Laurie E. Smith

Welcome to Winnipeg – by Laurie E. Smith

Hello, folks — and welcome to the “Winnipeg Worldcon in ’23 Bid” blog! Watch this space for bid news, fannish fun, information about cool things the Bid Committee is planning (a slushy contest, a rap song, a “Winnipeg in ’23” jingle, notifications about our regularly scheduled Discord and Zoom socials, perhaps even a plushy!), and so much more!

You might be asking yourself, “Just who is this person who’s so firmly behind the ‘Winnipeg in ’23’ bid that they’re writing a blog post about it? And what are their credentials?” 😀 Well, in brief…

I’m Laurie E. Smith, a Winnipeg born-and-raised fan (both Artist Guest of Honour at several convention and a past Fan Guest of Honour at Keycon, as well as Official Convention Ambassador for Keycon in 2020-2022) who is also a freelance commercial artist working for some of the biggest names in the North American comics business. As a busy professional my time is money, and as the Primary Host for “Winnipeg in ’23” social media, I wouldn’t be devoting so much of my valuable time and energy to the Winnipeg bid unless I truly believed that Winnipeg can put on another world class Worldcon, even better than ConAdian back in 1994.

As a veteran of 39 editions of Keycon, Manitoba’s longest running science fiction and fantasy convention, I know competence when I see it, and the bid committee for the “Winnipeg in ’23” bid has that in spades. I believe in them. I trust them to put together an amazing convention. And I think that you can too.

That said, we need your help! Worldcon bids and by extension, Worldcons, do not happen without their volunteers. Please help us win the bid by getting the word out to your local science fiction and fannish groups. Sign up for our updates, arrange to join us at our socials, send us your ideas, etc, through the “Contact Us” page on our website.

Put “Subscribe Socials” in the message body to be notified about the Zoom and Discord events, “Subscribe Updates” to join our Updates mailing list, or simply drop us a line, because we’d love to hear from you!

You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. Our Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter links are at the top of this (and every) page, and our Instagram handle is “winnipegin23”.

To see the strong local support for our “Winnipeg in ’23” bid (from the Mayor of Winnipeg, Tourism Winnipeg, the RBC Convention Centre, our hotel industry, and more), check out our bid filing documents:

Winnipeg is a world-class, cosmopolitan city with so much to offer (check out our Twitch channel for a special presentation on “Things to See and Do in Winnipeg”) :

Our slogan is “Big city conveniences with the best of hometown hospitality!” And believe me, our province isn’t called “Friendly Manitoba” for nothing! 😀 We love to greet visitors from all over the world — no matter where you’re coming from, Winnipeg has something to offer.

If you’d like to put your financial support behind our efforts (thank you most kindly!), visit our “Support Us” page and pour a little rocket fuel into the metaphorical tank. 😀

In the coming days we’ll also have a comic strip available explaining how to become a supporting member of DisCon III, this year’s World Science Fiction Convention (December 15th-19th, 2021), where your vote will help propel Winnipeg to victory, so stay tuned!

Jannie Shea, one of the Vice-Chairs of the “Winnipeg in ’23” bid committee, has this to say about our thinking behind submitting the Winnipeg bid:

“It’s been too long since the Worldcon was last in Winnipeg (27 years ago, in 1994), and we have the opportunity to offer a place familiar to Worldcon members while at the same time giving everyone a new place to discover. (See the Twitch and YouTube video, “Things to See and Do in Winnipeg”.) Winnipeg really wants the Worldcon back, and the Winnipeg-based committee members, in concert with Tourism Winnipeg and with the support at many local levels, has made us a very good offer that we couldn’t pass up.”

The “Winnipeg in ’23” committee has so much “on the go” that it would take many blog posts to explain it all. And we intend to do just that, because the creativity and drive of our team is second to none! We hope you’ll check our weekly Twitch broadcasts (Sundays at 1 PM CDT), our Zoom and Discord social get-togethers (the 2nd and 4th Sunday of every month at 1:15 PM CDT), our YouTube channel, and our other social media outlets for regular updates on our progress. (Recordings of Twitch streams will appear a few days later on YouTube.) And we also hope you’ll consider backing us in the bid at DisCon III, because a Winnipeg World Science Fiction Convention in 2023 can’t happen without your support!

Take care, stay safe, and I hope to see you at one of our Discord or Zoom socials so we can chat “in person”. 😀

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