Garth Spencer Named 2023 CUFF Delegate

By Fran Skene: Canadian Unity Fan Fund (CUFF) nominations are now closed for selecting a fan delegate to Pemmi-Con, the 2023 NASFiC, to be held in Winnipeg July 20-23rd. We had one nominee, Garth Spencer, who now becomes the delegate. Congratulations, Garth!

People who would like to vote for Garth and support his trip, can still vote with a donation of $10 or more to the fan fund. Send by PayPal or Interac e-transfer to Fran Skene at fskene(at) .

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 here for 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.  

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 here) 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.

2023 Canadian Unity Fan Fund Extends Nomination Deadline

By Fran Skene (CUFF 2019 Delegate to CanCon in Ottawa): Canadian Unity Fan Fund (CUFF) nominations are still open for selecting a fan delegate to Pemmi-Con (the 2023 NASFiC) in Winnipeg. Deadline for applying has been extended to March 15.

One nominee has already come forward (Garth Spencer); however, nominations remain open until March 15, for any others who are still considering it. If we end up with more than one candidate, we’ll have a vote.

Any fan from anywhere in Canada, active for at least the last two years, can qualify as CUFF delegate to Pemmi-Con, the 15th North American Science Fiction Convention in Winnipeg this July 20th through 23rd.

Note: This year, former CUFF delegates may also apply.

The primary responsibilities of the delegate are to:

  • Attend the convention, take part in programming, and report back to your 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.

Each nominee needs to apply to Fran Skene, the current administrator, saying why they would be a good delegate. Also, they need six nominators, three from the east and three from the west (separated by Manitoba-Ontario border).

Nominators need to contact Fran separately. If a nominator is possibly not known to Fran, they should include info or a link to something that will verify the nominator’s bona fides as being active in Canadian fandom for at least the last two years.

As well, we are asking for a bond of $20 CAD from each nominee, which will be added to the CUFF funds. This (and all donations) can be sent to Fran Skene via PayPal or Interac e-transfer, using this email address: fskene(at)

(To pay another way, email or message Fran to negotiate.)

The trip will be paid for by CUFF funds (donations very welcome), Air Miles from Fran for plane fare; and Pemmi-Con will comp the con membership plus a two-queen bed room shared with another fan fun delegate (DUFF or TAFF) during the convention.

In summary:

In order to be nominated for the CUFF this year an application must be submitted by March 15, 2023 to fskene(at) that includes a bond of $20.  It should contain a brief fan-related bio and how you hope to make this trip beneficial for you and the Canadian fan community. The application must have a minimum of three fan supporters from the east and three in the west (six total).

If we have more than one candidate, voting will open March 15 and close April 15th, in order to give the successful candidate enough time to work with Pemmi-Con programming and to schedule their visit.

2023 NASFiC Zoom Info Session on March 4

Pemmi-Con chairs Linda Ross-Mansfield and Robbie Bourget will take questions about reasons for fans to attend the 2023 NASFiC from Fan Fund representatives Fran Skene (CUFF), Erin Underwood (DUFF), and Mike Lowrey.. (TAFF) in a free Zoom session on March 4.

Pemmi-Con, the 2023 NASFiC, will be held July 20-23 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

CUFF (Canadian Unity Fan Fund) is Canada’s fan fund. A fan delegate representing British/European fandom will be attending Pemmi-Con, courtesy of TAFF (Trans Atlantic Fan Fund). DUFF (Down Under Fan Fund) is the other ocean-crossing fan fund: DUFF brings a fan from Australia/ New Zealand to North America.

The Zoom session is free. Registration is required to avoid Zoom-bombing. Registration link:

Time permitting, audience members may ask questions. Zoom session begins 2:00 p.m. Central.

Fran Skene Named CUFF Delegate

CUFF Administrator Kent Pollard announced today that the Canadian fan selectors have chosen Fran Skene to be the 2019 Canadian Unity Fan Fund Delegate representing western Canada to the Can-Con Canvention in Ottawa October 18-20, 2019  

Fran received widespread support among participating fans and nominations from the following Canadians:

  • Eastern Canada: Murray Moore, Lloyd Penney, Yvonne Penny
  • Western Canada: Graeme Cameron, LeAmber Kensley, Garth Spencer

CUFF’s press release adds:

Fran Skene has been active in SF fandom, in Canada and internationally, since the 1970’s. Her fannish credits include publishing fanzines and organizing a number of conventions. She was the Fan Guest of Honor at four conventions between 1978 and 1988. In consultation with other Canadian fans she helped move the Canventions into their current form, at the same time turning the CUFF race from a one-off to a mostly yearly event. For the last three decades she’s helped raise money for CUFF through her infamous Turkey Readings, in which a panel of pro writers read from actual published books, volunteers from the audience act it out, and people bid with their money to stop or restart each reading.

This is the first time she’s run for CUFF. After being nudged by Murray Moore, she decided that – at her advanced age – it’s now or never. She’s also a retired librarian (Vancouver Public Library) with three kids, one grandkid, and a cat with attitude, Bastet. Professional writing credits are two articles on images of women in SF in scholarly journals, two locally produced SF plays, and she’s a co-writer of Windship: the Crazy Plague, available from Amazon.

[Thanks to Kent Pollard for the story.]