TORONTO — A “Degrassi” alumnus is hosting a class reunion at a Toronto convention centre this summer so fans can indulge in their nostalgia for the original series.
Pat Mastroianni, who played Joey Jeremiah on the show, said he’s putting up his own money to put on the ”Degrassi Palooza” at the Westin Toronto Airport Hotel in June.
He said Kirsten Bourne, Stacie Mistysyn, Amanda Stepto and Stefan Brogren are among his co-stars from the show’s initial run in the 1980s and ’90s who are set to attend the event.
Mastroianni said he attended several conventions as part of a “Degrassi” tour to mark the 25th anniversary of the 1992 television film “School’s Out,” and wanted to share that “gratification” with his fellow castmates.
He also said he wants his event to allow for a degree of interaction with fans that wasn’t available at the show’s peak before the omnipresence of the internet.
“You have fans that really, really want to connect, and want to immerse themselves in that world, because for a lot of them, it was a better positive experience than their own high school experience,” he said. “The characters are the friends they wish they had.”
Cast members from later iterations of the series — including “Next Generation” star Drake — won’t be featured at the event, said Mastroianni, although he hopes they’ll participate at future conventions.
“He didn’t invite me to his ‘I’m Upset’ video, I’m not inviting him to my palooza,” Mastroianni said with a laugh, referring to Drake’s recent music video that reunited several members of the “Degrassi” cast. ”He’s been a great ambassador for Toronto and Canada, and God bless him for all his success.”
Activities are set to include question-and-answer sessions with cast and crew, a live script reading, a “Degrassi” escape room and a bus tour led by Mastroianni of the sites where the series was shot.
Tickets, which range in price $99 to $399, recently went on sale, and Mastroianni says they make a great last-minute Christmas gift for the “Degrassi fan” in your life.