ThunderCon postpones 2020 event due to COVID-19 pandemic
Thunder Bay's popular annual fan convention, ThunderCon, won't take place this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers said Monday.
ThunderCon had been scheduled to take place in September 2020 at the CLE grounds, but the event has been pushed back until September 2021.
"You can't put people at risk for this, just for fun," said Heather Dickson, ThunderCon's media director. "Even though we love ThunderCon, and we love to get together, and we love to geek out, we certainly don't want to do that, risk harming somebody, risk harming communities, entire communities. That takes the fun out of it."
Dickson said a lot of work had already gone into this year's event, with guests booked. Organizers reached out to the guests — none of whom had been announced yet — last week, and they're expected to be able to attend next year's ThunderCon.
The outbreak also forced ThunderCon organizers to halt sponsorship requests, as well.
"You can't go look for fundraising and sponsorship when small businesses are struggling," Dickson said. "Then you hit May, there's just no way we can recoup the month lost."
Dickson said the delay may end up helping the next ThunderCon, as most of the hard work has been done.
"What we're going to try to do this year is, once we can start to have some limited ... social contact, like small groups, we want to start doing stuff for our sponsors, for our vendors," she said. "When we start announcing our guests for next year, we're not just going to announce that on Facebook — we're going to try to actually have an event around each of them."
"The programming that we've got coming, too, which is not just guests, but groups and people bringing in things to do, interactive events and interactive programs ... we're like, 'oh my goodness this is going to be incredible,' but we had no idea how that's going to look, or where we're going to put all that," Dickson said. "We've got a whole year to figure that out now, so it might actually work in our favour."
Dickson said guests will likely start being announced in the fall.
The next ThunderCon is scheduled to take place in September 2021 at the CLE grounds.