All though they're just a memory, some memories last forever..
RushCON 12: 2012
RushCON x1: 2011
RushCon 10: 2010
RushCon 9: 2009
Team RushCon began having our usual “Hey, how about we throw a Rush Convention this year?” discussions early in 2013. A lot of us had big life changes, new jobs, etc. But one thing was consistent. Our love for putting on this event.
We knew there would be a second leg of the amazing Clockwork Angels tour, and we knew we had to have our event where there was a concert. We found out that the only local Toronto show would be held in… Hamilton? Oy. This was going to be logistically difficult. What events could we do to make a trip worthwhile? Well it only made sense to spend a day at the infamous Lakeside Park. And then after many back and forth emails, we found out we were able to rent out Massey Hall for our mixer. We knew we had something special planned. We had a lot of competition though. People were spending their hard earned money going to actually see the band, and of course they just had the big blow out in LA at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremony. So we hoped we had enough great stuff planned to attract all the hard core Rush fans to Toronto.
THURSDAY JULY 4th, 2013
Team RushCon huddles for a work session the night before the convention.
Finally after months of planning, our weekend was happening! Our team members arrived in Toronto and assembled in our workspace in the hotel. The day had finally arrived! We were so excited to launch our event and share all the beautiful work the team had been cranking out the past couple months.
FRIDAY JULY 5th, 2013
Friday Early birds registered at the Marriott Eaton Centre. Good to see many old friends and new faces.
RushCon Staff ready the registration desk.
Greeting our early birds.
The Mixer at Massey Hall
We had been trying for years to be able to rent out Massey Hall for our opening night mixer, and this year the stars aligned.
The Marquee outside Massey Hall, welcoming RushCon.
We had a great time exploring the nooks and crannies of this legendary space, where Rush recorded their “All the Worlds a Stage” album in 1976. You could feel the epic history, standing on the stage, looking out into the thousands of seats.
Kristy welcomes guest to our first event, The Mixer at Massey Hall
This year, we decided to change up the Mixer a little. Some of our long-time regulars (and a few newer folks) were specially chosen to be “Air Captains”. Each Air Captain was assigned a group and tasked with breaking the ice and introducing new folks to the wonder and magic of RushCon! A mildly brain busting trivia game followed, which was won by Team 11 - “Team Totem”.
Hanging out at the Bar at Massey Hall.
The tour guide shares the history of this awesome music venue.
One group of RushCon Attendees standing on the very stage where Rush played, many moons ago.
Yes, _that_ stage left!
Old friends making new ones.
Jillian kicks off the first event, by introducing all the "Air Captains" and breaking up everyone into groups.
Brain tends to the merch sales at the RushCon and Rush Back Stage booth.
Patti chills out backstage at Massey in the green room where tons of famous bands and musicians have gotten ready before their shows.
The view from the stage.
During our mixer event, while everyone was hanging out and getting to know each other, a spontaneous sing-a-long broke out. Our new friend Brian sat at the keys and Adam happened to have his guitar. The result was magic. With everyone singing and dancing along to all our favorite Rush tunes. These guys were really talented!
Brian and Adam amaze us with their talent at an spontaneous Rush Sing-a-long!
SATURDAY JULY 6th, 2013
Up and early for the RushCon Caravan to hit the road! A trio of comfy charter buses transported our Con folk to the one & only Lakeside Park, for a catered BBQ lunch.
Some crazy people we let on the bus.
Enjoying the 'Scenery" of the bus ride down to Lakeside Park.
The official sign welcoming us to the famous landmark!
Drinking by the pier.. get it..?
Eddy shows that mic who is boss!
One of the best parts of the weekend happened next. We gave everyone a really REALLY hard Rush word game for the ride to Lakeside park. Only a handful of people completed it. But we did have 2 winners. Claude, who came all the way from Hawaii with his family, and Dave, a long time Rush fan from the Toronto area. Claude had almost a perfect score and Dave was a close second. We gathered everyone by the buses before we departed the park. Jillian called them up to claim their prizes. She asked them “is that what you are wearing to the show tonight?” and held up 2 RushCon t-shirts, and they looked a little confused, but happy to be winning shirts, but then Jillian said “Because you will be meeting Geddy and Alex before the show!” And the crowd went wild. They were both in disbelief to finally be meeting their idols after being fans for so long and traveling so far. They were jubilant and so so happy. This Meet and Greet prize couldn’t have gone to better guys. These guys were the best!
Dave and Claude get the surprise of their lives!
80% of Team RushCon. (Kristy was on the road to set up at the hotel)
Next stop was a change/shower run at the Sheraton Hamilton, before the main event: Rush live at Copps Coliseum!
Everyone was excited for the evening that awaited them!
That darn Anarchist kept popping up everywhere.. even the front row!
The boys put on a blistering show - as always - and many happy, but tired fans made their way back to “The Rocinante”, “Bus #2” and “The Short Bus”.
SUNDAY JULY 7th, 2013
Sunday morning began with our annual tour of Rush’s own record label office, Anthem Records. The group walked from the hotel over to the modest office space. But inside it’s decked out better than any museum you could ever find. Guests snapped pictures of all the historic awards, art work and soaked up all the amazing Rushness.
Sunday crew gathers in front of Anthem Records for their exclusive tour.
Some of the amazing awards and artwork on the walls.
We then had our triumphant return to the Hard Rock Cafe in downtown Toronto for a game of games, prizes and much more fun!
Our first game was our "name that tune" game- Countdown. Contestants had to name a Rush song by only listening to a few short seconds. The competition was fierce, but Brian Kaser (aka Vitamin Bu2b) was our eventual winner. Jason R. was in 2nd place.
Round 1 of "Name that Tune" game- Countdown.
Our runner up, Jason on the left, and winner of a signed Clockwork Angels LP Brian, on the right.
Brian's epic prize.
We followed up with our ever-popular "Taboo style game" Words of the Profits. With many laughs and hijinks. (What happens when you fart in the bathtub?)
Veteran players Beverly and Jill warm up the teams.
Never before have we had such a competitive, fast moving game. The points were racked up to the highest in RushCon history. It was down to only one point! but team Rob and Jeff beat out Jeremy and Alex in one of more hilarious games yet! They each won signed tour posters from the band.
The faces of hilarious frustration.
Winners Rob and Jeff take home signed posters from the band.
We had a short break between stage events with a showing of the entire induction ceremony for Rush into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame.
Our next event was guest speaker, Martin Popoff, who presented a slideshow about the history of progressive & heavy metal. Of course, many good words were said in relation to our favourite Canadian band! He had copies of his various tomes for sale - including his latest work, "Rush: The Illustrated History" - and autographed them personally.
We wrapped up our day events with our Annual Charity Auction. Many wonderful items went on the block this year, including a series of John Arrowsmith photographs, a VIP Silver Edition copy of Clockwork Angels kindly donated by Kevin J. Anderson and some wonderful graphic art by artist, Adam George. Our showcase item - a Rush Clockwork Angels leather jacket by Vanson - went for $1000. Did we mention the jacket was to be autographed personally by the band? Longtime auction dominator, RushGirl took home this epic prize.
The snipers were out in force! And there were many tense bidding moments! Who would have the final bid? Nail biters! All in all, we raised a total of $8100 for our charity, Care Canada.
We then headed over to Alex Lifeson's famous club, The Orbit Room.
We were treated by a private show by local Toronto Prog band, The Dave Barrett Trio. We rocked out, sang some tunes, drank many a beer, hugged many new friends goodbye, and we sadly had to put this con to bed for another year.
"Some days were dark
I wish that I could live it all again
Some nights were bright
I wish that I could live it all again "
We are always so grateful for the continuing support from Anthem Records.
Very special thanks to this years support staff, Nancy and Brian
Max, Todd, and Rodney for their heroic efforts year after year.
The staff at Hard Rock Cafe, and Massey Hall.
Paulie Beaulieu and The Canadian Music Scene
Tim Notter, Tim Wilson and the staff at the Orbit Room.
The Dave Barrett Trio
Patrick and John at Showtech Merchandise, Rush Back Stage Club
And from the bottom of our hearts, thanks to all our attendees. We look forward to seeing you each and every year. You make doing this so special and rewarding for us.
And of course, none of this magic would be possible without the tireless effort of Team RushCon. Jillian, Eddy Maxwell, Kristy Williams, Holly Smith and Mary Jo Plews. Thank you all!
Photos: Jessica Winkworth, Eddy Maxwell, Melanie Bichener, M0b13us, Paul Beaulieu, Bruce Lee, Kristy Williams