Kelowna ComiCon a big success after wildfires postponed summer event

Cosplayers fill Rutland Hall

After the summer wildfires halted Kelowna ComiCon in its tracks, three months later, they managed to put the show together at Rutland’s Centennial Hall for all cosplayers, fantasy, tv show and movie lovers to enjoy.

“We’re getting packed up and ready to go for our August event on the Thursday night and we were just watching the fires roll over the hill and it was a moment of dread for us. We saw that coming over and we said we can’t run it that day or that weekend so we came together and found a new venue for a little bit smaller of an event,” said Kelowna ComiCon organizer Patrick Finch.

“Everything went smoothly, the community really came behind us and a lot of the vendors have pushed their tables off the next event with a lot of them here today. The attendees have been amazing.”

Cosplayer Ken MacKay, who’s won several cosplay awards in the past, says it’s an incredible feeling to be able to share a space with people who share the same passion for comics and entertainment.

“The thing I like about it the most is just being able to put on a costume and being able to be around people that can enjoy being in a costume. Typically, it’s always been Halloween, but it’s becoming more and more mainstream how people and cosplay and liking to get dressed up in whatever fandom you have,” said Ken MacKay, also known as KenaCosplay.

“For me, it just happens to be World of Warcraft fantasy stuff, but seeing people doing anime is just as cool to me. It’s cool to see people dressed up as whatever character they’re having fun doing and it’s awesome to see how people get into it and really live the character they’re playing.”

Despite a smaller event this year, organizers say cosplay is really catching on in the Okanagan.

“Coming back to a smaller hall it really feels like our roots of where we started. Back in 2016 we did our first show under a different name and it was at the Parkinson Rec Centre and it’s just been exploding ever since. Our first year we had about 700 people through the doors. Then we moved over for two years to the Kelowna Curling Club, and now we’ve settled at the Capital News Centre, where we are just growing rapidly.”

The Kelowna ComiCon will be back for a bigger and better show in June of 2024 at the Capital News Centre.

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