The Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo is one of the biggest events of the year for me. In a lot of ways, it’s like Nerd Christmas… It only comes once a year, it results in lots of gifts being bought by all and there’s lots of scantily clad women in costumes (guess that’s more like Nerd Halloween.)
Holiday comparisons aside, I love covering the Calgary Expo every year and this year is no different. A big change this year is I plan on taking my entire family with me instead of treating the Expo weekend as a guy road trip, so less Final Fantasy XV and more The Incredibles this time around.
This change has made me think of what draws me in every year and if that changes this time around with my son and daughters in tow. I can happily say most of what I enjoy remains intact, but see for yourself!
THE GUEST LIST
While my kids won’t understand who have of the people coming to the event are, it doesn’t change how exciting guest announcement days can be. I may miss the thrill of weekly announcements, but I can happily see all guest announcement days are pretty much a wash for me. I simply lose all productivity waiting for 10 am to roll around when the first new guest is around. That feeling will never change.
Even more exciting for me is finding out what vendors will be taking part in this year’s show. I honestly look forward to the vendor list reveal as much as celebrity guests.
For me, it’s all about finding out what stores are coming back and then mapping out where I can find my favorite products. The more used game stores, the better!
Also, I like finding the truly unique stores. You never know if you will find a Heroes of the North or a Cyanide and Happiness or even a Rue Morgue in any given year, all unique publications that make for great conversations and even better interviews.
THE HOTEL STAY
As much as I hate spending tons of money to book a hotel, I love getting a change of scenery for a few days.
The past five years, we have stayed at The Executive Royal Hotel for our journey to Calgary, with each having its own unique experience. This year, we are looking to change things up and are hunting for hotels with pools and waterslides and kitchenettes, to make the stay more hospitable for the little ones coming along this time. It’s tough leaving a hotel I’m so familiar with, but sometimes, change is good.
Last year was the first time I got to experience the Cosplay parade in Calgary and I can’t believe how much fun I missed the first four years. This year, I can’t wait to see my daughter’s reaction to all the costumes walking by. It adds a whole new dynamic to the festivities!
THE COSTUME CONTEST
Last year, my friend and contributed Blaze Dobson got on stage for Calgary’s costume contest for the first time, introducing me to another aspect of Calgary Expo that I had been missing out on. This is where the best of the best cosplayers show their skill and I can’t wait to see how both my daughter and my wife react to this.
Yes, I know I said scantily clad women earlier and of course, I am looking forward to that! But it’s not all about lack of clothes, there’s a lot more effort than I can pull off that goes into making these costumes and I look forward to seeing all the creativity that goes into it.
But more importantly, I know my daughter is set to be amazed as she sees some of her favorite characters come to life. I can’t wait to see how she reacts when she sees her first Elsa or Princess Peach or Pikachu or My Little Pony or Foxy from FNAF (yes, that list of characters suddenly took a dark turn). It will be a time of wonder for her and I can’t wait to take it all in.
At the same time, my wife has never seen anything like this outside of Halloween and with this being her first convention, this could make for a new experience for her to enjoy!
ARE YOU READY FOR CCEE 2017?
With three months to go, there’s lots of preparations that need to be done, but in truth, I can’t wait for the escape to begin. Calgary Expo is full of hard work for me, but it’s also the one weekend of the year that I can forget my real world responsibilities and just lose myself in need culture.
Expect a lot more coverage on Expo leading up to it and in the month after the event!