Search the SCCA site! 


for Amateur, Student, and Professional Film and Video Makers


2003 SCCA Convention


July 25th, 26th, and 27th, 2003

     The 2003 Convention of the Society of Canadian Cine Amateurs will be held July 25th, 26th, and 27th, 2003, at Brantford, Ontario, and you’ll want to be there if you possibly can! This convention promises something for everybody, with a good mix of fun, entertainment, and advancement of the hobby of film and video making.

    There will be tours on Friday afternoon and Sunday afternoon, with indoor lectures, demonstrations, and speakers, as well as the screening of films and videos, and our Annual General Meeting, taking place from Friday evening to Sunday at noon. The SCCA and the Brant Video Makers, under the direction of Convention Chairman Keith Gloster, have made every effort to provide a first class program at bargain rates, with a great deal of flexibility built in so that you can decide which tours interest you, and how much you will spend for food and lodgings. And this time we have provided that freedom of choice while also greatly simplifying the Advance Registration.

Sanderson Centre Main Hal      This convention won’t be held at a hotel, and you can make your own arrangement to stay wherever you wish. Our meetings will be held in the beautiful and historic Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts, (at 88 Dalhousie Street, right downtown, just a few short blocks from the Brantford Charity Casino), where Michael Grit, the General Manager, will personally take us on a tour of this historic old building. Originally built in 1919 as a vaudeville house, the Temple Theatre was renamed the Capitol Theatre in 1930 and entertained movie-goers for the next six decades before being purchased in 1985 by the City of Brantford. It was extensively restored to its original splendour in 1990. The Sanderson Centre is home to the Brantford Symphony Orchestra, the Telephone City Musical Society, Brantford Music Club, Brantford School of Instrumental Music, the Grand River Chorus, and Downtown Jazz, among others, and hosts a variety of other events. On the evening of July 25th, Robert Klein will open the Fourth Annual Comedy Festival in the Main Hall, and the Phil Hartman Comedy Gala will continue on the Saturday evening.

Lower Lobby      Meanwhile, we will enjoy our own program in the smaller, but still spacious and ornate, Lower Lobby.

Sanderson Entrance Marquee

Those of us who will be taking the Friday afternoon tour will meet outside the Sanderson Centre at one o’clock. We may car pool, or we may have to make some other arrangements, depending
on the number indicating their intention to attend.

Bell Homestead

     Our first stop will be the Bell Homestead, where Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone on July 26th, 1874. Built in 1858, this handsome mid-Victorian home served as the first North American residence of the Bell family from 1870 – 1881. The site also includes Henderson Home, built in 1845, which served as Canada's first telephone business office from 1877 - 1880. We will take a guided tour of the houses.

Woodland Cultural Centre Logo      Our second stop will be the Woodland Cultural Centre’s Museum. This modern museum displays the history of the First Nation Peoples. While located in the heart of the former Six Nations Grand River Land Grant, near the place where Mohawk Chief Joseph Brant established a village where he forded the river, this is not purely a Six Nation undertaking. It is supported by the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, the Wahtah Mohawks of Kanesatake and later the Bala area, and the Tyendinaga Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte, as well as the Six Nations Council of the Grand River, consisting of the Cayuga, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Seneca and Tuscarora Nations. The museum takes you on a journey through time, beginning with an exploration of the Iroquoian and Algonkian prehistoric past, from early Neutral-Iroquoian origins through the first contact with European nations and up to the present, showing the events and people which have impacted the First nations of the Eastern Woodlands. The museum has collected, since 1972, 25,000 artifacts, include archaeological specimens, historical material culture, documents, furniture, clothing, traditional and contemporary art in all media, prints, graphics, sculptures, photographs, and multimedia installations, as well as an extensive photograph and slide collection. While not everything is on display, of course, you will see the collection of Neutral Iroquoian pipes, the 19th century Cree and Ojibway bandolier bags, and ceramic discoveries from across Southern Ontario, as well as many powerful paintings and photographs. This is an absolutely stunning display and not to be missed! 

    There will be admittance charges for the Woodland Cultural Centre Museum ($5.00 for Adults, $4.00 for Seniors over 65) and the Bell Homestead Tour ($3.50 and $3.25 for Seniors). In the effort to keep the Registration Form simple, and not have to collect your money weeks in advance, we have arranged no Group Tours or Group Rates. Please pay at the door at both locations.

    We will have you back in downtown Brantford in time to get some supper and return to the Sanderson by 7:00 PM. Our program on Friday evening will include a Welcome to Brantford mixer, speakers, demonstrations, and films. 

    The Saturday morning program will include the tour of the Sanderson Centre, and our Annual General Meeting. For lunch, we will be walking a short distance to Purdy’s, Brantford’s Finest Irish Pub, at 89 Colborne Street, where you can order from the menu and have some control over the cost of your meal. The afternoon program will feature demonstrations and speakers. And how does Paris for Supper sound? That’s Paris, Ontario, or course, just a few miles up the Grand River. But we will be car pooling the short distance to a collection of three restaurants very near to each other: The Trading Post, a typical small Chinese Restaurant, The White Horse, a Buffet Restaurant, with Seafood added Saturday night, and Camp 31, with Alabama’s Finest Real Barbeque. Menus from the three restaurants will be available throughout the day so you can decide in advance where you would prefer to dine, or chow down, whichever fits! Again, it’s your choice. Power to the People!

    The evening program will include the Presentation of Awards and the screening of the winning SCCA Annual Competition videos.

    The Sunday morning program will feature more speakers, with their videos, and the program will close by noon, for those with a long trip home. Those who wish to continue with the Sunday afternoon tour will start with a stop at the Sherwood Restaurant at 799 Colborne Street East. Those who prefer a light lunch can order from the regular restaurant menu, but the hungry among us may enter the large Buffet Room for the Brunch. In fact, even those not joining us on the afternoon tour might like to join us for Brunch on their way home!

Royal Chapel of the Mohawks      We will then proceed to St. Paul’s Anglican Church, better known as Her Majesty’s Chapel of the Mohawks. This church is the oldest Protestant Church in Ontario, and the only Royal Chapel outside of the United Kingdom. It was built in 1785 in the reign of George III, but the bible and Communion Silver dates back to a gift from Queen Anne for the first Chapel of the Mohawks, built in the Mohawk Valley in 1712. This chapel was burned after the American Revolution, and the Bible and Silver were buried for safe-keeping, and recovered and returned to the Mohawk Chapel on its completion in 1785. At that time the silver was divided between the Grand River Mohawks and the Bay of Quinte Mohawks, and the Communion Silver was used for regular Communion Services. Rather than continue with a poor retelling of the history, we will let the Chaplain tell it. This is not a museum, but an active Church and an important part of the lives of the Grand River Mohawks, and usually entry is restricted. We have made special arrangements for a tour, but please don’t bring your camcorders into the Chapel, as photography is forbidden inside. You may use your camcorders freely outside, however, and there is much of interest there. In 1850 the remains of Captain Joseph Brant were moved from the original burial site in Burlington to a tomb at the Mohawk Chapel, and the remains of his son, John Brant, also rest in the tomb. Next to Brant’s tomb there is a boulder bearing a memorial to the Indian poetess, E. Pauline Johnson, who was born at Chiefswood on the Six Nations Reserve, and who attended services in the Chapel. At the rear of the Chapel there is an observation deck that allows a view of the ox-bow in the Grand River, where the native people disembarked from their canoes when they came to the Chapel Services. While there is no admittance charge at the Chapel, donations are expected.

Pow Wow Logo      From the chapel we will go on to the Grand River “Champion of Champions” Powwow at Chiefswood Park, where there will be a charge of $10 per Adult, or $8 for Seniors 65 and over. Please pay on entering. Here’s where you will really get a chance to shoot some colourful and dynamic footage! Over 400 First Nation and Native American dancers from all over North America will be competing for honours! But please remember, they are here to practice their cultural pursuits for their own reasons. They are not here for your entertainment, or to put on a show for you. This isn’t the Kodak Hula Show at Waikiki Beach or the Ballet Folklórico in Mexico City. While they charge admittance, you will be just tolerated, as long as you behave yourself. You won’t have the freedom to move around for a better shot as you might like, and when the announcer asks you not to shoot something of a religious nature, please heed their wishes!

    We know that some will happily shot until dark, while others will have seen and heard enough in an hour. That’s why we haven’t provided a bus or car pool. Since this is the last point on the tour, and the end of our convention, you’re free to head on home when it suits you. There won’t be any need to return to Brantford to pick up your car, and this could be especially important if you’re currently closer to home than you would be if you first returned to Brantford. And since it’s not Waikiki or Mexico City, but the middle of summer in southern Ontario, we have absolutely no control over the weather. It could be pouring rain or blazing hot. Either way, your car is right there in the parking lot. Flexibility and freedom!

    We’ve outlined the weekend and covered the tours. Now we turn our attention to the convention Speakers and Program. We have arranged for three people with broad experience to pass on advice on “shooting the competition or other event that you can’t control”.Jon A\Soyka

    Jon Soyka is a veteran videographer with experience in shooting parades, golf tournaments, bicycle races, seminars, dance, theatre, etc., to name just a few, and with a great deal of practice shooting ice boating!

Harold Cosgrove

    Harold Cosgrove, who formerly competed in motorcycle races on the Isle of Man, now just shoots them. “Just” indicates that he no longer races personally, but it doesn’t mean that there is a limit to his experience! He has also shots mountain bike trials, dirt bike races, and even skate board competitions, not to mention hot air balloon meets and kite flying competitions.Hamilton Beach

 Paul Nopper     Paul Nopper is much newer to video making, but he is an experienced pilot who has recently made some beautiful video while flying over such varied places as Toronto and Montreal and Baffin Island and Labrador. As this is written he is preparing for an 8,600 km trans-Canada flight to trace the route of explorer Alexander McKenzie from Quebec City to Bella Coola, and will probably be freezing en route with his door off as you are reading this, ensconced in the lap of luxury.

    While we can expect all three of these Speakers to impart good advice and inside tips about how to get better shots and make a better video, most will probably relate specifically to one or more of their successes, and it will be up to you to generalize from the specific, and then make the leap from the general to your own specific requirements or situation. And your first opportunity to internalize and apply their advice will be at the Pow-Wow!

George Gerula     Part Two of “The Quest For The Perfect Film to Video Transfer” (Part One was in Kinmount in 2001. Please see the article on Page 15 in the Spring 2002 Issue of PANORAMA) will be presented by George Gerula, who has approached the problem from a completely different direction. George has been working long and hard on a series of experiments getting the bugs out, one by one, and will explain the theory and the software, and demonstrate the innovative equipment he has built. George has been concentrating on Super8 Sound film, and hopes to be ready to show off the perfect transfer. And if it works, there’s no reason why the principle shouldn’t work for 8 mm., Super8, or 16 mm., shot at any speed!

Don Svob     Don “Tinker” Svob will be back!
Don has been doing so much
with so little for so long
that he is now perfectly qualified
to do anything, with nothing, immediately!
We’re all anxiously waiting to see
what Don can come up with next!

    Gregory Lowes of Virtual Training Company Canada will be coming from Toronto to demonstrate a few of their training courses. Please see the review on this company's products on Page 14 in the Spring 2003 Issue of PANORAMA.

Ron Graff      And finally, everybody is waiting impatiently for more information on HDTV. When will it be available in Canada, and when do we have to throw away our present equipment? Ron Graff, Sales and Marketing Manager of the Professional Division of JVC Canada will be demonstrating JVC’s new HDTV consumer camcorder, and the even newer professional model.GR-HD1 The GR-HD1 can record in three video formats: 720 horizontal line resolution at 30 frames progressive, 480 horizontal line resolution at 60 fields progressive or 480 horizontal line resolution at 60 fields interlaced. The video is recorded to MiniDV tape via MPEG2 compression. The large, 1/3 in. 1.18 million pixel CCD is not the normal 4:3 aspect ratio, but the widescreen 16:9 ration. This allows the camcorder to record true 16:9 video, instead of stretching or letterboxing as other camcorders have in the past.Pro Model These camcorders are compatible with a new JVC Standard called D-Theatre (a system for the release of HDTV compatible movies) which includes the HM-DH30000U digital VHS (D-VHS) recorder which will record HDTV from the television (please see page 10 in the Summer 2002 PANORAMA). This system records in MPEG2 (like DVD’s) and JVC will bundle it with third-party editing software. Ron will be bringing HDTV projection equipment to show off the above components, so this is your chance to be among the first in your club to see and evaluate the future of our hobby.

    For the past two years we have screened some of the past winners in the CIAFF, and these films were greatly appreciated by those who attended. This year we will be able to screen some of the winning 16 mm. films made by amateurs, and particularly by amateur clubs, thanks to Vic Adams’ generous donation to the SCCA of a Bolex 421 16 mm. magnetic sound projector.

    Also on the program, as time allows, will be a short presentation on Band-in-a-Box (please see the review on this product on Page 20 in the Spring 2003 Issue of PANORAMA) and a chance to hear some samples of the music in the SCCA Music Library.

    By now I hope you are thinking “I’ve got to get there!” and expect you’re also wondering “How much will all this cost?” More GOOD NEWS! The Registration for the 2003 SCCA Convention in whole of for any part, will only be $20. That is to defray the cost of the Room Rentals, Equipment Rentals, and the many incidental expenses associated with holding a Convention. Attendance on the Friday afternoon tour will cost you $8.50 ($7.25 for Seniors) at the entrances to the Bell Homestead and the Woodlands Cultural Centre Museum. Attendance at the Sunday afternoon tour will cost you $10 ($8 for Seniors) plus parking charges at Chiefwood Park, and a donation at Her Majesty’s Chapel of the Mohawks. The cost of food is up to you, and depends on when you arrive and leave, how far you have to travel, and how much you choose to spend. We have built in no banquets, breakfast, etc., and while we have chosen where we will all eat two meals Saturday, and perhaps one on Sunday, all allow you discretion as to how much you spend.

    You also have control of the cost of lodgings. We hope everyone can attend all three days, for some that will mean lodgings for two night’s (or more). You can find information about the many establishments available (hotels, motels, bed and breakfast, and campgrounds) at, as well as a clear map showing how to reach Brantford from London, Toronto, and Niagara Falls. (Click on “Maps” for great maps of the city. E4 is the downtown area where you will find the Sanderson Centre, and the landmark Casino). Those who are able to commute will put their money into the gas tank.

    We make no recommendations about where you stay. However, the Holiday Inn - Brantford, 664 Colborne St., has offered us a Corporate Discount for a Rate of $89 per night, plus taxes, and there is no requirement that we book any number of rooms. To receive this rate, please book ahead (519-758-9999) and tell them that you are attending the SCCA Convention. They are holding a block of 10 rooms for us until June 25th. After that you may find no room at the Inn, or anywhere else, with the Pow-Wow and the Phil Hartman Comedy Festival that weekend. The Holiday Inn is already (May 9th) completely booked for that weekend, except for our small block!

    More discounts may be negotiated with other Brantford hotels. Before making your reservations you might want to check with Keith Gloster by email ( We will post more information, links, etc., as it becomes available.

    Meanwhile, how about sending in that Registration now, before you forget!