Top 5 Canadian Comic ConventionsMarch 26, 2015
The comic convention saw small, humble beginnings in the early 1970s when San Diego Comic Con first held their convention in a conference room in a hotel. Since then, comic cons have been popping up all over North America and spreading internationally as well, giving fans the opportunity to meet other fans, their favourite artists, writers and actors in a safe environment where many different fan bases are accepted. With the booming popularity of superhero films and shows, the demand has never been higher for comic conventions in the past couple years, and there are some conventions who are doing everything right for their fans. Here are our top five Canadian comic conventions that you won’t want to miss in no particular order.
Ottawa Comic Con
Ottawa Comic Con has been growing for the past couple of years into a great place where fans can go explore their large artists alley and vendor rooms. Their panel rooms are large and they do their best to accommodate a swell of fans for the more popular actors, and their scheduling is comfortable so you do not have to rush from one panel to another. Although it takes place at the Ernst and Yonge Center which is a little bit out of the way (about 20 minutes from downtown), there are still hotels and restaurants within a short driving distance if attendees do not want to indulge in convention food.
Montreal Comic Con
Now taking place in July instead of its usual spot in mid-September, Montreal Comic Con has been known to bring fan favourites for the fans and 2014 had them seeing a record number of attendees since the start of the convention; a shocking 51,000 people. While it can have a couple issues with crowding, sometimes it is to be expected at conventions, and the people who run the convention have taken proper measures to address fans concern.
The Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo is the second largest convention in Canada (the first being Fan Expo in Toronto) and runs mid-April every year. Since it is one of the few conventions out west, it tends to have a large pull in audience and is very highly praised by comic artists and writers. Their large artist alley provides both professionals and amateurs to reach large crowds and interact with fans. The best part about the Calgary Expo is that as their population swells, they make moves to accommodate more fans, having now expanded from BMO Centre to the entire Stampede Park and then putting up tents in 2014 to accommodate additional panels.
Hal-Con, Sci-Fi, Fantasy & Comic Convention
Okay, it’s a bit of a mouthful, but they prefer to go by Hal-Con. Started originally in the 1970s and revived in 2010, this is Halifax’s annual convention that has a little bit of everything and sees about 7,000 people throughout the weekend. Independent artists have praised Hal-Con for their promotion of their work through social media, often offering up a blurb about an attending artist to generate further interest. The convention takes place at the end of fall, usually the last weekend in October and this year it falls on Halloween, giving even more people a reason to dress up to attend.
Niagara Falls Comic Con
From small beginnings as a gathering for friends and fans, this convention has been growing exponentially every year and is a favourite to many convention-goers. The organizers are keen to listen to their fans and how they can change things every year to improve on things such as lines, attending guests or spacing. This is a convention that sees over 20,000 people in the course of a weekend, but it doesn’t feel as congested as it can in bigger conventions in the lanes of artist alley or exhibitors. Being in the heart of a tourist area, the restaurants and accommodations are plentiful, and many con-goers will venture in from far and wide, able to take in the famous tourist destination Niagara Falls while enjoying a convention that brings in big stars like William Shatner, or this years David Hasselhoff and Manu Bennett.