FanCon a show geared for the creative imagination

With thousands attending the bustling CN Centre and Kin 1, Northern FanCon saw some oddities, curiosities, show-stoppers and jaw-droppers as techies, sci-fi and comic fans found a home for the weekend.

There was row upon row of vendors, photo and autograph opportunities with stars like Tricia Helfer from Battlestar Galactica, Sean Astin from The Lord of the Rings, Michael Biehn from the Terminator and Nichelle Nichols from the original Star Trek. There were plenty of gaming opportunities, a Creative Corner that saw a variety of successful entertainment industry artists including a chef, make up artist, costumer designer and film makers willing to talk to fans about their work.

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It was an interactive entertainment, fantasy, science fiction, comic book fan haven.

Jody Larson was a first-time local vendor who wanted to use the opportunity to showcase her Mended Heart Creations custom costuming talents. She'd been to FanCon in the past, but never as a vendor. She offers one-of-a-kind items and bespoke items, meaning she will make whatever a person might need to their specifications.

During FanCon Larson wore a frothy creation she'd made from fabric she had hung onto for years before deciding to make her form fitting strapless dress with many-tiered skirt. The fabric was Alice in Wonderland inspired, which Larson said is the perfect adventure story. Larson's favourite version of the story is the 1999 film featuring Whoopi Goldberg as the Cheshire Cat and Ben Kingsley as Major Caterpillar. Some of the fabric used in her dress depicted images from the book and some of the material depicted chapter titles.

On the shelves behind her, Larson displayed handmade fascinator hats, head-dresses she created that were part miniature top hat, part veil that could be the crowning glory to complete a unique outfit for a special occasion.

"If you're going to wear a hat," Larson took a beat. "You. Should. Wear. A. Hat."

Larson started sewing on a regular basis about 15 years ago, soon after her daughter was born when she started creating clothing out of necessity.

"And sewing is my joy, it just makes me really, really happy."

Further exploration of the CN Centre floor led to Creative Corner where TV show creators Jon Chuby, a local physiotherapist slash actor slash producer director, and Jeremy Abbott, actor and producer director who grew up in Prince George and now resides in Kelowna, showcased their latest television series called Geoff and the Ninja, that Telus Optik TV will soon air for public viewing. The pair were on hand at FanCon to talk about their film and encourage others to pursue their own projects.

"Everything in the show was filmed locally with local actors and locations," said Chuby. "It's the only time there's ever been a TV show done up here that's not from Vancouver, so that's our big thing with it."

The pair of television show creators are hoping to take the series to bigger networks after it airs, including pitching it to Netflix, Chuby said.

At the far end of CN Centre, cosplayers were lined up to register for the contest to see who had the best costume, including Amber Basso, who was dressed as Jory, a character from Guild Wars 2, a popular video game. Basso has been a cosplayer for a few years and chooses a different character to portray each year. She's been Kim Possible, a cartoon character, Commander Shepard from Mass Effect, and a sheka from Legend of Zelda.

"I like to try a bunch of different things," Basso said. "But this is my first time entering the Cosplay contest."

Scott Novakowski brought his daughter Taya, 11, to FanCon for a special day trip from Williams Lake. Novakowski said he loves Comic Book Men, a reality television show and was thrilled he go to meet Ming Chen, who has a special guest at the event. Daughter Taya is a big Harry Potter fan and she found some stuff she liked at the vendors in Kin 1.
"The show was better than I expected and we're happy we made the trip," Scott said.

Saturday afternoon saw Sean Astin, best known for his role as Samwise Gamgee in Lord of the Rings and star of the feel-good movie Rudy, sit down with Citizen reporter, Frank Peebles, for a Q&A that had audience members lined up to pose their thought-provoking questions to Astin.

It took a good two hours to get through all the questions that ended with Astin thanking J.R.R. Tolkien for creating the character of Samwise Gamgee, the role that Astin said changed his life.

Sunday afternoon brings another legend to the Q&A stage. Nichelle Nichols, who played Lt. Uhura on the original Star Trek television series, joins Peebles at 1:30 on the mainstage at CN Centre.

For more information about FanCon visit fancon.ca.

 

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