V-Con 1

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V-Con 1 was held April 9-10, 1971 at the Hotel Georgia in Vancouver, BC. The GoH was Ursula K. LeGuin. It was chaired by Daniel Say and Mike Bailey and attendance was 75.

The NW Convention History website says

Admission to the first "V-CON" (which was simply called the Vancouver SF Convention) were just $3.50 advance or $5 at the door. Its sponsoring organizations included the University of B.C. Science Fiction Society (UBC SFFEN), the B.C. Science Fiction Association (an offshoot of the UBC club) and the Simon Fraser University Science Fiction Society (SF3). The con lost money; the $100 loss was split between the two university clubs.

The convention occupied only two rooms of the downtown hotel, an and had no art show or dealer's room (now taken for granted as integral parts of any SF convention). It did, however, feature 8mm screenings of "selected short films" such as excerpts of Bride of Frankenstein, Dracula, It Came from Outer Space and 20 Million Miles to Earth. The single track of programming featured speeches by LeGuin (who had never attended an SF convention before), a discussion of H. P. Lovecraft by Mason Harris and a lecture titled "SF: Insulation or Illumination" by SFU professor R.D. Callahan. The program also included panel discussions on "SF Loves and Hates," "SF and Social Realism," and "SF and Serious Studies."

The Elron Awards were presented for the first time, and featured stylish trophies made from plastic lemons painted bronze and glued to a plywood base. UBC SF Society member Mike Bailey was careful to point out that the name of the award, given to the worst SF of the year, was not in fact inspired by the name of L. Ron Hubbard (founder of Scientology), despite the similarity. Worst novel of the year went to Robert Heinlein's I Will Fear No Evil, while worst melodramatic presentation went to the film 
Beneath the Planet of the Apes.

Michael Walsh, reporter for the Vancouver Province (and BCSFA member) later reported: "The Vancouver gathering tended toward the highly educated end of the spectrum, (Seattle fan Frank Denton said, and he agreed with Leland Shapiro that this convention was one of the better ones he'd been to. 'It's certainly a lot more scholarly than a lot of the American conventions,' he said." Walsh added: "The tone of the convention, one of literate appreciation rather than fascinated adulation, was set from the beginning by the science fiction sophisticates from the sponsoring clubs." "

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