Recently I attended CanFurence 2023 in Ottawa, Ontario. It was a good time! Previously I'd gone in 2016 for its first year, then later in 2021 and 2022. There's a really good established core of staff and volunteers that make it happen.
It's been growing at a decent pace, now with 1107 people, up from 863 last year, and it's the fourth-largest Canadian furry con. The cons up here are in two clusters. March is when Furnal Equinox and VancouFur happen; while Fur-Eh, CanFurence, Wild Prairie Fur Con and Camp Feral are all during July and August. We also may soon have another camping con, Camp Mani-Toebeans.)
After Anthrocon finished its closing ceremonies this year, it came in with 3 more than last year’s Midwest Furfest’s last year’s final tally. With 13,644 attending 2023’s anthrocon this July, Anthocon has shown a 40% gain from its 2022 count of 9,720.
Other larger furry conventions have also shown significant increases in attendance this year as well. Texas Furry Fiesta from earlier in the year had a 33.5% increase. Furry Weekend Atlanta has also shown significant growth for the year at 43.2%.
While the post-pandemic growth in fandom gatherings is hardly isolated to furry, it has shown the rhyming echo of the 1920s after their world war and influenza pandemic within our own 20s era a century later. The parties we are throwing are getting larger, and people are doing what they can to celebrate after surviving through the past three years.
This month in Digging up Positivity, furry conventions raising money for charity, the fandom comes together to help those down on their luck, an upcoming furry comedy, and a lovely interview with this years’ winner of the Good Furry Award: Kite.
And stay till the very end of this video where I reveil the winner of the Pawperty Damage game on Steam, and various other announcements.
This month has been filled to the brink with not just the regular fundraisers, but also a whole lot in the spirit of this rainbow coloured month. Something we, as a fandom, can be very proud of.
So... lets be like a meerkat and dig in!
Anthro Northwest expeditiously banned Furlandia board member in 2019 - warns of "cancel culture" in 2023Posted by Sonious on Wed 14 Jun 2023 - 16:22
On June 9th, 2023 the furry world was baffled by a newsletter from Washington state’s convention Anthro Northwest that has since been removed from the internet. On their social media page this letter was headered with the statement “Something had to be said”. The letter opened as if it is about to take an action that would cause controversy to protect their gathering, but then moved forward with meandering prose about the dangers of ostracizing others based on accusation, which they later refer to be related to a phenomenon that has been deemed as “cancel culture”. However, in its statement it also didn’t really announce any action that the organization would take to combat these issues it deemed important to state are occurring.
This meandering and winding prose about “seeing through the glass darkly” certainly caught a lot of attention. Because of the vagueness and the context of being an official statement it led many to speculate what could have prompted the post that read more like a defensive personal blog. Soon other furry conventions and organizations would capitalize on the public relations blunder by making parodies of their own.
But perhaps at the end of the day, the glass that ANW’s chair, Gabriel Felix, was seeing through dimly was that of the house he resided in. The shattered pieces reflected upon him for a past where he ignored his own currently presented ideals. Because while the chair asks the fandom to be slower to judge and to be more judicious with our actions to outcast others among us, on May 8th, 2019 his convention had banned the Furlandia soon-to-be-chair at the time, Richard “Saphy” Thomas, from being able to attend ANW.
Note for clarity: Saphy was the promoted to chair from vice-chair of Furlandia following their 2019 gathering just after he was banned from ANW, the current chair in 2023 (Rex) is not banned from ANW. To make the story more clear the headline working verbiage around the titles have been updated in the article.
On May 24th, Megaplex, a furry convention that has taken place in Florida for two decades, had announced that for the first time restricted attendance to those 18 and over only. This was done in response to a recently passed law, SB 1438, which expands the authority of the government to revoke business licenses and impose fines in response to situations where children are exposed to live performances deemed “problematic for general consumption”.
Many have raised concerns about recent changes in Florida legislation. After reviewing Florida SB 1438 it has been decided that for legal reasons and protection of our attendees, our venue, and the overall convention, Megaplex 2023 attendees must be 18 years of age at the time of registration pickup.
Megaplex has welcomed younger fandom members and their families since its inception and making this change was very difficult. The Code of Conduct has been updated to reflect this change and emails are going out to those affected.
While this change impacts the 2023 convention, it is unsure if this will have to continue for future years. It is our hope that this change is temporary and that we can welcome members of all ages back next year. With this in mind, the public decorum portion of the Code of Conduct as well as standards for programming, attire, and behavior in convention space will not be changing and will continue to be enforced as it has been in the past.
This decision has been a difficult one, but Megaplex has not forgotten about or abandoned our younger fandom members and is looking into options for events and activities to include all age ranges and their family members.
Many have also voiced concerns regarding CS/HB 1521. After legal review, it has been concluded that this does not affect us as our convention is held in a private venue. We are talking with the hotel about the possibility of offering gender neutral restrooms in the convention space. If we are able to offer this we will have them clearly marked on our convention map.
If you have any additional questions regarding any cancellations requested, please feel free to contact us at [our registration team email].
Megaplex; May 2023
This week[sic] in Digging Up Positivty:
- Pawperty Damage came out on the 24th and we are having an interview with the critter behind it all: Marig. And that is not all! We will be giving away one key of this smashing game so you can stomp around as well. Stay with us till the end for more info!
- Two huge Australian icons working together in a most adorable dance off!
- The Good Furry Award winners are announced
- And of course we are starting this episode of Digging Up Positivity with various charities all over the world
A brief press release made by IndyFurCon on April 27th announced that Cassidy Civet would no longer be their Guest of Honor at their 2023 gathering slated to happen at the end of August this year. No reasoning was given by the board for the decision in their press release.
Cassidy, in response, took to social media to express her shock at the announcement:
I feel completely blindsided. Being asked was such a rush, I canceled my Furrydelphia 22 to attend and be announced at closing ceremonies at IFC 2022. Then complete silence from the con for months, I reached out, then today the rug got pulled out from under me.
I’m in shock.
-Cassidy Civet - April 27, 2023 7:03 PM
Welcome to a new episode of Digging Up Positivity! This month we feature Kijani, a truly wonderful role-model, and straight up lovely lion. We also cover a bit of animation, but first, all those wonderful charities the fandom has been supporting!
March has been quite a maddening time for the hard working staff at furry conventions. Two of the gatherings, Vancouver’s Vancoufur and Detroit’s Motor City Fur Con, both came under attack during their respective activities when a false report of threat, known as swatting, was committed and caused the need to temporarily evacuate the facilities. Toronto’s Furnal Equinox, meanwhile, had a scare in the region of the convention during the early morning hours that caused witnessing staff to recommend sheltering in place.
We will start with what occurred during Furnal Equinox as it was a different situation than the other two. Then we will go over what occurred at Vancoufur and Motor City.
In this episode of Digging Up Positivity we cover several big and small furry events with charities attached to them. Eurofurence finally has a new location, the return of a very sly fox and that bunny, and an awesome new upcoming game starring a gator, and an interview with one of the driving forces behind the furry events in and around Ohio, USA. And stay till the end if you want to win a lovely t-shirt from me from my ArtworkTee store!
But first things first, lets hop into the charities.
This is Part 2 of my commentary on furry conventions, in relation to geography, demographics and statistics. Reading Part 1 might provide more about my perspective and understanding this in context.
Furry conventions are hard to organize, put together, and run. They require staff, a venue, and many other complicated things. One aspect that isn't brought up enough is something that con staff don't necessarily "need" to worry about: transportation. Besides the hotel cost, transportation is perhaps the most prohibitively expensive barrier to someone attending. The low focus on this is partially because cars are the most common (and often most convenient) way to get around in the United States and Canada. I would argue that due to the sheer dominance of the car in these countries, it's hard for a lot of people to realize just how disadvantageous cars can be - on both an individual and societal level. I won't focus much on the societal level, but I will focus on the individual level, to show why I care so much about transit, even in a furry context. I'll also talk about how it relates to poverty, and what we can do about it.
Welcome to the first Digging Up Positivity of 2023! Of course we start off with a bunch of charities, animation news, and our guest of this month is a staple from the virtual furry scene: BioGodz, we will discuss his new projects and how he got into the wonderful world of virtual reality!
But first things first, lets hop into the charities:
This year's furry charity index has been released with $1,180,320.69 raised this year.
European furry convention Eurofurence has announced that it will be changing its dates and venue for EF27:
Due to unforeseen circumstances, we need to change our venue and date in 2023. We fully understand that this means an inconvenience for those of you who have already made plans and we apologise for that. It was a choice made with the confidence that it will be best for EF in the long run, but we can assure everyone that the choice was not made lightly.
We are going to announce detailed information ASAP.
We will open a new chapter for Eurofurence so you can continue to enjoy all EF has to offer and we look forward to writing it with you.