Key West Video offices are going to be very quiet later this week. About half of our hard-working crew is taking a couple of days off to attend FAN EXPO Canada, the biggest comics, sci-fi, horror, anime and gaming event in the country. Tickets have been purchased and costumes have been made. Kind of feels like the days before Christmas 😃
In the Beginning…
FAN EXPO Canada began as something smaller and simpler. In 1995, the convention started its run as the “Canadian National Comic Book Expo”. Over the years, it expanded to encompass much more than just comic books. In 2006, it officially became FAN EXPO, “a place to celebrate all things pop culture”. What once attracted a mere 1500 fans now draws 129,000 people over four days.
FAN EXPO, Northern Edition
FAN EXPO is an international phenomenon. Different cities have their own take, including four Canadian locations.
Autographs and Photo Ops
Celebrities are a big draw at FAN EXPO. True to form, there are people from all corners of the entertainment industry represented: film, television, gaming, internet, anime, WWE and more. The convention casts a wide net that pulls in fans of different formats. Some people go to see the star of the lastest Netflix show, while others buy tickets to reunions of defunct casts.
The biggest draw this year is probably the gathering of stars from the Back to the Future films, including Michael J. Fox, Lea Thompson, Christopher Lloyd, and Tom Wilson. The Delorean Time Machine will be there, too. If you want a picture with Marty McFly and his friends, you’ll pay for the privilege. A picture with the Back to the Future gang runs $429. If your budget is a little lower, you can pay $30 for an autograph from a Degrassi: The Next Generation cast member (Drake not included).
There’s no shortage of things to do August 30-September 2 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Catch a panel (free with the price of admission) and hear your favourite stars talk about your favourite shows. They may even spill a few secrets about what’s happening next season. If they don’t, you can always ask them directly during a celebrity Q&A.
Make sure you bring your wallet with you. There are over 400,000 square feet filled with merchants. The office regulars rhapsodize about their hauls, including tee-shirts, games, figurines, collectibles, toys, themed apparel, DVDs, art and mystery boxes.
Costume or No Costume?
Cosplay is a big part of FAN EXPO. There are always a lot of really elaborate costumes on display, especially in the competitions. This year is the inaugural Master of Cosplay Contest, pitting qualifiers from FAN EXPO Dallas, Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo, MEGACON Orlando, FAN EXPO Boston, and FAN EXPO Canada against each other for a $5000 prize. The Northern qualifying round is happening at FAN EXPO Canada. You’ll need to pre-register. For a more casual affair, try the Walk-On Costume Contest. Enjoy the sights and remember: ask before you take a picture.
FUN FACT: “Crossplay” is a term used to describe a cosplayer who dresses up as a character of a different gender.
Last Minute Tips
We’re told there’s a new FAN EXPO app to help you navigate the Lollapalooza. The website is also full of suggestions for places to eat and stay. The schedule changes frequently (another cancellation?!?) so check back for updates. That way you won’t miss any sketch duels, how-to workshops or meetups.
Back Next Week
Even though we’ll be running on low power during FAN EXPO Canada, there will still be some people here to keep the lights on and the video production machine humming. Next week, we’ll be full of new ideas and inspiration! Call us today for a free quote on your next corporate video.