Exclusive Interview with Unity Days Executive Director Leana Santos
Have you ever wanted to be completely surrounded by your favorite show? Have you ever become giddy at the thought of meeting the actor that portrays your favorite character? Or maybe you’ve been dying to meet other people as fanatic as you are.
Fans of the CW’s The 100 are an enthusiastic group with a fandom that spreads all over the globe, and while actors of the show commonly attend different conventions throughout the year, fans have never had something entirely dedicated to The 100. But things have taken a turn for the better, and a new convention dubbed Unity Days (fans of The 100 will understand the reference) has been created by Executive Directors Leana Santos, Miah Bannerman, and Erica Schaaf. Taking place in Vancouver, Canada, from January 13-15th, the three-day convention will allow fans to meet the actors who bring the characters to life, other fans, and much more.
I recently had the opportunity to interview Leana Santos about the convention, what fans can expect, and future announcements.
What inspired you to create the Unity Days convention?
We started watching The 100 last summer; my best friend and I binge watched season 1 and 2 on Netflix and watched season 3 live. We’ve been hooked ever since. We attended both the Edmonton and Calgary Expo and noticed there was one thing missing — The 100. Miah and Erica were also at the Calgary Expo, after that event we started a group chat on Twitter and said, “Hey, let’s plan our own convention specifically for The 100.”
What sets the Unity Days convention apart from other conventions?
We’re fans of the show ourselves so we promise to give our fellow fans the best experience. Unity Days is about celebrating the cast, the writers; everyone who works behind the scenes. We wanted to unite everyone in the City of Light (aka Vancouver). We’ve got some surprises up our sleeves for Unity Days. Fans won’t be disappointed!
This convention is entirely dedicated to The 100 and is happening in the very city that The 100 is filmed. Was Vancouver selected specifically for that reason?
Yes. If you’re a nerd like us, you’ll want to visit parts of the city where they filmed. Unity Days is at the Pinnacle Harbourfront Hotel in downtown Vancouver, just steps away from where they filmed all of the City of Light scenes for the season 3 finale — the tunnel where Clarke first emerges into the CoL, the “Clexa” steps, the bench Jasper sits on while indulging in gelato. They also filmed at the abandoned zoo in Stanley Park, but mostly in the mountains in North Vancouver. Also, for local and international guests, Vancouver is an easy destination to get to.
Aside from meet and greets and panels, what else will attendees get to see and do?
We have special events planned for Friday and Saturday evening that we know fans will love to attend. They’ll be announced soon!
The guest list is already pretty large and sports a lot of big names, should we be expecting more guest announcements in the coming weeks and months?
Yes of course! We aren’t done with the guest announcements! Fans will have to stay tuned to our website and social media.
What do you hope that fans gain from the experience?
An amazing time. We want the best for our fellow fans. We want them to create long-lasting friendships at Unity Days — it’s not just about meeting the talent, it’s also about meeting the fans.
Will this be just a one-time thing, or can we expect to see more Unity Days conventions in the future?
It could possibly be an annual event!
Is there anything that fans should know in preparation for and before arriving at the convention?
This is Unity Days — regardless of who you ship, which character is your favorite and which character left a bad taste in your mouth — this is about a show we all love, it’s time to put differences aside.
Cosplaying is encouraged at Unity Days!
Also, we want fans to connect with others fans who are attending or want to attend. If you want to go but have no one to go with, there are tons of attendees who would gladly hang out with you at the Con! We’ll be walking around the floor at Unity Days, so please don’t hesitate to come up and say hi! Unity Events is also available on social media and our website to answer any questions or concerns attendees may have.
Our website is called Talk Nerdy With Us, so is there anything nerdy about you?
We love Disney, space, and music (specifically electronic dance music). I (Leana) also have a tattoo of the Mockingjay from Hunger Games. (laughs).
Stay in the loop and don’t miss any new announcements! Follow Unity Days on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook!