The first Star Trek convention in Canada drew thousands of fans to downtown Toronto and was a huge cultural success. And then this momentous event was essentially forgotten by fandom.
Almost nothing was written about it, and I could not let that stand. This site tells the stories of the people who created and attended that convention — Toronto Star Trek ’76.
The content here is based on extensive interviews and on research in newspaper archives, industry publications and fanzines. I also present more than 100 images, most of which have never been seen before their publication here.
This site is formatted like a book with chapters, so start by clicking below for the introduction or use the Table of contents menu at the top. And let me know what you think of this site.
Bea Arthur in the captain’s chair. 🙂
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I still have my copy of the original poster! I have a great photo from 1978 with many of the TST staff in costumes at the Canadian National Exhibition on the Bridge of the Enterprise, including Elizabeth and myself. ❤️
My first convention – and still my favorite. I still have the badge, and my brother’s program with all the autographs. And, of course, my memories.
Thanks for reading, James. I hope this brought back some good memories.
CTV did a news segment on this convention. I knew, because I was unsuccessfully trying to contact a friend by phone. Next thing I knew, she was on TV, being interviewed!
I knew there were TV and radio interviews done and I tried to track down some of them. I learned that all of those were recorded on (audio and video) tapes and these tapes were routinely reused, to save money. So most if not all of those segments are gone.
Fyi, since I appear in quite a few of Frank’s photos, my name properly is Shelley TSivia Rabinovitch, and my sister is Carolyn Rabinovitch at the time (now Van Heerden).
“Marcie McDowell” is Marcia McDowell (I think she goes by her married name now).
What WONDERFUL memories this brings. I have some great stories too…
Most of us from those days didn’t hear Frank Goodman passed away. That was a sad bit of news indeed.
I have updated the bridge page, Shelley.
I was also shocked to learn of Frank’s death. It was, apparently, unexpected. I had emailed him and received no reply, which was odd for him. I had a bad feeling and I searched for an obituary. I had missed the funeral by then and it was a private event in any case, but I would have gone if I could. He was a very nice guy.
Sorry to hear that Frank Goodman passed away. We met in early 1975, he was my first friend in Toronto.
Most of the information you have on this website is accurate, some is not.
I should know, I worked for my patron Elizabeth Pearse as her personal assistant at her family business Clarkson Machinery in 1975-76. I was much involved with Draco, ordering films, printing the ‘zine and taking a turn at operating projectors at Draco events. I was in the room when Elizabeth was considering throwing a “Trek Party”. This was to be much smaller than what evolved into TST 76. It was originally intended to be a supersized Draco Star Trek themed party… The story grows from there. As Operations Manager I was intimately involved, not only in the research and design/construction of the portable, reusable Duplicate Bridge, but in all aspects of the planning, recruiting of knowledgeable fans and delegating of departmental responsibilities. (I also created the cartoon insert in the program at the encouragement of Kelly Freas.)
The convention was the site of one of the most unsung and audacious robberies in Fan History. Attendance was in excess of 15,000 over three days. Tickets we sold could be had for all three days. But enterprising organized criminals sold counterfeit tickets to fans at reduced prices in the subways and in the mail (apparently). We were paid by about 5,000 fans, Our break even was to be 7,500. The fire marshal complained to us and acted on his observation of more than 8000 attendees on Saturday.
Contact me for more.
Glad you have done this site!
Gregg, I am so glad to hear from you. I did try to contact you. Thank you for commenting here and I am about to send you an email.
I have 1500 plus B&W photos of the first ST con in NYC but what can I do with them??
John, I would like to talk with you about your photos. Please contact me: https://torontostartrek76.ca/contact/