Pop culture fans will see a galaxy’s worth of stars at the third annual Capital City Comic Con, from Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Gallactica, Lucifer)and Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Gates McFadden to Guardians of the Galaxy’s Sean Gunn.
Paul Nursey, CEO of Destination Greater Victoria, one of three organizations staging Comic Con from March 20-22 at the Victoria Conference Centre and Crystal Garden, is amazed at how stars are virtually lining up to come to the event.
“In fact, we have to decline talent from coming. I think that’s been our biggest surprise operating things,” he says. “We always thought we were a second- or third-tier city, but when we reached out to talent … they really loved the fact that it’s a community event.”
|Capital City Comic Con, Photo by Colin Smith|
The non-profit Downtown Victoria Business Association and event founder Cherry Bomb Toys are teamed with Destination Greater Victoria in putting on Capital City Comic Con. While thousands of similar pop culture conventions happen in North America, this one is not run by a corporate entity out to make a profit.
“Of course it needs to pay for itself … and it does, but we’re not making ruthless corporate decisions with this. We’re trying to really animate the downtown,” Nursey says.
Among other special guests, convention-goers can also see former WWE wrestling star Jim “Hacksaw” Duggan.
|Capital City Comic Con, photo by Colin Smith|
The operators of Cherry Bomb Toys understand the wrestling culture well, Nursey says, and have been instrumental in bringing one “name” wrestler to the convention every year.
“It’s a very active community, a very active niche,” he says of wrestling fandom. Comic Con organizers schedule wrestlers’ appearances on the Friday night, “to give a bit of a party atmosphere to kick the thing off,” with Saturday and Sunday being more family-oriented.
Nursey pokes good-natured fun at the “pretty intense geek culture” that exists not only in Victoria, but around the Island.
“There’s a lot of people who were or are involved (in clubs and activities) in the universities and colleges, and they cluster around events of this nature, which helps drive that interest. Greater Victoria is a little bit quirky and we love that.”
|Capital City Comic Con, photo by Mark’s Cosplay Photography|
With that said, one quarter of the event-goers come from out of town. Many travel from Nanaimo, Campbell River and Parksville/Qualicum and stay for the weekend. “Which is great for us and great for the businesses downtown,” Nursey says. “It’s wonderful to have that energy. It’s become a really cool event and we’re really proud of it.”
Full three-day passes are available in various formats, along with single-day admission. Visit capitalcitycomiccon.ca/tickets to purchase or find out what each level of pass includes. You’ll find a full list of guests and activities at capitalcitycomiccon.ca.