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Now here’s a recipe for greatness: Take more than 250 fans, one classic sci-fi film, over 30 droolworthy auction bundles, add a few Malcolm Reynolds Browncoats, a healthy dose of charity and mix it all together in the largest city in Canada.

The result: Can’t Stop the Serenity, Toronto style!
AbbyShot team member Mark was lucky enough to attend the 5th annual “Can’t Stop the Serenity” event (CSTS for short) in none other than Toronto, Ontario, Canada this past Saturday, June 26th.

Unfamiliar with CSTS? It’s a worldwide charity event that comprises screenings of sci-fi classic Serenity ALL over the US, Canada, UK, Australia, and Germany. The majority of the proceeds go to the favourite charity of Serenity creator Joss Whedon: Equality Now, a group protecting women’s rights around the world.

(Visit CantStopTheSerenity.com if you’d like to find out more about CSTS in your area!)

So that covers the exposition! On with the story. AbbyShot teamed up with the organizers of CSTS Toronto to offer the officially licensed Malcolm Reynolds Browncoat to fans with the profits going to charity. Mark had the “arduous” task of delivering the Browncoats. Of course, seeing the goodness that is Serenity on the big screen was quite the bonus!

Blu-Ray is great and all, but NOTHING beats the big screen!

The G20 summit was in Toronto, but Mark remained undeterred. He drove like a leaf on the wind through the mazelike streets of the big city, determined to deliver his most precious of cargo.

Upon arrival, Mark was greeted warmly by the friendly and very busy organizing team, including lead organizer Sheilah. The fact that he was carrying the highly-anticipated Browncoats didn’t hurt! Everyone settled into their seats, things were just about to begin!

After some quick remarks from the organizers (and some arguing with the technology), they rolled the CSTS 2010 intro video. It was a real treat for Firefly and Serenity fans (known as “Browncoats” of course), starting out with none other than Captain Malcolm Reynolds himself, fellow Canadian Nathan Fillion!

Mr. Fillion was hilarious as always, but he couldn’t beat the mastermind behind Serenity: Joss Whedon himself. Mr. Whedon teased fans, saying that he hadn’t forgotten about loyal followers of “Can’t Stop the Serendipity” and of course the crew of the “Enterprise… or whatever it’s called.”

Well played, sir.

There were also photos and favourite quotes from proud Browncoats (“She is startin’ to damage my calm!”) and even a “Looney Tunes” style animation of bounty hunter Jubal Early from Firefly episode “Objects in Space”. He was still floating through space (of course) and held up a Wile E. Coyote looking sign that read: “Well… Here I am.”

We’re already looking forward to seeing this intro on the CSTS Media Page, you can view the 2009 intro there right now!

Then it was on to the main event: the screening of Serenity! It was a crystal-clear print of the film where the details nearly popped off the screen. The climactic space battle (in particular) was majestic.

Watching with a theatre full of Browncoats certainly helps the experience too! There were huge laughs at all the classic dialogue (especially Kaylee’s “I’m gonna live!” near the end) and a rousing cheer after Mal Reynolds’ classic “I aim to misbehave” monologue. There was a tangible energy in the audience that was unlike any other.

The credits rolled (after thunderous applause) and it was then on with the charity auction. This was a great fundraiser with over 30 auction bundles, each one more drool-worthy than the next! There were some amazing items donated, including an XBox 360 (signed by Serenity stars Adam Baldwin and Alan Tudyk who voice acted for the game), many toys and statues from Canadian company Pixel Barrel, and many more (mostly signed!) goodies. Safe to say, the auction raised a lot of coin for this great cause!

After the auction, came the best part: meeting with fans and delivering those Browncoats! Pictured below are Anthony (centre) and Alex (right), two proud new Malcolm Reynolds Browncoat owners who were all smiles about their fine suede coats of a brownish colour! With most of our sales being online, it’s always a thrill for AbbyShot to meet with our happy customers. Thanks guys!

Mark had some great chats with Anthony, Alex, and many other fans after the screening about the Malcolm Reynolds Browncoats, the awesome details while watchig Serenity on the big screen, even some Doctor Who chats were thrown in mix! Browncoats are quite well-versed about a range of sci-fi and indeed their love of great stories goes way beyond the Serenity ‘Verse.

An interesting point we’ll have to check on as well: Anthony told us that Jayne’s Hat makes a brief appearance in the film?(!) Apparently it’s in one of the scenes on Beaumonde and only for a few seconds. Anyone else who has seen that detail? Yet another reason to rewatch Serenity!

Organizer Sheilah was very happy with the turnout, she told us that over 250 fans attended the screening. This was the 5th year for this event in Toronto, they’ve held screenings since CSTS began back in 2005.

Huge congratulations to Sheilah and all the rest of the “Canadian Browncoats” team for a fun and well-organized event (they’re the fine folks pictured above). It’s an excellent cause that AbbyShot is proud to support. Thanks as well for the hospitality, Mark had a wonderful time and is already looking forward to another CSTS!

If you haven’t attended a CSTS event already – come on, it sounds like fun, doesn’t it? As we said above, check out CantStopTheSerenity.com to find the event nearest you to support charity and have a heap of fun in the process.

Do you have a CSTS story? Feel free to share yours in the Comments below!

Want even more photos? Check out our CSTS Toronto album on our AbbyShot Facebook Fan Page.

Browncoats everywhere: You rock! Smilie: :)

Keep flyin’,

The AbbyShot Team

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