December 6, 2005
News for Con No Baka 2005:
Con No Baka issues apologiesby PatrickD
Con No Baka, an anime convention in Toronto, Ontario, began on November 25th. On the evening of Saturday, November 26th, the hotel shut down the convention and cancelled Sunday programming when it became clear that the convention would be unable to cover its expenses. The convention chair, Aaron Yorgason, has issued apologies to the attendees and to dealers and artists on its web site.
In his apology to attendees, Yorgason attributes the "negative results" to "poor luck, poor offers and poor choices". The failure of equipment and vehicles is mentioned as "poor luck" while last-minute cancellations of staff and no-shows are attributed as "poor offers". As for "poor choices", Yorgason admits that his plans were too "grandiose". He says, "With lack of hotel nights bought and overall attendance, the hotel management made the decision to deny the convention use of function space on Sunday." The full text of the apology to attendees can be read at http://connobaka.com/apology.htm.
In his apology to dealers and artists, Yorgason mentions that many of them were upset and have requested refunds. The convention will be refunding 25% of artists' fees beyond the price of a convention membership. For dealers, some may qualify for 25% refunds, but it seems to be dependant upon some dealers that "refused to accept gift certificates" and some dealers that apparently never paid in the first place. The full text of the apology to dealers and artists can be read at http://www.connobaka.com/dealersartists.htm.
Although it is not specifically stated, it seems unlikely that Con No Baka will return for a second year. The convention has received overwhelmingly poor reviews on various online forums and even prompted Hobby Star Marketing to make an unprecedented move to accept Con No Baka passes at this past Sunday's Toronto AnimeCon. (full story)