I thought this would be a fun thing to talk about – ideas for conventions in the GTA. There are lots of conventions happening in the Greater Toronto Area. One day that geek convention bubble may burst, but for now our calendars are filled with cons we all try to attend.
One day I might run my own convention. It’s not on my priority list right now and I don’t really have the time for it. But I’m surprised what I’m about to talk about, hasn’t happened yet:
Outdoor Anime/Otaku Festival: Out of any conventions I’d want to do, this would be the one I’d love to plan out and make it happen! There are tons of music festivals in Canada such as Osheaga in Montreal and Veld in Toronto. Someone should do an Anime/ Otaku edition similar to these festivals. Have music performers related to Anime and Otaku culture. Maybe some J-fashion/Harajuku shows as well.
On a side note, what makes Anime North so special is how much of the congoers are outside. Sure, there are events and activities happening in the convention centre and hotels. But the life and electricity of Anime North is happening outside of these buildings, in my opinion. AN is the closest we’ve ever gotten to an outdoor Anime festival. And maybe our cosplay beach party. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll jump in and go for it.
Anime convention in downtown Mississauga: I’m surprised this hasn’t happened yet. Mississauga is the second-largest city in Ontario, yet we’ve never seen a major Anime convention take place in ‘Sauga. (Except for Unplugged Expo in 2015, but they mainly hold their cons in Toronto.) It’s not like Mississauga is in the middle of nowhere; whenever I held a cosplay picnic in the city, I get lots of people from the area and surrounding cities (including Toronto) that came out. That being said, I know a cosplay picnic is different from an Anime convention. Maybe con chairs feel it’s better to hold a convention in Toronto than risk doing it in Mississauga. When you look at downtown Mississauga, there’s no convention centre or hotel in the immediate area. Also, most of Mississauga is difficult to reach by public transportation. This could explain the absence of a major geek convention in Mississauga.
Resort convention in Toronto: Hats off to my friends at YetiCon for holding an awesome convention at Blue Mountain Resort! However, someone brought up the idea of holding a convention similar to YetiCon but closer to Toronto. Maybe a resort convention on Toronto Islands or Ontario Place? You could have activities like boating around Toronto Harbour, a cosplay beach party or summer music, similar to a festival. Imagine the photoshoots possible at Centreville! I always hear people having issues going to YetiCon due to transportation issues and costs. So a resort con closer to Toronto would solve those issues, but it wouldn’t be as authentic as YetiCon’s experience of a TRUE resort.
Major conventions in Niagara Falls: I’d love to see a major convention grow in Niagara Falls. It’s such a beautiful city with a lot of cool attractions such as the Falls, fun casinos and the lively Cliffton Hill. It’s always nice to sightsee in the city while you’re in town for a convention (and in costume)! Anime Boston, MAGFest and Sakuracon are a few conventions where I can attend a con and be a tourist at the same time. Imagine how much fun it’ll be going to a large Niagara con and being able to do all the touristy stuff as well! I hope to see current Niagara conventions like Niagara Falls Comic Con and Fanworld grow into big, international conventions!
Geek Fashion Convention: When I’m talking about geek fashion, I’m talking about things like Goth, Lolita, Steampunk, Japanese and other alternate fashion styles that are popular with the Otaku or geek community. Rufflecon was a convention in Connecticut which was exactly about that. Unfortunately, there won’t be a 2018 edition of Rufflecon. But I believe a Geek Fashion Convention would be successful in Toronto. You see all these fashion styles at every con; an event dedicated to their styles would be very popular in my opinion.
Some cool locations for a geek convention:
Distillery District: Although there’s no large building to hold the major events of a convention, the area has such a unique look to it. Very Steampunk-ish.
Casa Loma: I can only imagine the amazing photoshoots that can be done in this castle. Forget doing your typical convention at Casa Loma. Just hold a small convention with little or no activities, charge admission and let attendees do as many photoshoots as they desire. I’m pretty sure most people would pay a small admission fee just to shoot inside the castle!
What do you think of these convention ideas for Ontario? Do you have any ideas you want to share? Comment below!