Revenge of the Nerds – Fan Expo Canada 2011

Toronto was all abuzz this past weekend with tons of huge city events – the CNE, Buskerfest, the Jays were in town, Jack Layton’s funeral, Import Fest, Fan Expo Canada and some big concerts like Tom Morello and Incubus – it’s no wonder these City Girls were booked solid!

With so many great options, how does one choose the best way to spend such precious free time? By embracing the inner nerd and looking to the dark side, of course. On Saturday, August 27, Ashley put on her bravest face and stepped into a whole other universe inside the Metro Toronto Convention Centre for her first taste of what the Fan Expo Canada is all about.

Saturday’s celebrity headliners included Eliza Dushku (Buffy, Dollhouse), Tom Felton (Harry Potter), Hayden Panettiere (Heroes), Lee Majors (Six Million Dollar Man), Michael Beihn (Terminator, Aliens), Sam Trammell (True Blood) – though he cancelled last minute – and the only reason Ashley even went to the Expo this year, Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactic).

Ashley’s Personal Show Highlights:

Q&A; panel with the cast of Lost Girl. The cast was hilarious and very sweet, though the moderator seemed a little… uncertain at times. The cast’s hour meet and greet signing after the panel turned into a three hour affair, they wouldn’t leave until every fan had their opportunity to meet them. That’s a good cast.

Felton of course had the largest fangirl crowd, full of shrieking pre-teens and their parents looming off to the side. There was no way you were getting close to that guy unless you were one of the 600+ fangirls who bought a ticket just to wait in line to buy a ticket for his photo op later in the day. That is unless you’re in the right place at the right time, like buying pizza from Pizza Pizza when Felton decides to cut into the line right beside you to quickly grab a pop.

Vader’s First 501st Legion of Imperial Storm Troopers were on site, walking around in their gear causing a scene wherever they turned. Ashley was fortunate enough to befriend two members pre-costume, a Scottish Storm Trooper and a lanky young lad who turned out to be Darth Vader, which definitely made photo ops a little easier later on. Also, bragging rights for being buddies with Darth Vader.

Having friends in high places can get you far. When a buddy was on-site with one of the four elite opportunities to interview Eliza Dushku, he was kind enough to invite us to the scene to watch it all go down. While it was a huge opportunity for him, it was just as cool to be standing off camera with the publicity team inches away from Eliza. She’s so much prettier in person, if you can believe it.

Sneak peak tournament play of the new Halo: CE Anniversary (release Nov 15) and a large LG 3D Call of Duty: Black Ops tournament.

But the best part of course was MEETING KATEE SACKHOFF!!! Not only did we bombard her signing booth for a bunch of blurry candid shots, but we forked over the $50 for a personal photo session with her as well. Katee is super nice, super cheerful and very sweet. AND SHE PUT HER ARM AROUND ASHLEY. Fangirl moment.

The fan base was an attraction all on its own. The creativity and passion that many people put into their costumes is amazing. A large portion of the day was spent just people watching, picking out our favourite characters and stalking them for pictures.

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