(Information through 1996 drafted by Garth Spencer, Vancouver, B.C., July 1996)

The Canadian Unity Fan Fund was conceived about 1981 as a means to better acquaint Eastern and Western Canadian fans with each other. The point about CUFF is that this country (Canada, I mean) is regionalized enough that a Canadian Unity Fan Fund actually makes sense here; but I think there has been a recurring problem raising the profile of this fanactivity.

Mike Hall of Edmonton received a total $50 to attend Torque 2 in Toronto.

Bio: Michael Hall was an active member of ESFCAS when he travelled to Toronto on the award, and visited Torque, a small fannish convention. He was also a fanzine fan, and helped Robert Runte produce New Canadian Fandom between 1981 and 1983. His own fanzine, Laid, was a sort of National Enquirer parody of fannish newszines - "All lies as long as they were close to the truth", as he put it. He was also a member of the collective that produced The Monthly Monthly in Edmonton, and had a one-shot in the late 80s, New Wave Video Snacks, before gafiating for some years. Mike Hall was a member of CANADAPA until it ceased to publish, and helped Garth Spencer produce New Canadian Fandom until Georges Giguere assumed the printing function. Mike Hall is married to Mary Fedun and now lives in Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Hiatus 1982-1986
A lapse of some years followed.

When the 1987 Canvention was chosen at the first Canvention Business Meeting (Ad Astra 6 in Toronto), Wallis immediately announced his Canvention intended to revive CUFF, the Canadian Unity Fan Fund in conjunction with the Caspers, and he proposed that the CUFF winner each year should come to the Canvention. He also proposed that future Canvention bids and CUFF nominations be entered alternately by Western and Eastern fan communities, as divided by the Manitoba/Ontario border.

Bio: Michael Wallis was active in Toronto convention fandom from the late 80s, participating in TAPA and chairing a number of Ad Astras. He became chiefly known through the phrase "It's all Michael's fault." He has since moved to Los Angeles, where he has been involved in Los Angeles cons.

Taral Wayne of Toronto won the 87/88 CUFF race by acclamation, and attended Keycon/Canvention 8 in Winnipeg.

Bio: Taral Wayne joined the Ontario SF Club (of Toronto) in 1971, and became part of the "new Derelicts" circle which became prominent in OSFiC after Torcon II. After 1973 Taral became a well-known fanzine publisher, fanartist, apahack and congoer. His fanhistory articles have appeared in New Canadian Fandom, Maple Leaf Rag, Torus and Opuntia. His fanart has appeared in File 770, Ansible, DNQ, Mainstream and many other zines. He is now a graphic artist in Toronto. His fannish activities are now largely confined to furry-fandom/graphic art apazines.

Robert Runte of Edmonton attended PineKone II/Canvention 9 in Ottawa. Steve Forty and Robert Runte were both nominees; the winner was Robert, due perhaps to the fact that Steve Forty was campaigning for him.

Bio: Robert Runte, a mysterious and powerful figure wreathed in legend and rumour, was the driving force behind the Edmonton SF and Comic Art Society from the late 1970s, and at least once revived the club with a cleverly-designed hoax. He contributed to Neology, the club fanzine, and joined The Monthly Monthly collective; his own fanzines, New Canadian Fandom and I'm Not Boring You Am I?, helped shape the minds of two fannish generations, along with his contributions to CANADAPA and GALACTUS. Robert has been part of the movement of many former ESFCAS members to go into SF writing, and found groups such as SF Canada, the Canadian SF and Fantasy Foundation, the On Spec editorial collective, and the Books Collective which now publishes the Tesseract Books Canadian SF line. This graduate sociologist now works for the Alberta board of education, where he helps shape the minds of a generation of innocent children. Robert Runte co-edited the last Tesseracts anthology of Canadian SF with Yves Meynard (1995), and lives in Lethbridge.

Steve Forty, a steel burnisher and longtime member of BCSFA, the British Columbia Science Fiction Association, the oldest and once the largest SF club in Vancouver, B.C. Steve Forty has served as BCSFAzine editor, club president, and convention chair (V-Con 20, 1993).

Paul Valcour of Ottawa attended Con-Version 7/Canvention 10 in Calgary. The nominees were Paul Valcour and Keith Soltys. Paul Valcour later wrote, "the 54 votes cast [this year] is a marked improvement over last year's 20." (Con News)

Bio: Veteran of several Ottawa convention committees and chair of PineKone I and II, Paul Valcour has produced one one-shot fanzine, Long Distance Voyeur, and has written articles for Con News, MLR, Con-TRACT. He has served until recently as eastern administrator of the Canadian Unity Fan Fund.

The Canadian Unity Fan Fund apparently was suspended in 1990.

Linda Ross-Mansfield travelled from Winnipeg to Kitchener, Ontario, to attend Wilfcon (Canvention 12) at the Wilfrid Laurier University campus.

Bio: Linda Ross-Mansfield's fannish experience goes back over a decade and a half; in 1980-81 she edited Northern Lights, a Canadian newszine, from Oromocto, New Brunswick. With her husband John Mansfield she relocated to Winnipeg and helped start up Star Trek fandom and Keycon. She is western administrator of the Canadian Unity Fan Fund.

Hiatus 1992-1995
Since then, to judge from John Mansfield's and Linda Ross- Mansfield's reports published in fanzines, there has been a good deal of difficulty getting enough general fan participation to carry on CUFF. In fact at one point in 1994, John Mansfield declared that CUFF was abolished, because nomination returns were so poor.

Bio: John Mansfield was on the scene in OSFiC in the early 1970s, and in the early days of the Ottawa SF Society around 1977. He now resides in Winnipeg, Manitoba with his wife Linda Ross-Mansfield, runs a gaming store (Pendragon Games), and edits Con-TRACT, a bimonthly listing of conventions across Canada.

RENE WALLING of Montreal won the 1996 CUFF and attended Canvention 96/Con-Version XIII in Calgary.

Bio: "Rene has been involved with Con*Cept" (a Montreal convention) "since 1992. He has been in charge of Consuite, Registration, Program Book translation through the years, moving up to Vice-Chair in 1995 and Chair in 1996. As part of the Montreal Smoked Meat Parties and Con*Cept, Rene has been promoting Canadian cons at various US cons, and has worked on joint mailings and program book ad exchanges with cons."
(Con-TRACT 8:4, Jul-Aug 96)

The following information is taken from the CUFF website.

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