Largest Lego convention in BC gathers in Richmond

A whole lot of Lego

B.C.'s largest Lego convention saw thousands of people over the weekend at Richmond’s River Rock Theatre.

The BrickCan exhibition returned for its fifth year and featured uniquely designed exhibits from pop-culture builds to local landmarks built with Lego bricks for the public to enjoy.

The event was put on hold for the past three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Ley Ward, display coordinator with BrickCan, said it is great to have everyone back.

“This is long overdue in the sense of what we’ve been building and … to show it off,” said Ward, adding it is “wonderful to see people just brighten up and get excited” as they walk into the exhibit hall.

“We’re quite excited. We want to show (the exhibition) to the public, have people learn what can be done with Lego and see the looks on their faces.”

The energy in the room, he added, was similar that of “Christmas, a parade or getting a puppy.”

According to Ward, 250 registered builders and 120 volunteers attended this year’s BrickCan exhibition.

Calgary-based Cynthia Bourne, an exhibitor and builder at BrickCan, said she has been attending the B.C. event since 2017.

“It’s so inspiring and energizing to be among people who are passionately interested in something that you’re passionately interested in, and especially just to see all the different ideas of what people come up with,” said Bourne.

She says she only played with her younger brother’s Lego as a kid, but never had sets of her own.

It wasn’t until Lego released its first Star Wars line in 1999 when Bourne became interested in building Lego as a hobby.

“Now I have a whole room dedicated to (Lego) builds. It went out of control a little bit,” she said.

As a full-time systems engineer, with a computer science background, Bourne’s creation features a space-station with a motorized train.

“I get a lot of dads showing their daughters and saying ‘you can build space too.’ I’m really trying to encourage them to use all the Lego that exists. It’s all for everyone and not specific Lego for girls or for boys.”

Meanwhile, a North Vancouver family of four came to visit the exhibition for the early morning session.

Lauren Casey and her husband Sean brought their two sons to check out BrickCan for the first time.

“We had no idea what to expect since it’s our first time here, but it turned out to be an amazing family event,” said Casey.

“We’re fans (of Lego) since we were kids and it’s been really exciting … and just kind of reinvigorating for ourselves seeing all these creations.”

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