Well, here we are, Sunday, the final day of FAN EXPO Canada. Even though it was the last day of the four-day convention, you would never know it, there was still quite a few events going on making for a busy day.
The day was filled with an assortment of star-studded Q&A panels including: Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park), Mia Farrow (Rosemary’s Baby), Peter Weller (RoboCop), John Travolta (Face/Off), Tyler Hoechlin (Supergirl), Peter Capaldi (Dr. Who), Goonies stars Sean Astin, Corey Feldman, and Ke Huy Quan, and some of the cast of Smallville, Michael Rosenbaum, Laura Vandervoort, and Tom Welling.
Nerds and Beyond was at the Q&A panel for the cast of the hit comedy series Corner Gas Animated at 1:00 p.m. The staff were very organized about where and when we could line up to get into the room. Everyone had to wait until Peter Weller’s panel had all entered and were seated to begin queuing up. As new people approached, they were told the same information so there was no confusion. During the wait time to go in, it was clear how much the show and cast meant to them, as everyone was buzzing with excitement. Even though there was a big line, there were still a few seats available once everyone had filed into the room.
The panel itself was amazing. It was their first convention together, and their first time at FAN EXPO Canada. The panel consisted of Brent Butt (Brent), Nancy Robertson (Wanda), Tara Spencer-Nairn (Karen), Lorne Cardinal (Davis), Eric Peterson (Oscar), and Corrine Koslo (Emma). Missing from the cast was Gabrielle Miller (Lacey) and Fred Ewanuick (Hank). Brent filmed the panel and his experience at FAN EXPO Canada for his YouTube channel, The Buttpod.
Brent mentions that the idea for Corner Gas came when he was writing a movie about a small town in Saskatchewan — much like where he grew up. He enjoyed the characters he was writing, and the jokes were coming easy, but he did not like the story. Later, when he was out for coffee with a friend, he asked Brent if he had anything, because the network was interested in working with him. Brent told them about the idea, and it went from there. During the discussion, Brent talked about how it went from the live version to the animated show by how big of a hit the movie was — it was a natural progression to come back, but to do it differently. Eric commented that this is the first time he has enjoyed watching himself in a role, Lorne joked and liked that they gave him a waist, to which Tara commented, “I look taller.”
With doing the animated series, it allows for more more ability to create fantasy sequences — where else can you see a unicorn fight a Sasquatch? The show has also continued with celebrity guests. In the second season, there has been Michael J. Fox, Jann Arden, and even Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. When listing off dream guest stars, mentioned were Ryan Reynolds and Bob Newhart, who Brent would love to see as Oscar’s father, a very laid-back person and an opposite of him.
When it was open for audience questions, one guest asked what their favorite show moment was. After a few moments to think it over, Brent’s was when he was told the network what he wanted to do for the show, for Lorne it was wearing the safety Pete costume, because in between takes he had an air-conditioned hose down the back that felt great (since it was so hot outside), it was eating the fries that the props department made for Tara — they made the best fries.
When asked what it was like coming on to the animated show for the role of Emma, Corrine talked about how it was so many things: complicated, bittersweet, and melancholy. Janet Wright, who played Emma Leroy previously, passed away in 2016. Janet was a dear friend of Corrine’s, so the opportunity to continue that legacy on the show was an honor, but also nerve-wracking. She was nervous because she wanted to do the role justice, but also bring a piece of herself into it as well. Nancy mentions that after hearing it, you can hear Janet but also tell that it’s Corrine, and they are happy to have her.
Also going on all day were various photo ops, cosplay meetups, sketch duels, panels, and events. Some of the other panel choices were “Managing Workflow as a Freelancer”, “#Me Too and The Witching Hour: The Representation of Witchcraft in The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” “Make your own Sailor Moon Pin”, “Todd McFarlane – Raw and Uncensored”, “DC Art Academy”, and “The Dandies Present: Hunter Follies”, a Supernatural parody based around the Wayward ladies.
Needless to say, the whole experience was unforgettable — seeing everyone come together to celebrate multiple fandoms and what we love about them, and those things that bring us all together. We are unquestionably looking forward to next year’s FAN EXPO Canada, from August 27-30 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
While at FAN EXPO Canada, Nerds and Beyond had the opportunity to take part in interviews with vector artist Orlando Arocena, Hasbro Transformers team members Ran Sun (Manager, Global Brand Development & Marketing) and John Warden (Senior Manager, Product Design), plus Hasbro Marvel team members Dwight Stall (Senior Design Manager) and Ryan Ting (Senior Manager Global Brand Strategy & Marketing). We’ll be sharing those soon, so keep an eye out!
Watch Brent Butt’s video of The Corner Gas cast at FAN EXPO Canada below!