CAN•CON, or more completely "CAN•CON: The Conference on Canadian Content in Speculative Arts and Literature", is a periodic science fiction and fantasy convention in Ottawa put on by The Society for Canadian Content in Speculative Arts and Literature. Founded in 1991 by James Botte and Farrell McGovern in response to a perception that there were no dedicated public venues that featured primarily Canadian speculative fiction writers, editors, and artists. In addition to the focus on Canadian content, it was also an attempt to bring a focus on the book back to Ottawa science fiction and fantasy events. It ran from 1992 through 1997, and again in 2001 before taking a hiatus of several years due to financial constraints; it was then relaunched in 2010.
Over the years, CAN•CON has had as guests or attendees the cream of Canadian English and French speculative fiction writers and artists (with the notable exceptions of Spider Robinson, Margaret Atwood, and William Gibson). As such, it became a meeting place for Canadian writers and artists and their fans, and provided a natural venue for the national meetings of various related Canadian organizations. This caught the notice of TOR Books' senior editor David Hartwell, who came to CAN•CON and signed deals with many Canadian science fiction and fantasy writers. Of this he said, "I did more business at CAN•CON than I did at Worldcon". This informal access to large numbers of Canadian writers enabled him to spearhead TOR's Canadian publishing initiative.
- CAN•CON '95/CANVENTION 15 Winter Programming Session backgrounder, W. Paul Valcour. March 2, 1995.
- David Hartwell
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