Three Countries, Three Screenings

The weekend of July 4-6 sees three shiny screenings in Canada, the United States and England. First up chronologically is Toronto. The Royal Cinema once again plays host to an afternoon of Serenity, door prizes, and an auction full of unique items. Tickets are only $12.00 in advance and $15.00 at the door. The screening will be followed by a shindig at a nearby pub but RSVPs are neccessary for the shindig.

Albuquerque has a very full day planned on Saturday. Besides shiny shopping, raffles, an auction, a shindig, Serenity, catered dinner available for purchase at the theatre, there is also comedy and music! Comedians Drew Wayne and Genevieve Mueller will open the event and Mikey Mason will play right before the dinner break. Costume are encouraged and anyone who buys their ticket in advance gets a Fruity Oaty bar and other shiny swag! A shindig rounds out the day.

Sunday sees Leicester back for the first time since 2008 and it has blossomed since then! There is Serenity of course, live local music, spoken word and poetry performers, and tons and tons of things to buy - cakes, jewellery, fridge magnets, bags, cunning hats, and badges, to name a few things, as well as some really awesome raffle and competition prizes such as signed original artwork and graphic novels. There is even a teapot with a pretty cunning warmer over it.
The costume competition winners will receive specially engraved trophies, and a photo booth area will help attendees immortalize a great event. Everyone can get a bag of free popcorn too. Like Albuquerque, Leicester is offering something special to those who buy tickets in advance, - an Early Bird Goodie Bag.

Leicester also made a video to promote their event. Take a look after you admire their Jayne and Wash who helped to promote the screening at a recent con!

2 boys at a con in costume

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Bookending a Birthday

Continuing the celebration of Joss's birthday, 3 U.S. cities are holding their events this weekend. Their names also all start with N but the similarities end there!

The Nashville/Murfreesboro event is a concert featuring The Secret Commonwealth and Kasey Lansdale. There will also be a raffle and auction and probably a few surprises. Tickets will be available at the door.

Norfolk, Virginia is putting on a big damn shindig, also on June 28th. It starts at the Naro Cinema with a showing of Serenity in Hi Def. Doesn't matter how many times you have seen Serenity. You owe it to yourself to see it digitally. You'll see & hear content you never knew existed.There's a costume contest and rumours of a silent auction; a showing of Dr. Horrible and music by the one and only Mikey Mason.

But it doesn't end there! After everything is over at the Naro, it picks up again down the street at the Public House with Mikey Mason playing there as well.

New York City once again plays host to the Browncoats of NYC and their CSTS event. It starts at the New York Beer Company with themed drinks, a ticket auction and shiny items for sale. Then it's over to the Producers Club to see Serenity, take part in a Silent auction and enter the Costume Contest. As always, the auction items are great especially as some of them have recently been autographed by some of our Big Damn Heroes.

If you are anywhere near one of these events, go! If you only wish you were, buy a ticket anyway. You know the money will be going to good causes.

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Happy Birthday Joss!

This is a special day, even a special week for those of us who love Firefly/Serenity and all of Joss Whedon's other creations. The Man himself turns 50 today, June 23. Ten years ago a select number of cities got to see Serenity for the first time on Joss's birthday. It was a gift to us from him.

Then it became our turn.

Over the last 9 years Can't Stop The Serenity has raised over $900,000 for charities especially for one near to Joss's heart - Equality Now. But we aren't the only ones marking this special occasion. With the hashtag #ThankJoss, Kiba Rika who runs the website, is asking people to tell the world how Joss Whedon changed their life for the better. Check it out on twitter. But thanking Joss wouldn't be enough without practical proof of how we appreciate what he has done.

And so Kiba has started a Thank Joss team on Kiva. You can read all about both campaigns on her website.

Happy Birthday Joss!

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Birthday Weekend

Every year many CSTS cities hold their events around Joss' birthday, June 23rd. This year we have 4 cities celebrating.

First up is Lawrence, Kansas. They always put on a good time and this year promises to be more of the same. They will show Serenity of course along with some of the other content we have been lucky enough to get permission to show. And then there is the Prize raffle. You'll want to bring extra credits for that!

Boston is back for their 9th year holding a midnight showing at the historic Coolidge theatre. Their 2nd charity is Rosie's Place and anyone who brings a non-perishable food item will entered into the raffle for some fun prizes. Their website has a list of what items are most in need so check it out!

St. Louis, Missouri, returns again with a CSTS screening of Serenity on June 21. The doors open at 9pm with the shindig starting about 9:30. Tickets will be available at the door in the lobby, but we hope you are reading this early as there is a raffle for those who pre-order! The evening will include trivia questions, a guest speaker, an auction, and a costume contest. Please, no plastic guns as they will not be allowed in the theatre.

We end with the US West Coast where the biennial Slayage Conference is in Sacramento this year. Conference attendees can see Serenity as part of the conference but it is also open to the public, weith donations being accepted for Equality Now. Details on the CSTS screening can be found here.

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Make the World a Better Place (and Have Fun Doing It)

Morgan B, age 12 wrote this essay for school. We think you will be in awe at this young woman's grasp of what is important.

We all know that sometimes terrible things happen in the world, but did you know that in many countries women have almost no rights? In places like Yemen, Sudan, and Pakistan, young girls may be beaten, married, or even sentenced to death by their own families with few or no legal consequences. However, human rights organizations like Equality Now are working to change that. Can't Stop The Serenity is a series of movie screenings held annually to benefit Equality Now. Serenity is a Sci-fi movie created by Joss Whedon, so if you are a Whedon fan and care about women's rights, you should definitely come to a CSTS event near you.

Can't Stop The Serenity, also known as CSTS, started out as a birthday celebration for Joss Whedon. One of his mothers's students co-founded Equality Now in 1992, and Whedon himself is famous for writing strong female characters, such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and River Tam, the main character in Serenity. In 2005, a fan of Whedon's thought that it would be appropriate to screen his movie for the benefit of his mother's charity, as a birthday present. The idea caught on, and other cities started to celebrate it as an annual tradition. Today, an average of fifty cities all around the world hold CSTS events. In eight years, CSTS events have raised over $900,000 for the charity. My mother organizes the events for North Texas.

Although the main idea behind CSTS is to screen Serenity, each city has a different way of celebrating. Some do carnival games, costume parties, show the movie in pubs, and more. We usually screen it in a theatre, along with a funny short film called Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog. We also do raffles, live auctions, costume contests, trivia, and, my favorite, the evil laugh contest! The event lasts about eight hours, but the food and drink that the theatres provide keep the hungry people happy. Last year, we broke the world record for the amount of people singing an anthem from the movie. I help out by selling t-shirts, giving directions, and watching for anyone who looks like they need help. The number of people who show up every year makes me a little claustrophobic. However, that's a good thing, knowing that there are about 300 people walking around for such a good cause. Seeing so many people having a blast makes the many exhausting hours of preparation worth it.

The work leading up to CSTS is tiring and worrying, but fun as well. Mom's biggest concern would be the t-shirts. Figuring out how many to buy of each colour to sell at the event is more painstaking than it sounds. There is also making arrangements with the venue and performers, promoting the event, answering questions, posting on the website, selling tickets, collecting items for raffle, and making sure the house doesn't burn down. The amount of effort needed to home school me and my brother AND run the charity is amazing. My brother and I do our best to keep the house and yard clean while she works, and dad helps as well when he can. The “packing party” as my mother calls it is the day before the event. Our friends come and help us pack pre-orders, prizes, and generally pack any and all things we will need for the next day. The chaotic state the house is in during this time is simply amazing. Sometimes my mother (and friends) stay up to the wee hours of the morning, making sure that everything is perfect for the event.

My mom sometimes worries that CSTS takes too much time away from my brother and I. She once asked me how I felt about what she was doing, or if I had learned anything from it, and I replied, “Yes, I've learned something from it. I learned that if something is bad in the world, you can't just watch it. You have to do something about it.” I was only eight, and she was so proud. I stand by what I said to this day. I know that Equality Now and my mother have done something to make the world a better place. Women don't deserve to be treated as they are, and we are working to do something about that. I think that makes me, and a lot of other people very happy. Through showing a simple film, people all over the world are trying to create change, by giving women and girls around the world knowledge, hope, and freedom. Wherever you are in the world, try to find a CSTS event near you, you'll have a great time for a good cause!

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Perth Sells Out

Perth S-F fans are keen! Despite getting a venue that is twice the size as last year's, the Perth CSTS Affiliate event for May 15 sold out well before it is scheduled to run.

Those lucky enough to get a ticket are in for a treat. It is a Sci-Fi quiz night with loads of great prizes from local sponsors and a heap of swag including an item signed by Jewel Staite.
There is an auction and raffles to add to the fun.

We're looking forward to hearing some of the quiz questions!

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