I’ve been going to Polaris (nee Toronto Trek) since 2000 (missing 2009 and 2011). It’s a convention near and dear to my heart. I’ve met one of my dearest friends there. I experienced one of the best room parties of my life there. Robert Smith? and I pitched Who is the Doctor there. I even met one of my past girlfriends there. I’ve argued with several programming heads and one constant innocent bystander (sorry, Dave Ennis!) about the quality of their Doctor Who programming. I’ve had a lot of good times there over the years.
I love the fan panels, which for me, no matter the guest, are the heart of the convention (I think I’ve seen about 6 hours of main stage guest programming in the 10 or so conventions I’ve attended!). It’s a great place for fans to gather and talk about shows they love, and I love that immediacy and the thoughtful, fun, enthusiastic people who bring their all to those discussions. As a Doctor Who fan in the days before the New Series, it was a magical place for that reason. It was wonderful to share enthusiasm and speak the same language of geek.
I love Polaris particularly because it’s like an extended fan family and I love being able to come back year after year and see the gang. Every year, I walk through the hallways and wave at people I haven’t seen since last time and I love that sense of, for lack of a better word, continuity and community.
I’m what Polaris now calls a “pro participant” (they used to call us “author guests” back in the day). So I’ll be there with a semi-guest badge on, promoting Who is the Doctor, including a session devoted to it and a signing. Here’s my schedule for the weekend:
7pm. Doctor Who News - Newmarket
11am. Sherlock: How Did He…? - Gormley
Noon. Who Is The Doctor - Newmarket
1pm. Meet The Pros Brunch - 1080
2pm. Autograph session - Dealer’s Room/Marketplace
3pm. TimeWarp 87: Doctor Who In 1987 - Oak Ridges
5pm. Yes Amy, I Am A Mad Man With A Blue Box - Gormley
6pm Being Erica: The Session Is Over - Gormley
1pm. A Half-Century Of Doctor Who - Unionville
2pm. Torchwood Miracle Day - Stouffville
4pm. Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Classic Doctor Who Monster? - Unionville
5pm. Move Along, Pond - Aurora
As you can see, they’re getting their money’s worth out of me, though I’m doing this as a volunteer!
Sadly, this is the last year of Polaris (“in this form” so the organizers say. Who knows what it will return as?). But this year is going to ensure it will go out with a bang. If you haven’t been, and are in the Toronto area, you should definitely come. It’s at the Sheraton Parkway Toronto North, located at 600 Highway 7, Richmond Hill, Friday-Sunday July 6-8.