Monday, November 4, 2013

Central Canada Comic Con 2013

Me and co-worker at Comic Con
Another Central Canada Comic Con (C4) in Winnipeg has gone by and once again it has surpassed the previous years.

Next years will be 20 years since the start of the trade show and fan exposition. Things could not have been more humble. In 1994, the convention was held in a smaller hotel ballroom and was shared with antiques and toys through Manitoba's Collector's Expo. Six years later, comics pushed to the fore and the convention was named Manitoba Toy and Comic Expo. Add another six years in 2006, the name became Manitoba Comic Con.

The addition of celebrities from TV, film and beyond came just a year later in 2007. It exploded attendance and there was no choice but to seek a larger venue.

In 2008, the Winnipeg Convention Centre became home to Comic Con and its present incarnation as Central Canada Comic Con. It is a non-profit organization and now hosts four events a year with the marquee event being C4.
Me and co-worker and friend at Comic Con
In 2012, attendance at Comic Con rose to a whopping 34,000. There are only two other comic and fan expos in Canada that pull in more people in Toronto and Calgary. It is uncertain what attendance for 2013 is but line-ups were even greater than years before. The three day event in November has become a huge media event.

Costumes have grown each year as well as make-up and the addition of wrestling and wrestling stars in recent years as brought more and more people downtown for the three day event. Cars like Back to the Future's DeLorean and Scooby-Doo's Mystery Machine were displayed in the loading dock along with the wrestling ring. This was a brilliant and unothodox way to get more space on the floor and I can't believe the fire marshal didn't say: whoa!

As attendance moves past 35,000, the limitations of the RBC Winnipg Convention Centre begin to show itself plainly. Even with C4 moving to three floors next year, the space will be too small. 

The RBC Winnipeg Convention Centre is expanding and doubling its size. There are now several trade shows and conventions that challenge the present configuration with their attendance.

Here is something interesting to note: In addition to Comic Con, there was a football game with 30,000 plus people and a hockey game with 15,000 people going the same time! In the afternoon, it seemed that all of the city had gotten into their cars to go out and take part in events. 

And what an amazing day it was. Sunny, warm and the downtown was filled with Jets uniforms and Jedi Warriors. Some wag said that all the losers were attending hockey, football and comic convention on Saturday. Well, that mouthy dude had his shirt pulled over his head, was taped to the uprights and was hit with phasers on fabulous for his troubles.

Winnipeg, you did yourself proud Saturday. Just one quibble: who set the time for all three events for Saturday afternoon! Yeek!

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