From the geek merch booths to the Klingon World Summit, Fanexpo 2015 was such a delight to attend. This year’s convention surpassed my wildest expectations and was ultimately a roller coaster of nerdy feels.
The convention opened on Thursday, which was the least eventful day. Other than some Horror Celebrity Q and As (notably: Zach Galligan and Tom Savini), Kid’s Hour with Stormtroopers, and a visit from a Star-Trek Improv group called The Dandies, there weren’t a ton of organized events. This was probably to ease the city of Toronto into the craziness (it got to the point where, on Sunday, when Darth Vader sat across from me at Chipotle, I was altogether unperturbed).
Friday was madness. Madness of the absolute best kind. There were a billion events to attend. Actors Karen Gillan, Billy Dee Williams, the Phelps Twins, and George R. Romero all had their panels, a Klingon 101 class was taught, and a delightful ‘Comic Book Quiz Gameshow’, (which got competitive and intense very quickly), to name a few events. But it was Cosplay that ultimately won the day. Between celebrity cosplayer Yaya Han’s panel, niche workshops dealing with everything from Steampunk to Medieval Armour, to Klingon Warrior wear, including 2 generalized “Cosplay Workshops” where the basics of sewing and planning costumes were outlined, cosplay was a big part of Friday.
Also, the Sci-Fi Speed Dating. I pretty much steered clear of that section for fear of pick up lines like this:
Totally not judging anybody who’s into that stuff, though. I think.
The two special ticketed events were held on Saturday. Unfortunately they were held at the same time, so spectators were forced to choose between ‘Doctor Who: A Night With the Companions’ and ‘The Hogwarts Cast Reunion’. I yielded to my inner 9-year-old and attended the Reunion. All I can say is that it was an absolutely lovely evening! In attendance were Tom Felton, Rupert Grint and the Phelps Twins. I (and the parents in the audience, I’m sure) appreciated how the actors made a visible effort to keep the panel family-friendly; they spoke enthusiastically about the films, didn’t curse at all, and Rupert spoke a few times about how much he loves his hovercraft. A lighthearted evening overall, that left people with a little bit of that Harry Potter magic.
Sunday morning held the famous Breakfast With the Stars special event to benefit Sick Kids Hospital. It’s pretty self-explanatory, ticketholders get the opportunity to have coffee and bacon with some of the weekend’s celebrity guests. As a volunteer, I worked mostly in the theatres where Q and As took place, and possibly the most highly anticipated event was Sunday’s The Walking Dead panel. I hate to say it, but this panel was borderline disappointing. The actors were friendly, funny, and delightfully inappropriate, but couldn’t comment much on the upcoming season, and referred to it constantly when responding to other questions. “What’s your favourite line?” “Stunt?” “Zombie?” All were answered more or less with “It’s coming up next season!”. Now the bar is set high. And, after a day of plushy-making classes and people buying last minute t-shirts and posters, Hayley Atwell closed the show with her eloquent Q and A. You can watch her Q&A here if you don’t mind the noisy kids in the background! 😉
Overall, it was a blast. When I think of Fanexpo, I am reminded of the atmosphere of genuine camaraderie among everyone involved, that rush you get when someone you’ve never met before strikes up the ‘Kirk vs. Picard’ or ‘Who’s Your Favourite Doctor?’ conversation. Before you get to the checkout, you’re best friends.