Anticipation was represented by Rene Walling and Robbie Bourget
Q. Will all the committee and staff have to be bilingual?
A. No. [Waffle about language]
Q. Has the committee expanded?
A. Yes. We're still recruiting.
Q. Are you limiting it to Canadians?
A. Currently we have two division heads in the UK, one in the US; the rest are in Canada. We're recruiting based on experience, not giving preference based on residence. We don't believe that a Worldcon must be run "just by locals." It's important for Worldcon to recruit the best we can.
Q. Co-chairs have difficulty coordinating efforts. How are you dividing responsibility? You both have very different styles.
A. [Rene] I think similar styles would be more of a problem. [Robbie] We're dividing it generally by the ways that suit our personal styles. [Rene] I'm managing marketing, public relations, member services; Robbie managing operations, treasury.
Q. Montreal was already expensive before the US dollar tanked. What are the current hotel room rates?
A. CA$159 at major hotels. Range $129-$179, with a few "university residences" cheaper and a few high-end hotels at $199.
Q. You seem spread out? Where will you be?
A. [Robbie] We're continuing to negotiate contracts. We have the Delta locked in. There are at least 15 hotels within ¾ mile of the CC. [Rene] We have bids from a dozen hotels, and will be selecting from among them to finalize contracts.
Q. Party Hotel?
A. [Rene] The Delta, 2 ½ short blocks from entrance of Convention Centre. 500 sleeping rooms in that hotel. One floor with corkage waived with a lot of suites, but I don't have specific numbers.
Q. What can you do to make the convention more affordable?
A. [Rene] In the last six weeks, the CAD has gone down 12 US cents. [Waffle by all about US politics.]
Q. Past Canadian Worldcons have promised help with Customs and Brokerage and not done much. What will you do?
A. Rene: Linda Ross-Mansfield, who is a Canadian retailer by trade, is now in charge of this.
Q. What about bids and non-commerical stuff.
A. Linda has done a lot of border crossing as a bidder herself, and knows what this is about. She will be able to help.
Q. Accessibility issues?
A. We choose our facility based on modern access issues. [Robbie] Oddly enough, the older, non-remodeled hotels tend to have the higher rates, so we can expect the main hotels to have nice lifts, er, elevators.
Q. Where will major events be?
A. Convention Center. Rene: [Waffle]. Robbie: [Points to map on wall] The largest function room seats >2000 (after staging), along with adjoining space suitable for Green Rooms and such for Masquerade. There is no theatre-type building. We expect that would be large enough, as we don't expect to have as many as 4000 coming up to Canada. [Waffle between Robbie and Joe about what proportion of attendees will attend major events.] We currently have the entire convention reserved, although we might hand some space back if we don't think we can make effective use of it.
Q. Late night Food?
A. There are >350 restaurants within 1 km of Convention Center. Closing times are variable, from 10 pm to Midnight; some are later.
Q. Will con help with parties, shopping, local arrangements?
A. The suites in the party hotel should be large enough for bigger parties. [Robbie] The Delta sounds enthusiastic about helping with parties, even with corkage waivers. They can supply ice.
Q. When will next PR be out?
A. PR 1 scheduled for March. Translation delays things, and we'd rather have substantial things to report in our PRs rather than waffle.
Q. How will hotel reservations be handled?
A. Not decided yet. Facilities is studying it; possibly through the City of Montreal booking agency.
Q. Staffing announcements?
A. All division heads are appointed. Eugene Heller (member services); John Mansfield (Exhibits); Terry Fong (Programming & Events; which means other people will run; Farah Mendlesohn, Programming; Lance Sibley, Events); Bruce Farr (Facilities & Finance); John Harold (Operations).
Q. Drinking Age? Will you test the parties?
A. 18. Yes, with underage-looking people.
Q. What will make Anticipation special?
A. Francophone content (in French). We plan to hold some English-language programming about Francophone SF.
We took a short break at 10:10 PM before starting on the Worldcon bids.