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Norm Coyne

Norm Coyne

Promotions Executive
Office 250 562 2441 ext. 362 |Cell 250 640-6670 | 150 Brunswick Street | Prince George BC V2L 5K9

Website URL: http://pgcitizen.ca

More than a miner character

Michael Coleman - Bio

A versatile character actor best known for his role as Happy on ABC’s Once Upon a Time, Michael as also performed memorable roles on sci-fi and fantasy series such as Smallville, Stargate: SG- 1, Stargate: Atlantis, Fringe, Eureka, Blood Ties and Supernatural. His voice has also been used to bring to life characters on shows like Dragonball Z, Inuyasha, Hamtaro, Hello Kitty, Hellsing, X-Men: Evolution and Gundam Seed: Destiny.

When Northern FanCon came around on the calendar, Barkerville Historic Town got happy. To rephrase more precisely, Barkerville Historic Town got Happy. The character. The dwarf. The very one seen each week on the hit television show Once Upon A Time.

The actor who plays Happy happens to be a longtime friend of Barkerville’s manager of visitor experiences James Douglas. Douglas and Michael Coleman worked together as actors in the Vancouver production of Storyeum, a show depicting the history of B.C. Douglas played Captain Cook while Coleman played, of all people, Billy Barker.

Each year, Barkerville hammers out a partnership with FanCon due to the multiple ways the two entities fit together. The Victorian/Western aesthetic, the historical figures, and the underlying cosplay involved in the gold rush historic site finds kindred spirits in the FanCon audience. So much so that Barkerville sponsors one of the celebrity guests each year - someone who agreeably shows the national historic site some extra love.

This year, Coleman became available and Douglas picked him for Team Barkerville without even realizing how perfectly he would mesh.

“Believe it or not, I totally didn’t think of it until after we had done the deal, but, yes, of course, Happy is one of the seven dwarves from the Snow White story, and the dwarfs were old-school miners,” said Douglas. “And fans will love this: Michael has a sideline hobby where he takes a woodburning set and burns the word Happy into the handle of a pick-axe and he makes those available in limited numbers.”

The extra deal for FanCon participants is, anyone who spends the money for a photo with Coleman or pays for his autograph will receive a free weekend family pass to Barkerville Historic Town & Park.

One of the perks for Coleman is, he, too, has a family and will get to take them for an enhanced visit to the extraordinary historic site named for the character he once played at Storeyeum.

GREAT WHITE, FAN HEADQUARTERS

If there is one merchant in Prince George ready-made for Northern FanCon, one store to rule them all, it is Great White.

The Pine Centre Mall hobby boutique is loaded with comic books, collectables, roleplaying games, pop-culture curios, and much more - right in FanCon’s wheelhouse. Proprietor Cameron Stolz is putting his own extra efforts in to match the growth in FanCon this year over last year. “It’s mind-blowing how much bigger FanCon has expanded in just one year,” he said. “It’s an opportunity for the fans to be able to experience the shows and games and comics, firsthand, that they’ve been watching and enjoying on TV and theatres and computers for a long time. They have the opportunity to interact with the actors and designers, have the cosplay experience, and share all that with one another. It’s an unbelievable atmosphere, and we are so excited to be part of that.” Providing an event in which fans can satiate their geekdom without having to travel to a far-off location is a public service Cameron felt compelled to support. He is looking forward, just like all the patrons coming through the door, to interacting with all the merchants and artists and services on the floor of the Trade Show.

He is making sure his booth is stocked with the latest items in the comic and gamer realms. He’ll have a four-foot Wookie by his side as he does so. The staff, and even his own family, will be decked out in cosplay costumes. Great White will host on-site Magic: The Gathering gaming sessions (leading to an in-store MTG Grand Prix tournament later this spring).

It will be an enhanced satellite location for Great White during the FanCon proceedings. It means a lot of prep work by Stolz and the staff, but they thrive in this environment. Mark Zanolini, the assistant manager, said, “People have to understand this isn’t just about comics or sci-fi or fantasy or movies. This is a cultural shift. People are now appreciating that the things used to be considered nerd-like are now mainstream culture, and that is being accepted across all of society.”

Stolz said he has seen the shift, and the year-round FanCon influence, at the Great White home base. Customers are more plentiful, more involved in their collections and hobbies, more encouraging of others, and more knowledgeable about these avenues of interest. It makes FanCon into a highlight of their year, where they can let their best be seen, and where the customers interact with them as peers and as fellow nerds. “The staff puts a lot of energy into making sure we have a creative display and a load of engaging, fascinating merchandise and activities. Some of the product will be never-before-seen in the store,” Stolz said. “We all love seeing how people aren’t as shy anymore about being a fan of something.”

Nitro Circus Live

LOS ANGELES – Tuesday April 19, 2016 – Nitro Circus Live returned to the United States this weekend with spectacular shows at Shreveport, Louisiana’s Independence Stadium and Little Rock, Arkansas’ War Memorial Stadium, the first stops on its marathon 2016 North American tour.

Anticipation for opening night in Shreveport was clearly running high, as more than 1,400 tickets were sold on show day, adding to almost 10,000 screaming fans in one of the loudest crowds in Nitro Circus history.

From the opening burst of huge BMX tricks through a grand finale of incredibly precise FMX trains, the audience was blown away by the Nitro crew’s courage, skill and strength. Ryan “R Willy” Williams showed just why he has been dubbed, “the best action sports athlete on the planet,” by the legendary Travis Pastrana as he threw down on both scooter and BMX. Bruce Cook demonstrated how sheer will and determination can overcome tremendous adversity as he reprised his inspirational 2015 world’s first: the first backflip on a motorbike by a paraplegic. Nitro Circus’ allarounders also proved the Nitro rule that everything with wheels must fly, riding a host of ridiculous contraptions including trikes, a tall bike, a whiskey barrel and even a body board.

Nitro Circus Live is embarking on its most extensive tour to date in 2016, with over 40 dates - all in first-time markets in the United States and Canada - scheduled through the fall. These cities will get to see the same huge show that has captivated audiences worldwide, rivaling the massive productions that rock bands take on the road.

“We are thrilled to be back in North America, the birthplace of the Nitro Circus phenomenon,” said Michael Porra, Nitro Circus CEO and creative director. “Opening weekend was fantastic and there will be much more of that excitement to come. We are so pumped to be able to bring Nitro Circus Live to new cities and perform for our fans who haven’t been able to experience it before.”

Nitro Circus Live will visit the American Southwest next with shows at Albuquerque’s University Stadium this Friday, April 22 and the Tucson Rodeo Grounds on Saturday, April 23, rounding out the month with a Colorado Springs show at Falcon Stadium on Saturday, April 30. For a complete list of North American shows and to purchase tickets, visit www.nitrocircus.live.

A little about me

ncoyne3Norm Coyne has been active in local arts, entertainment and promotions for 15 years. He developed the Scene PG to provide local artists and musicians with exposure as well as connect a broader audience to the events and talent Prince George has to offer.

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