Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Leonard Nimoy Trekking To Vulcan ... Alberta, That Is

Leonard Nimoy may be "retired" once again from doing Spock, but he's not leaving his Vulcan roots behind.

Nimoy will make the trip to Vulcan, Alberta on April 23 to celebrate the small town's new designation as the "Official Star Trek Capital of Canada."

The town of just under 2,000 people has touted itself as a tourist draw of Trekkies for the past couple of decades. It hosts an annual Star Trek convention, and even has erected monuments and tourist facilities in honor of the original series.

Interesting enough, the town's association with Star Trek is merely a naming coincidence. Vulcan was founded in 1915, with all of its streets named after Roman gods and goddesses. Following the success of the Star Trek franchise, especially in the 1980s, the town adopted a sci-fi bent capitalizing on its name, and has been a tourist attraction ever since.

Nimoy is in the area because he's part of the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo, who is lending Nimoy for the Friday event. The actor and director will be on hand for the unveiling of a bronze bust of his Spock character created by sculptor Nathan Scott, and is also expected to lend his famous Vulcan handprint into bronze.

Nimoy also will lend the town two items from his personal Star Trek collection including a pair of ears he wore during the original "Star Trek" television series, and a lithograph of the original "Star Trek" cast autographed by all of the original cast members.

These two items will be on display at the Vulcan Tourism & Trek Station for the next year.

Nimoy also will be honored with a parade at 3 p.m. including the County Central High School Concert Band performing music from Star Trek, the town's mayor and council in their Starfleet uniforms aboard a starship float, and Nimoy himself as the honorary parade marshall.

Nimoy will then take part in a "Welcome to Vulcan" ceremony in downtown Vulcan where he will be presented with the key and transporter coordinates to Vulcan, his bust will be unveiled, and a talk from Nimoy.

Vulcan had Nimoy as a defender in early 2009 when town officials were raising money to temporarily convert a school gymnasium into a theater so that it could screen J.J. Abrams version of "Star Trek" opening night. The plans were scuttled when Paramount couldn't commit to providing the film as early as town officials would need to construct the stage, and Nimoy personally contacted media outlets -- including Airlock Alpha -- to help get the movie to them.

Paramount quickly struck a compromise, bussing many of the residents to nearby Calgary to watch the opening there.