Convention cancelled

Weekend event was expected to draw thousands to Pearkes Arena

The Island Fantasy Convention, which was set to take over Pearkes Arena this weekend, has been cancelled due to a medical emergency suffered by co-promoter Bill Code.

A statement from Code’s longtime friend Bob Lynn says Code collapsed on the floor Sunday and was rushed to hospital. Lynn said he was taken into intensive care, readying for surgery on Tuesday.

“Unfortunately, due to these circumstances and the fact that Bill will be unable to handle and direct any part of the convention, and after tireless work by a few people who have stepped forward to try to salvage the event through damage control etc., it has been decided that it is impossible for it to go on so IFCon is now officially cancelled,” wrote Lynn.

The convention, which was 16 months in the making, was kibashed just four days before an estimated 8,000 people were expected to descend on the recreation centre. IFCon was billed as a charity event, with the goal of raising $100,000 for B.C. Children’s Hospital.

Lynn said Code spent more than $84,000 to put on the two-day event, which was scheduled to have panels and workshops with TV and film stars, movie industry effects workers, authors, comic book artists and cosplayers.

“All the money put into the event from facility rental, flights, hotels, advances paid to celebrities, the show booth providers and much more that has been paid in advance is non-refundable to Bill or IFC Productions,” said Lynn.

Co-promoter Ken Twyman said he has contacted Eventbrite, the online ticketing platform, and is working to gain access to Code’s account to start the refund process. Lyle’s Place also announced it would issue refunds to those who purchased tickets through its store.

“We have no intentions of not returning people’s money for tickets that were purchased,” said Twyman.

However, Twyman said it’s unknown if vendors will be paid back, depending on their financial position.

“All I know is we’ve lost a lot of money – we are personally out of pocket thousands, tens of thousands, almost hundreds of thousands of our personal money in this.”