Surfur

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SurFur logo (2016+)

Surfur was an annual furry campout on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. The event was formerly known as Island FurBQ, a group project started by Tj Bluevulpine and Lady Serpent in 2009. Island FurBQ 2012 was the last event before the event evolved into what became known as Surfur.

Tiuk the Wasgo[edit]

Surfur's official mascot was Tiuk the Wasgo, a "mythological creature found in native folklore, primarily Haida".[1] Tiuk was designed by Soulscape.

Surfur 2013[edit]

The first event of its name held at Taylor Arm Provincial Park, Sproat Lake, BC. Using the older Island FurBQ model as a base, the event was redesigned in a new space that allowed more growth in terms of guests and event space. The event was noted for its impressive lighting and high power sound system provided by Mervatude. Other activities included were surfing, a rock band tournament, demonstrations by Professor Whovianart and Theron, and our traditional hike to the canso bomber. A total of 15 were in attendance.

Staff

Surfur 2014[edit]

SurFur 2014 logo

Theme: Surfing Safari

The event returned to Taylor Arm Provincial Park, and although the weekend experienced rainy periods, it didn't seem to dampen the spirits of attendees. Upgrades were added to the lighting and sound system, as well as a trampoline was set up and a shower had been built utilizing a nearby water source.

Along with the surf excursion, bomber hike and visit to Tofino, the 2014 event also introduced tie-dye event shirts. A total of 29 were in attendance.

Staff

  • Chair - Tj Bluevulpine
  • A/V and Tech Support - Mervatude
  • Medic - Bandit
  • Security - Milo
  • Art - Soulscape and Lady Bones

Surfur 2015[edit]

Theme: Furassic World

The event was again held at Taylor Arm Provincial Park, where the weekend was dry and temperatures reached 35°C. This had prompted the creation of Trucktub: a mobile pool with attachable water heater in the back of a truck bed. The shower system was upgraded, and with the use of 800 feet of piping and a more powerful pump, the shower was placed in the main event space. 2015 was the first year Convention Master was used, bringing in a multiple tier registration system. Along with all our previous amenities, 2015 included a VIP lounge with ice cream and sparkling white whine. A total of 49 were in attendance.

Staff

  • Chair - Soulscape
  • A/V and Tech Support - Mervatude
  • Medic - Bandit
  • Security - Milo
  • Art - Soulscape and Lady Bones

Surfur 2016[edit]

Theme: Barbarians

Once again, the event returned to Taylor Arm Provincial Park. The weather ranged from 29°C to 34°C with one misty day. Due to a longer spring, the lake was a bit colder than usual, though this didn't stop guests from indulging themselves on the hot days. This was also the first year a trip to Hot Springs Cove was planned and executed. With 14 people going in total, the trip was a success. The event had brought back a meal plan option, and set up an entire kitchen, complete with an ice cream freezer for sponsored attendees. A total of 81 were in attendance.

Staff

  • Chair - Mervatude
  • Event Coordinator - Tj Bluevulpine
  • A/V and Tech Support - Mervatude
  • Art - Lady Bones

Surfur 2017[edit]

Theme: Elements (The Fifth Element)

The event was scheduled for July 7-11, 2017 at Taylor Arm Provincial Park. The event once again featured a meal plan, kitchen and a pool. Event staff noticed a dramatic increase in incidents and code-of-conduct violations which staff to release a statement condemning the poor behavior of individuals. Over 90 guests were in attendance. [2]

Staff

  • Chair - Tj Bluevulpine
  • Vice Chair - Bandit
  • Meal Plan - Jerome
  • Social Media - Ren
  • Website - Dragonman Mike
  • A/V and Tech Support - Mervatude
  • Art - Tj Bluevulpine

Surfur 2018[edit]

The event was scheduled for June 22-26, 2018 at Taylor Arm Provincial Park, and although it was unknown at the time, this would become the final event.[3] Attendance was restricted to adults (19+) "due to issues in our previous years".[4] The event was a return to the basics, while still featuring some equipment, it was nowhere near to the levels as previous years. 17 Guests were in attendance.

Surfur 2019[edit]

The event was in the early stages of planning when staff initially decided on taking a hiatus for the year. Shortly after, the hiatus became indefinite.

The End of Surfur[edit]

The event was officially shut down in October 2019 by Tj Bluevulpine, however interest in the event had plummeted after the 2017 event where the behavior of certain individuals prompted an attempt to overhaul how such incidents would be handled in the future. One aspect of the event that was to change was access, switching from an open-invite to a members-only policy. Individuals known to have caused problems in the past were given a chance to improve their behavior where others with more serious infractions were banned from the event. This change in policy was not only difficult to implement, but was received poorly by many, leading to rumors and ultimately the lowest turnout in guests in 2018 since the event's inception.


"Surfur had become synonymous with ideas of reckless abandon and "party culture", which was a far cry from the original intended ideal for the event, which was meant to focus on fundamental values such as respect, appreciation of nature and exploration of what it truly was to be furry. I had my part to play in it unfortunately as well. I lacked the foresight to see just where the event was heading, and let my own ideals of the event stray to increase the numbers of people attending. At the time, I thought that was what truly mattered, and I was so wrong. When I finally took a good, hard look at the event in 2017 I felt defeated, seeing reflections of these issues at other events and conventions, especially with the closing of RainFurrest the year before. Just seeing all of this poor behavior in the fandom, and people excusing it for various bullshit reasons... I don't know, I just never recovered from that thought." - Tj Bluevulpine, 2019


Despite a significantly lower turnout, incidents at the 2018 continued which ultimately lead to the decision to not host another event. The remaining staff had grown tired, and wanted to move on to other things, and so it was decided to shut the event down.

Future Events[edit]

When asked about the possibility of future events, Tj Bluevulpine expressed little to no interest in running another Surfur, however stated that he would consider giving ownership and rights to the event to "the right person if they should come along."

Currently no plans are in development and the group chats have been shut down, making for a comeback to be highly unlikely.

References[edit]

  1. Posting on the Surfur page on Facebook. Dated April 2, 2014. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
  2. SurFur 2017 (archived September 1, 2017)
  3. SurFur 2018 (archived July 7, 2018)
  4. Surfur 2018 FAQ (search result accessed 1 February 2019)

External links[edit]


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