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Avalon Expo founder would never hurt anyone, organizers say

Jeff Power no longer missing; organizing team looks to fix messy situation


Published on August 28, 2017

Avalon Expo founder Jeff Power's last public social media post included this photo of himself (left) and "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" star René Auberjonois, who arrived in St. John's on Saturday for the convention. Auberjonois tweeted Sunday he had been stiffed by Power, who has disappeared.

©Photo from Twitter

The Avalon Expo team of organizers says it is saddened by the way this year’s convention unfolded, and is confident founder Jeff Power wouldn’t deliberately hurt guests, volunteers or fans.

The annual three-day sci-fi/fantasy/comics convention ended in controversy Sunday night, with at least one celebrity guest saying he was stiffed by Power, and Power being the subject of a missing person report with the police.

“At the eleventh hour, the team learned that there were a number of logistical and organizational issues that we were not aware of, and things fell apart despite our best efforts,” Avalon Expo volunteer organizing team member Justin Foley told The Telegram Monday, declining to elaborate.
“Our lead organizer, Jeff, has always been an honest man and passionate about the geek community and would never deliberately do anything to hurt our guests, volunteers or the fans.”

Foley said once Power was deemed safe, the team’s priority would be rectifying what seems to be a messy situation.

“Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” star René Auberjonois was one of the celebrity guests at this year’s Avalon Expo, and took to Twitter Sunday afternoon to express his frustration.

“We’re being stiffed and (Power has) run out on the hotel bill, so this is a total clusterf**k,” the actor tweeted.

“Hope you find the squirrely promoter,” a Twitter user responded.

“He better hope I don’t,” Auberjonois replied.

Power reportedly vanished sometime between Saturday night and Sunday. The RNC confirmed Monday morning it had received a missing person report about Power around 9 p.m. Sunday. Later Monday, police said Power had presented himself to them and was fine.

“The guests are right to be upset,” organizer Bonnie Glenn wrote on Facebook. She said the “death knell” has rung for the convention. “Promises were made on one person’s part and those same promises fell through in a huge way. We have done our best to repair relations with them. The guests understand the rest of us are not to blame.”

Power founded the Avalon Expo convention in 2015, and in previous years it was held at the Re/Max Centre and Centre des Grand-Vents. Having been reportedly forced to turn away vendors last year due to a lack of space, Power moved the convention to Mile One Centre this time around.

This year, Avalon Expo announced three scholarships for students going into post-secondary studies, with $500, $300 and $200 awards.

Along with Auberjonois, celebrity guests this year included “Doctor Who” actor Colin Baker and voice actors Linda Ballantyne and Katie Griffin of “Sailor Moon.”

On Twitter, Auberjonois noted the event’s volunteers were doing everything they could to “make this less of a mess than the promoter has left them with,” and said volunteers and fans “couldn’t have been more gracious and concerned.”

Once Power was deemed safe, Auberjonois tweeted again.

“I hope he repays all the folks who took care of us when he dropped out,” he wrote. “I wouldn’t mind getting paid either.”

 

Twitter: @tara_bradbury