZ$30 and a variety of other types of pre-supporting memberships to help fund their Worldcon bid. Joining the bid helps pay for the cost of promoting the bid. Membership forms and additional information about the bid are available on the bid’s website, https://nzin2020.nz .

CanSMOF Awards Scholarships

CanSMOF Inc., parent non-profit organization of Anticipation, the 2009 Worldcon, has announced the winners of its two $500 scholarships given for the purpose of allowing promising conrunners to attend the Smofcon 28 in San Jose.

Kent Pollard of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan won the scholarship open to a Canadian citizen or resident. Norman Cates of Wellington, New Zealand won the scholarship open to anyone regardless of their place of residence or citizenship.

2020 Vision

New Zealand is the owner of a shiny new Worldcon bid for 2020 because a bunch of fans made it rain $20 bills during their national convention last weekend.

Cheryl Morgan reported the news a few days ago:

So, the assembled overseas visitors enjoyed themselves so much at Au Contraire that they threw $20 bills at Norman Cates and encouraged him to bid for a Worldcon. It is all Sean Williams’ fault. He started it.

Cates is a well-known international fan and was the 2004 DUFF delegate.

This bid already has a logo, a website and a Facebook page. The Facebook page displays a photo of Norman Cates with his hands wrapped around Sean Williams’ throat, captioned “Norman Cates thanks Sean Williams for pushing him to run the bid…” Good faanish fun? At least ‘til Sean’s oxygen runs out.

It’s interesting to see lightning striking a second time. Ever since this year’s Worldcon chair Stephen Boucher yielded to a shower of $20 bills people have kept trying. The oddest variation happened this year at NASFiC where Chris Garcia started collecting $20 bills on behalf of the absent Christian McGuire (chair of the last Anaheim Worldcon) without McGuire’s knowledge or consent. The rumor haunted McGuire for weeks afterwards despite his vehement denials.

Unlikely as it is that someone already at Aussiecon 4 needs to get this information from my blog, I will go ahead and mention there is a New Zealand bid table at AussieCon 4 in room 201.

Bidding for Worldcons is the fun part, and with site selection years away New Zealand fans have plenty of time to decide if they want to do the other part. And why not?

[Thanks to James Bacon for clueing me into the story. Editors of other blogs faunching after the credit you deserve for pubbing this news before me should add a comment–because it’ll be cool to have a post with 238 comments.]

DUFF Voting 2.0

Steve and Sue Francis, the Down Under Fan Fund’s North American administrators, remind everyone that the race is open. Fans have until May 17 to cast their ballots.

Anyone may vote who has been active in fandom on or before January 1, 2008. “Active in fandom” means engaged in fannish pursuits involving fanzines, sf cons, amateur film/video, or club participation.

Ballots must be signed and accompanied by a donation of at least US$5 or AUS$8 or NZ$9 New Zealand.

A downloadable ballot form is available. Thanks to Jean Weber, fans also have the option to contribute (using PayPal) and vote electronically.

Snail mail and snail money still work, too. Checks should be made payable to Sue and Steve Francis (in North America) or Norman Cates (in New Zealand/Australasia) in the administrator’s home currency. Their addresses are:

Australasia: Norman Cates, P.O. Box 13-574, Johnsonville, Wellington, New Zealand

North America: Sue & Steve Francis, P.O. Box 58009, Louisville KY 40268, USA