Scotland to get its first furry convention
ScotiaCon is to be held some time during Easter 2010 in Inverness. I interviewed the vice-chairwoman Ixis about the forthcoming event.
TCW: First question, pure and simple - What is ScotiaCon (or Scotiacon - which is the correct spelling)?
Ixis: ScotiaCon is our attempt to create Scotland's first furry convention, simply, but it means a lot more to all those involved. We feel Scotland has been left out a little bit when it comes to UK furry events and we want to put that right.
TCW: I see. What sort of events and activities do you have in mind for ScotiaCon?
Ixis: The usual stuff that you'd find in a convention, games, dances, loads of art, but we want to bring a little of Scotland's culture into the con too. Scotland has amazing Celtic art and loads of history which is why we decided to theme the con this year around the country's past. We're still in the early planning stages, but we have loads of ideas for fun events. We have some extra special guests of honour lined up, too.
TCW: Yes, I heard somewhere that there was going to be some sort of Jacobian theme.
Ixis: Well, sure! Scotland is unique in that our biggest enemies live right next door and we still somehow get along. We want to theme some events with English furs vs. Scottish, just for fun. Think foam swords.
TCW: Less claymores, more clawmores then.
Ixis: Haha, totally! That’s an example of the history we'd like to embed within the con. We don't intend to give a history lesson of course - we're just proud of our heritage and want to make our event unique!
TCW: And I believe that there is some historical reference with the conventions mascot. Wallace I think the name is, isn't it?
Ixis: Yeah, Wallace the Scottish terrier, who was named after the hero William Wallace. You'll see more of him on the website when if finally goes live, and Nessie will make an appearance too.
TCW: Nice. Going back a bit, you said that special guests of honour had been lined up. Who are they?
Ixis: We can't give too much away as we have yet to confirm anyone, but Fatkraken has made it known that she'd very much like to attend as she did with RBW, and we've also been speaking to Crome the dragon and 2 Gryphon.
TCW: Interesting (pity about the last one though IMO). I know that other than you there are at least two other staff members. How do you plan to organise Scotiacon?
Ixis: I'm the vice chair. I do the PR, graphics and speak to the furs and potential GoHs about what they want. The main man in this outfit is ThrashWolf, who along with Zenon sort out the financial side of things, making sure we're all good legally and have our affairs in order. Over in the technical department we have Kanibal, who takes care of our email server and is currently building the site. We all work very closely together to make sure we're all on the right page when it comes to the con's preparation.
TCW: Nice to see everything is well thought out then. Moving away from the actual convention for a moment, I would like to ask what furmeets in Scotland are like (I presume there are furmeets already).
Ixis: There are, and plenty of them. Furmeets take place in Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow. We DID have a rotational system whereby a meet would be held in each city in turn so everyone had a chance to attend, but when that idea fell apart the different regions' furry communities took over and we have the system we use today, which is much the same as England's.
TCW: Have you ever been to a furmeet in England and if so what are the main differences between furmeets between the two countries?
Ixis: Unfortunately I haven't. I have been to a con, however, and obviously the main difference is MORE PEOPLE. Also, sometimes it’s a little difficult to understand everyone's accent - on both sides. We share one thing in common though, we love to drink, and there is nothing like a good cold beer to settle our differences over. Furries share a few simple things in common wherever you go, which is why we're all so eager to meet up.
TCW: Has there been any coverage of furries in the Scottish media? How do you think most Scottish people view the fandom?
Ixis: The furry community is still small in Scotland, and many people are oblivious to what a furry is. When met with a public suiter, however, they react surprisingly well. I've never been met with any hostility when hanging with other furs. Scotland very much has its own ideas when it comes to what is acceptable and what’s not, and we're usually much more accepting of all things strange. We wouldn't be able to wander around with ginger wings and kilts chanting football songs if that weren't the case.
TCW: Great. Returning to the convention again - do you have any plans to sponsor a charity during the convention?
Ixis: We're still thinking about that. There are loads of good causes in Scotland and the world over so it’s hard to even begin to choose.
TCW: I understand. Seeing as this is the first convention to be held in Scotland, do you believe that some day furry conventions will be held in Wales or Ireland?
Ixis: Totally. As soon as we announced that Scotiacon was in the pipeline, the words "we need one for Wales!" were heard. I definitely think that if we can pull this off then more furry communities will have the courage to pull it together and make a con too. There are LOADS of American cons because each state has its own community, so I don't see why Scotland, Wales and Ireland with the rich and diverse communities they have can't do it too.
TCW: True, true. One final question. On a personal note, which Scottish furry do admire the most - real, fictional or both.
Ixis: That’s a hard one. I admire anyone in Scotland who calls themselves a fur since we're so shut-off from the rest of the worldwide fur community. Only now through our own means are we becoming a respected furry community. But, I guess if I have to choose ONE its gotta be Nessie. Girl be big but she hides it well!
TCW: Nice choice. Well I think that covers everything, unless there is anything you wish to add that I may not have brought up.
Ixis: I just want to thank you for taking the time to talk to me, and hope that ANYONE who has ever considered visiting Scotland makes Scotiacon their excuse. This place really is beautiful and it'd be a shame if people go on without seeing it for themselves.
TCW: Well, thank you very much for taking the time to talk.