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Unity Days 2017 Post-Con Roundup

Some weeks ago we attended a convention called Unity Days in Vancouver, British Columbia.

What is Unity Days? It’s a con that’s put on by Unity Events Canada, which was founded by some awesome women who wanted to present pop culture events for fans. Unity Days 2017 was specifically about The 100, and the message of the event was positivity and appreciation for the show, the actors, the fans, and for each other.

This was our first time attending a con that was dedicated to just one show. The con booked a lot of the cast from The 100 since the show is filmed in Vancouver, and there were tons of opportunities for photo ops, autographs and panels to hear directly from the actors. There were several hundred attendees and unlike larger multifandom cons, the panels were one at a time in one room – which meant you could see them all and didn’t have to choose (unless you were getting your picture taken with a cast member or in line for an autograph, which is no hardship).

The moderator of all the panels was Jo Garfein, the co-founder and executive director of Cancer Gets LOST and the co-host of The Dropship (a podcast about The 100). Cancer Gets LOST channels fandom toward the greater good by raising money for cancer support charities through auctions and fundraisers that feature rare and autographed memorabilia. We first met Jo at San Diego Comic-Con in 2016 in line for autographs when she was planning to get one of our shirts signed for the 2016 CGL auction! How’s that for meta, and also awesome? (We never meta Jo we didn’t like.)

We attended this con as fans, though we were so proud that some of our Lexa Fangirl products were in the Cancer Gets LOST silent auction, which was the first event on Friday night. We also had our eyes on some of the other products up for bid.

It was fun to mingle, talk to other fans, and see old and new friends.

We kept a close eye on the auction and although the bidding in the last half hour got INTENSE, and we got outbid on a few fabulous pieces of artwork by @MaryneeLahaye and @agathecdl, we won those fabulous Clarke and Lexa crocheted dolls, which we LOVE and will be having some lighthearted fun with.

Saturday was one of those awkward days where you go somewhere and everyone’s wearing the same thing as you.

There were so many panels with the cast of The 100 in various combinations with various themes – such as the Arkadia Boys panel, the Camp Jaha panel, the Healers panel, the Delinquents panel, and the 100 Women panel – as well as specialized panels about topics like costume design, and the writers from Talk Nerdy With Us.

The panels were lighthearted, fun, and informative. We enjoyed hearing what everyone had to say. It was great to have the opportunity to hear from the actors themselves, in their own voices, and to see their personalities shine through. Sachin Sahel (who plays Jackson on the show) was a major crowd favourite, with his witty commentary and tendency to crash all of the other panels and stand in line to ask the other cast members funny questions.

In the PrincessMechanic panel (aka Clarke and Raven, which ended up being just the Princess panel since Lindsey Morgan had to film some scenes on Saturday morning), Jo asked Eliza Taylor a question about what it’s like to represent the queer community.

So speaking of representation, we wanted to represent with an official Fangirl Shirts photo op with Eliza Taylor:

Talk Nerdy With Us was the official press partner for the con and Caitlin, Alison and Kelsey did a panel about covering the 100. They talked about how they found the show and what writing about nerdy TV has meant to each of them. It was a very personal and fun panel.

At Fangirl Shirts, we make awesome shirts by, for and about awesome women. So we were super pumped for the “The 100 Women” panel, and we didn’t even care that it was slightly false advertising, because there weren’t actually 100 women on the panel.

Lindsey Morgan had some affirming words about how the women on the show are loved for who they are, not for who they are in relation to anyone else.

We made our Lexa Fangirl shirt and our Clexa shirt because the characters and the relationship are important. Lexa was a strong leader, a fierce warrior, and a hero to a legion of devoted fans. Clarke is a confident, capable leader who will do anything to protect her people. These are the types of queer characters that are still sorely underrepresented in 2017. In the post-apocalyptic world of the 100, sexuality is a non-issue, and that’s a message that we need to see more of on our televisions.

What a great three days – thank you SO MUCH to everyone who put so much work into Unity Days!

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