FanCon’s Not so Secret Origin: Part 2

a 97/16 EXCLUSIVE by Norm Coyne

Sons of Anarchy & Hellboy star Ron Perlman on a 2014 visit to Prince George BC photo by Christos Sagiorgis

Sons of Anarchy & Hellboy star Ron Perlman on a 2014 visit to Prince George BC
photo by Christos Sagiorgis

We were hot on the heels of the excitement that Sons of Anarchy star Kim Coates had jumpstarted the city with. His appearance at Pine Centre was a massive success in engaging hundreds of fans for photos and autographs. Prince George was abuzz with the new direction of the British Columbia Northern Exhibition. Local philanthropist Brent Marshall was re-engaged as a sponsor of the BCNE. The stage was set for what was next. But what was next?


BCNE president Alex Huber and I came up with something spectacular. We had seen the throes of Sons of Anarchy fans turn out for Kim Coates. It only made sense to follow up that appearance with someone else from the hit series -  Ron Perlman. In order for that to happen, we sought sponsorship support form Brent Marshall but that was not enough. In truly inspiring form, Alex was so committed to the idea that he invested some of his own personal resources to make it all happen.


Flash forward to our pursuit of Ron Perlman. As luck would have it, we were able to book him through an agent Denise Crosby (Star Trek: the Next Generation, Pet Sematary) had recommended to us – Gary Hasson. As I mentioned in an earlier column, it is never just as simple as just picking up the phone and booking the guest but Gary’s agency ( does make it as easy for you as possible. We attribute much of the foundation of Northern FanCon to the attention we received from this agency as we started. In the particular booking of Perlman, we could not have asked for a better situation than what they offered us.


In most cases, an agent rep will accompany the appearing celebrity guest to the event at which they are booked. The agent rep’s job is to make sure the celebrity guest is taken care of, doesn’t have to handle money, and is on hand to deal with any situations that might arise. This likely comes as no surprise to you but what came as a surprise to us was who the agency sent with Perlman for our booking. sent us a man by the name of Barry Greenberg – Gary Hasson’s business partner.


Celebrity appearance maven Barry Greenberg. Photo by Christos Sagiorgis

Celebrity appearance maven Barry Greenberg. Photo by Christos Sagiorgis

We could not have asked for a better person on the ground to support us in the event than Barry. It was almost surreal that they were sending him. We were about to have the chance to explain face to face our vision for what would eventually become Northern FanCon to a leader in the celebrity appearance business!


Perlman and Greenberg arrived in Prince George according to plan.The BCNE had a ton going on that year and Ron’s appearance was the crown jewel. He would do a series of autograph signings and photos throughout the day and we chose to do a live interview with him (by Citizen reporter Frank Peebles) live on the midway. In retrospect, the latter piece here was a huge risk but it was absolutely stunning. Imagine a thousand people in the midway and when Perlman took the stage, everyone stopped in their tracks to watch. You could hear a pin drop. Click here to see the full interview.

To date, that is still one of my favorite moments of the FanCon history.

After an epic day and a massive amount of happy fans, we broke for dinner. That day I was also managing the Northern Taste Market with Food Network favorite Bob Blumer and we were hosting a sponsor dinner at the White Goose Bistro. Funnily enough, Barry and Ron ended up at the White Goose as well. Such a surreal thing to be going back in conversation between Ron Perlman and Bob Blumer in one of Prince George’s best restaurants.


Later, Brent Marshall hosted a private get together at Earl’s Kitchen and Bar. Both Ron and Barry were impressed with how casual the evening was and how respectful patrons in the establishment were (see some of the pics below courtesy of Christos Sagiorgis ). Many conversations happened that night and I was able to dig into the idea of a comic con in Prince George with Barry. Having now actually been on the ground in Prince George, meeting us face to face and coaching us through some general details of celebrity appearances earlier that day, he was open to the idea of working with us to launch our event for the following year.

Before Barry and Ron flew out the next day, I said my goodbyes and Barry told me to review the roster of for options for the inaugural year of Northern FanCon. It did not take long that day to decide on who we wanted to book as our first guest. We wanted William Shatner.

NEXT WEEK: Phasers set to fun as we announce William Shatner as the first ever guest of Northern FanCon…

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BELOW: Shots from the party with Ron Perlman at Earl’s in Prince George BC. Photos by Christos Sagiorgis

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Norm Coyne