Travel Blog

27 Sep

VCON – Sept 28 – 30 at the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel

Costumes at VCON

Vancouver’s annual science fiction convention VCON takes place Sept 28-30 at the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel. Photo credit: Sam Chua/VCON

This year, Vancouver hosted one of the biggest pop culture conventions that’s ever come to the city. But, for all its bells, whistles, and TV stars, the well-attended (estimates put ticket-buyers at 5,000+ over the con’s two days) Fan Expo Vancouver probably wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for the efforts of small, dedicated bands of individuals – nerds, really – who started gathering to discuss their interest in comic books, science fiction and/or fantasy at small conventions in the late ’60s and early ’70s.

One of the oldest of these in the Pacific Northwest is VCON. Now in its 37th year, the annual science fiction convention brings together the region’s SF aficionados along with authors, artists, and workshops that range from bellydancing to “How Not to Be a Creeper” (exactly what it sounds like, according to the VCON site’s description), and more.

Running from Sep. 28-30, 2012, at the Sheraton  Vancouver Guildford Hotel in Surrey, B.C. (15269 104 Avenue Surrey), VCON 37 includes science fiction authors Connie Willis and Dr. Gregory Benford. James Ng is the artist guest of honour. Other guests include local webcomic artists, authors, game developers, costumers, and scientists, includnig Jaymie Matthews, Canada’s own leading stellar scientist and Mission Scientist for the MOST satellite.

Some highlights of the three-day convention include a costume contest to be followed by a dance on Friday, a speed-sketching draw-off by artists on Saturday, and an event called “Turkey Readings”, which features the worst of the worst in science fiction and fantasy writing read aloud, on Sunday. 

Elron Awards, lessons in game design theory by local game designer Palle Hoffstein, a live podcast by Caustic Soda, multiple swordplay lessons and demonstrations by Academie Duello, a panel on hot-button topic genetic engineering in science fiction and a discussion by five notable female authors of female archetypes in fiction.

A fan-run bar will feature some out-of-this world drinks, while kidcon events ensure the kisd will have something to do.

In addition, the Vendor Hall, which showcases handcrafted items, and the con’s Art Show – one of BC’s largest exhibits of fantasy/science fiction art – are completely free and open to the public.

A pre-registration pass for the full weekend is $45 adult/$37 student/$22 for 18 and under. You can find out more here.

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