History of the Anime@Carleton Club

The First Year (2001-2002)

The beginnings of the club go back to September 2001 when the Anime Appreciation Society (AAS) had recently been banned from holding Anime showings at Carleton University. While not affiliated with the university, AAS had been holding Anime showings in the Bell Theatre for some time. While the Society did manage to start holding showings again at the end of October at Algonquin College, the seeds of Anime-unrest had already been planted. The foundations of the club began to come together when Nick Bourgeois responded to a newsgroup message (back when CU newsgroups existed) posted by Mike Duong looking for Anime fans at Carleton University. The two co-founders of the club met and decided to try to find other people interested in starting an Anime Club. A flyer advertising a website with information about the club was put up around the University. Unfortunately, the posters didn't get up until the last week of November, so organization of the club had to wait until January.

A number of people responded to the call to arms, and the first (and one of very few) club meetings was held in the Unicentre. No one remembers what was discussed at the meeting but by the end of it an Executive was formed and plans to become an official CUSA club were set in motion. The first executive consisted of Nick Bourgeois as President, Lance Lau as Vice-President, Indri (don't remember her last name) as Treasurer, Melissa Lombard as Communications Officer, and Negar (don't remember her last name) as Director of Advertising. The primary reason why the meeting was held was to attempt to obtain the 10 signatures required to become an official club. Later in January the remainder of the required signatures was obtained, the documents were submitted and Anime@Carleton (A@C) became an official CUSA club. The major benefit of becoming an official club was that rooms on campus could be reserved at no cost. The two other people who were vital in the success of the club's events during the first term (even though they opted out of being a part of the Executive) were Mike Duong, who helped with transportation of equipment and supplying Anime and games during the first term of the club and Tarek who provided technical support throughout the first and second years of the club's operation.

In its first term the Anime@Carleton club held 3 Anime showings. The first one was a regular-length showing held in the Bell Theatre. The second was held in Theatre B. This was the first all-day Anime and featured multiplayer games in the morning, and a variety of Anime until 11pm including Memories, the first One Piece movie, Kaze no Yojimbo, Love Hina Again, and some other stuff. The third showing of the term was held in 164 Loeb as a follow-up showing to finish Read or Die and Love Hina Again and was not widely advertised (i.e. we didn't put up posters). By this point the Society for Ottawa-Anime Promotion (SOAP) had purchased a digital projector and rented it out to the club for the showing. This was an especially special turning point in management of the club's affairs. For the first two showings the club had been required to rent the equipment in the theatre rooms which cost $250 per event. With a $4 admission there weren't enough people attending the event to cover the cost and about $100 for each event was covered by Nick and Lance. Needless to say, SOAP offered their services for a lot less than what IMS charged.

The Second Year (2002-2003), The Third Year (2003-2004), The Forth Year (2004-2005), and The Fifth Year (2005-2006) A@C's 5th Anniversary

These years were ever written down by the past Executives.

The Sixth Year (2006-2007)

This year started later then expected due to all the arrangements that had to be made at the beginning, during this year Shannon was President with Melissa servicing as Vice-President. Nick the original founder of A@C made frequent visits to the club meetings bringing with him his DDR equipment (dance pads and an Apple notebook with DDR software). The break periods were often filled with Nick, Shannon, Melissa, and a few club members competing in various Anime music DDR tracks. And who could forget all the chalk board chibi characters of Shannon and Melissa fighting over various things.

The Seventh Year (2007-2008)

The year of the Support Staff strike, all the preparations for the getting the club back up and running were stalled until the strike was over. Even when the strike ended the clubs were given only a few days to have all the paper work done and submitted. This year saw Shannon returning as the club President and Craig (me, as I write this hoping it won’t seem too weird) beginning his service with the club as Vice-President. Once the club was back up and running we held showings every Friday in the fall until fall exams in order to catch up from the delay the strike caused. Shortly after fall exams began we held a Christmas Showing (the first one to date, that I know of), as a treat to the club members the showing included pizza and pop for free for all who attended. During the winter-term we were always in the same building for the entire term (first time that’s happened).

When April rolled round it was time for another school year to end. In April Shannon stepped down as club President, after her years of service with the club. Taking the ruins of the club was Melissa (the former VP from 06-07) and Craig (the 07-08 VP) as Co-Presidents. Unfortunately no one volunteered for the third Executive position (Treasurer and Secretary), with no one stepping forward it was decided that the position would be opened up to first year students and over the course of the summer we advertised the position on the website. This decision was made because the current Executives would be finishing up at Carleton over the next few years and the club would need well trained candidates to take the club’s ruins as they left. Nick the founder of A@C who was the Director of DDR announced he was finishing up at Carleton and that this would be his last year with the Carleton community and the club. D’Arcy the other DDR gamer at the club decided he wanted to fill the role Nick was leaving, so he became the Director of Entertainment, always ready to provide his Nintendo Wii for break time entertainment. At the tail end of the winter-term and shortly after the winter exams began there was one final showing for the term. At the end of April the old club website was taken down and a completely new one brought online and along with it the announcement of the new Webmaster for A@C, Jessica.

Also a first for A@C was the announcement that the club would hold showings over the summer and that they would be free. There was no summer lineup like during the fall and winter; instead each showing was self contained, which meant Anime movies, mini-marathons, and full 10 hour marathons. This setup was decided so anyone could come at anytime over the summer and not have to worry about missing episodes. The driving force behind the summer showings was Craig along with the support of D’Arcy. The summer showings started in early May after the exam period was over. The club took a break from hosting showings over the month of June, the late summer showings resumed shortly after the start of July. In mid-July we held the marathon showing of Those Who Hunt Elves. The summer showings ended on August 16th with the Obon Mini-Marathon where we showed I, My, Me! Strawberry Eggs in dub format for a tribute to Geneon. The last showing of summer also had a raffle for rare Geneon items that were provided by Right Stuf.

Announced over the summer, the club became a member of Right Stuf’s Stuf for Clubs Anime Club Support Program. This means the club now has access to exclusive discount codes at the Right Stuf Store, promotional items from time to time, screener discs from Nozomi Entertainment, and a streamlined screening permission process for Nozomi Entertainment titles.

The Eighth Year (2008-2009)

The year started rocky as the club needed to find a third executive. A new student, Julie, volunteered for the open position and the club started to get back up to full speed. The executives for the year consisted of Craig and Melissa as Co-Presidents as Melissa had returned from her year of overseas studies in Japan and Julie took up a Junior Executive position. Another major change within the club was the showing dates, which changed from Fridays to Saturdays. Most members enjoyed the change of dates and the extended schedule that got more content shown. The year was moving along well until OC Transpo decided to go on strike just before the exam period started.

When the winter-term showing started up the transit system was still on strike and in place of the normal showings were “Shelf Special Showing” where members that could make it out brought stuff with them to show. The special showings continued until the end of the transit strike where we had to start having weekly showings to get the rest of the normal schedule done by the time of the winter exams. There was added pressure on the executives during this time as they not only had to worry about coming out to the showings but had to deal with end of term papers and exams. At the end of the term, Melissa graduated and moved back home and Julie resigned as her priorities changed after having been at university for a year. During club elections, not enough students volunteered for positions and at the time, it seemed like the club would be coming to an end at the end of the club year.

Despite the election setbacks the club moved into the second year of summer showings, however this year’s summer showings were much different from previous summer. Instead of having any scheduled content, the showings were all free showing, where members could choose whatever they would like to watch. A few series continued throughout the summer and during this time, members got to see more unique Anime. Towards the end of summer, the club started to have weekly-extended showings as no one had stepped forward for the needed executive positions and the end of the club year was fast approaching. At the tail end of the summer showings, Sean a new comer to the club and D’Arcy decided to become club executives and continue the club into the next year.

The Ninth Year (2009-2010)

The club got a fresh start this year with some new executives as Sean and D’Arcy took over the day-to-day operations of the club as Co-Presidents and Kaicho Craig took a more behind the scenes role. At the start of the year, there were major changes to the way the club did showings. The showings became weekly and ran from 1:30pm to 11:00pm with rotating schedules of unique Anime scheduled into the first half and a movie and free showing in the latter. The new changes fit in well with all the members as they got see more Anime per week and most of it was unique. During the initial membership run this year, the club got its highest membership yet with 75 signatures and we started to have more attendees at the showings.

The club was running full steam ahead and not slowing down as more and more content got shown. The only break the club received was Christmas holiday as it took a few weeks off as we had done in the past. Once winter-term started, it was back to full speed. As we neared the end of the winter-term, the weekly showings kept going throughout exam period and into the summer. Any scheduled content that was left over from the main fall and winter schedule continued into the summer and as it slowly finished more and more free showing time opened up.

The summer was just as busy as the fall and winter with only a week off for Anime North. As this year we had a number of unique series that most members would not have otherwise paid close attention too got shown more of the old time members started to enjoy the club showings more and brought either old or unique content with them to show in free showing. As the free showing period was something members enjoyed the club reached its highest amount of shown content with 153 different series and movies shown throughout the year.

As Sean doesn’t want to slow down the club will be continuing weekly rotating schedules in the 2010-2011 year with more special showings being planned and a very enjoyable schedule having been put together. As the club continues to plow full speed ahead, we’ll continue into a new club year ready to offer more viewing and social enjoyment for Anime fans.

The Tenth Year (2010-2011) A@C's 10th Anniversary

This year started strong with a strong lineup of shows in the schedule. The weekly rotating schedules continued throughout the year. In the fall, we held a special two part marathon for Umineko no Naku Koro ni, a marathon a number of members requested. In January, Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance was shown in the theatres and the club handed out posters and passes to some lucky members. In mid-summer Trigun: Badlands Rumble also made its way into theaters and once again, the club handed out posters and passes to some lucky members. At the end of this year, D'Arcy decided to step down from executive duties but remained a frequent attending member. This year we started Legend of the Galactic Heroes a very long series that would end up spanning multiple years.

The Eleventh Year (2011-2012)

This year André joined the executives and helped with the equipment and the show selection along with Sean. The weekly showings with rotating schedules continue throughout the year, trying to show as much anime to members as possible. In mid-January, the North American theatre showing of Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos took place, the club offered posters and passes to some lucky members. In spring, Craig arranged to have two movies shown at the club that were normally only shown at film festivals, the movies were Re-Birthday and The Glass Rabbit.

The Twelfth Year (2012-2013)

The club started strong this year with lots of new students interested in it. This resulted in a membership number record of 118 by the end of the year. Unfortunately, a number of new students vanish over the year as they find their own path through university life. Despite a number of new students not hanging around for long, this year saw an increase in the number of members who would attend the weekly showings on a regular basis.

Towards the end of October, the club helped with the Japan Animation Film Festival. The festival was put on in cooperation with the School of Linguistics and Language Studies, the Embassy of Japan, and the Japan Foundation. The festival consisted of two films, 5 Centimeters per Second and The Place Promised in Our Early Days. During the intermission between the two films a selection of Japanese treats were provided to anyone who wanted to try some sweets from Japan.

In March, the film adaptions for Madoka Magica were shown in theatres. Like with the previous films, the club handed out some posters and passes. These films were very popular with club members.

In mid-April, a marathon of Steins;Gate was held over two Sundays. A number of members wanted to see this series in marathon format and attendance for the two parts was responsible.

In late summer, we finally completed Legend of the Galactic Heroes. This included the main series, its prequel/sequel OVA series, and movies. Overall a huge pile of episodes that were shown mostly at a rate of one per week since the start.

The Thirteenth Year (2013-2014)

During the planning phase for the 2013-2014 schedules it was decided that this year we would not have any overly long series. This mostly referred to classic series that could have 75+ episodes. This was for two reasons. First, the number of attendees who would watch these long running classic series was down, primarily from either not enough interest or having missed the start and not having the time to catch up. Second, Sean who introduced the classic series into the schedule when he became an executive, was starting to near the end of his degree and was unsure how much longer he’d be around to ensure the complete series got shown or ended at a reasonable point.

With the adjustments to the schedule, attendance improved and we didn’t have much of a problem keeping members around for the whole showing. Sean, being a classic anime fan, did put some shorter length new classic series (late 1990s and early 2000s) in the schedule to satisfy those who were interested, but since they were newer and shorter the attendance for those series was much improved over previous year’s classic slots.

This club year also saw the club helping to promote Madoka Magica -Rebellion- in December, Evangelion 3.0 in January, and anohana The Movie: The Flower We Saw That Day in February. Then in the summer helping promote Short Peace in May and Tiger & Bunny the Movie: The Rising in June. These movies being theatrical screenings at SilverCity Gloucester Cinemas. By helping out, the club had some theatrical posters and passes to giveaway to members. All the films were quite popular and anything we did have to giveaway went very quickly.

With the 2013-2014 club year at a close, so was André time with the club. He was attending Carleton as a PhD student in Computer Science from the Netherlands. After his time at Carleton, he received a researcher position at a Japanese university.

The Fourteenth Year (2014-2015)

This year the second Co-President executive position went to Kerry. Kerry was a regular at the previous year’s showings and throughout the year handled room bookings for the club.

Sean, letting his inner classic anime fan have a bit more control, decided that to start this year’s schedules off with some older classic series that were fairly popular and requested. The two classic series, Future Boy Conan (1978) and Mobile Police Patlabor (1989) proved to hold the interest of attendees.

At the start of the club year we were promoting the theatrical screening of Road to Ninja: Naruto the Movie. The club did have some passes and posters to giveaway to any interested members.

In February the club was approached by the Carleton Film Society to help them promote their on campus screening of Hayao Miyazaki's Howl's Moving Castle. Howl's Moving Castle was their voted on winner for their screening that week. Their voting works based on a theme each week with members suggesting films within that theme, Howl's Moving Castle won the vote for Japanese theme that week.

At the end of the winter-term Kerry departed as he had finished his studies at Carleton and returned home to Manitoba.

August 6th this year marked the 70th anniversary of the first atomic bomb falling on Hiroshima, then three days later on August 9th the second atomic bomb falling on Nagasaki.

The Fifteenth Year (2015-2016) A@C's 15th Anniversary

At the start of this year Carsten took over the second Co-President position. Carsten had been attending the club for a number of years on and off due to study requirements between Carleton and his university back in Germany. Initially Carsten started to attend the club along with André. After André concluded his time at Carleton and Carsten was back for his final year, Carsten assumed all the duties André had, both with the club and with the university.

The schedules this year started off with mostly newer series. One of the reasons for this was to avoid having very long running shows in the schedule so they could finish quicker and allow for more things to rotate into the schedule as things finished. Additionally, there weren’t many older shows that were being requested.

In January 2016 the club was approached to help promote the theatrical release of LOVE LIVE! The School Idol Movie. The club gave out some passes and posters to interested club members.

In the winter-term Carsten got an idea to start offering Japanese snacks at the club. His initial plan was to order one of the subscription snack boxes from Japan. Unfortunately when the box arrived the cost of it was quite high and it offered very little in terms of quantity, being more suited to a single person instead of sharing among many people. The subscription box was scrapped in favour of going to T&T. T&T proved to be much better in terms of cost and quantity. Not all snacks from T&T were Japanese but the members didn’t seem to mind. Japanese Snack Time, as it was called, continued until the spring.

In May the speakers that the club had been using for 10+ years were finally retired. The old speakers had been through a lot and had case damage and cords were starting to deteriorate. A new Logitech set was purchased from Amazon using donations from club members.

Over the course of May, between the executives, and June, open to all members, the club’s constitution and policies were overhauled. A number of loopholes were patched and the documents were updated to provide a better set of guidelines for the club’s operation. The new documents were officially ratified on June 19th after having gone through a few weeks of member input.

In early summer the club was notified that CUSA was going to start requiring clubs to use a new club registration/management system, CUSA Hub. In order to be fully registered for the coming school year, the club had to register, create and maintain a group on this new system.

Towards the end of June, Nick departed the club due to accepting new employment out in B.C. Nick was one of the founding members of the club back in 2001.

As the end of the club year was approaching so was Carsten’s time with the club and Carleton. This year was Carsten’s last year at Carleton before finishing up his studies back at his German university. As his departure was nearing the club went for sushi dinner where Carsten as usual sought out all things with mango on the menu. Just before his departure a small group from the club went out to mini golf at Mini Golf Gardens followed by late dinner at A&W.

The club year wrapped up with two marathons, Canaan and the trilogy of Mobile Suit Gundam films. Just before the final marathon of Mobile Suit Gundam, Sean’s computer running Windows 10, decided it was going to spend two hours updating the OS.

The Sixtieth Year (2016-2017)

Currently in the making.

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