[Editorial] Sounding off on the Nerdy Convention Scene in Victoria, BC

ConventionBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

I have attended many pop culture style conventions in the past 25 or so years. Some took place in my home town of Victoria, British Columbia but more off island. I am sad not many local shows have a footprint of lasting more than five years. Attempts have been made to centralize all aspects of geekdom, but to pull it off needs a proper committee of dedicated folks. I’m aware most of the businesses along Nerd Row (on Johnson Street and Broad) are in communication with one another, but this community was not in place till the early part of this century.

In terms of history, a major comic book type event (which was a one-off) took place at the Empress Hotel in the late 80’s which had a who’s who of talent (from New York even), which Big Brothers and Big Sisters organized — my introduction to the scene — but since then, everything else which followed never compared. Van Isle Con is a step in the right direction, and although a short commute is required to get there, I’m wondering what’s next? Are there individuals willing to make something happen within the capital city?

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LANtasy Wants the Fun in Fandom to Return in Victoria, BC!

Pearkes Recreation Center will play venue host to Gottacon and LANTasy.

LANTasy Event LogoMarch 12-13, 2016
Pearkes Arena, Victoria BC 

Tickets: $30 weekend pass
or $15 per day (pre-registration).

LANtasy‘s motto is “Play Games, Have Fun” at their upcoming event taking place March 12th and 13th. For the fandom living in Victoria, BC, hopefully everyone can put the incidents of 2015 behind them. The final quarter of that year was less than positive: GottaCon (GC) announced they were closing their doors and Island Fantasy Convention did not happen. The reaction by the community was not kind with how the latter event was handled. However, with a new year Tsukino-Con remains strong and the technical crew behind GC decided to continue the legacy the broad-spectrum gaming event represented.

Jeff Pedlow is one of the department heads. He says this show will exist to bring people together and his group really loves the gaming community that exists here. Despite the name, they are not playing favourites over what kind of activities are being offered at this show. Yes, there will be a heavy Local Area Network (LAN) gaming presence, but there is more to the show than just that — board gaming, miniature gaming and RPGs are offered. People will be encouraged to come in costume (cosplay). Essentially, this event will be just like GottaCon in their early days. In what’s for certain, Pedlow says that his group does not take any money from the event and their goal is to throw community-centric gaming events for everyone living on the island. As their Facebook page shows, there are qualifying events taking place in and out of the Capitol Region that will lead up to the finals at LANtasy.

“If we grow in size, that’s always great, but our primary concern is throwing fun events for the community to come out and enjoy,” said Pedlow.

Even though this event is two months away, perhaps fandom should start planning. In addition to their FAQ about this event, Otakunoculture talked to Jeff about other lingering queries:

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Attempting to Restore Fandom in Victoria, BC

I really hope something can emerge in the next few years to restore my faith in fandom in Victoria, BC.

Fandom in Victoria, BC at Brickyard Pizza Sadly, the cancellation of the Island Fantasy Convention (IFCon) the week before has dealt a blow to fandom in the City of Victoria. The reasons are justifiable: when the CEO of the organisation, Bill Code, collapsed due to (personal) health issues and the convention committee was assessing the situation, whatever decision they make will have far-reaching consequences. Everyone’s thoughts are on Mr. Code’s medical condition stabilizing, and those who know him are rooting for him to pull through. Whatever happens next, the fandom living in this city will be asking questions. It brings to light the interview I conducted with Code, and I asked the question, Can Pop Culture Fandom Return to Victoria, BC with Island Fantasy Convention? as a headline.

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[Victoria, BC] IFCon to Arrange Refunds over Cancellation

By James Robert Shaw (The Wind up Geek)

IFCon Preview - Unicorn logoIt’s been roughly 24 hours after the official cancellation of Victoria’s Island Fantasy Convention (IFCon) and already the con’s spokesperson Ken Twyman is moving forward with plans to refund ticket sales. After IFCon’s founder Bill Code was admitted to hospital a week earlier, he is still in intensive care. Unable to carry on, the con’s committee cancelled days the event days before the convention was to take place. Today Ken Twyman posted on IFCon Victoria’s Facebook page the following statement:

“This specific post is about the following issues

Lyle’s Place
They will issue a refund to those that have purchased a ticket (s) from them. I would assume your receipt of purchase would be required to make this a stress free refund. They are happy to accommodate you.

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[Victoria, BC] IFCon Victoria Cancelled

By James Robert Shaw (The Wind up Geek)

IFCon Preview - Unicorn logoIFCon Victoria which was to be held at the G. R. Pearkes Recreation Centre over the Halloween weekend has been cancelled. An announcement was made today on IFCon’s Facebook page by Bob Lynn, a long-time friend of executive convention producer Bill Code:

My name is Bob Lynn – I have been a friend of Bill Code for 27 years and I have been asked to post this notice and the following information.

For the past 16 months, Bill has dedicated all his time, effort, energy and every cent he has earned into this project to the tune of over $ 84,000.00.

Last Sunday, Bill collapsed on the floor and had to be rushed to the hospital and admitted to Emergency. Today, he has been transferred to intensive care and will be taken into surgery later today. He is fighting for his life.

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