Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo
StatusActive
Genrecomic, pop culture
VenueStampede Park
Location(s)Calgary, Alberta
CountryCanada
Inaugurated2006
Attendance102,000 in 2015
Organized byCalgary Comic and Entertainment Expo (CCEE)
Websitewww.calgaryexpo.com

The Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo (also shortened to Calgary Expo or CalEx[1] ) is an annual comic and pop culture convention taking place on Calgary, Alberta. The show originally began in 2006 as a comic book convention, before moving on in 2009 to include actors from television shows and movies. Starting in 2006, the convention has quickly become the second largest convention in Canada.[2] The convention originally began in the BMO Centre before expanding in 2013 across the whole Stampede Park, and in 2014 additionally creating an extra tent for panels.

The convention has become famous for having reunited the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation for the shows 25th anniversary in 2012, and two years later, reuniting nearly the entire cast of Aliens. In addition, a cosplay parade, which begins at Eau Claire, and finishes at Olympic Plaza, which began in 2013 with over 400 participants, and continued in 2014 with 690.

In 2012, the convention was successful enough to spawn its own spinoff in Edmonton, titled the Edmonton Comic and Entertainment Expo[3] referred to as the Edmonton Expo for short. It uses a blue recolor of CalEx's red logo and is held in late-September.[4]

A second spinoff called the Saskatoon Comic and Entertainment Expo was also produced in 2014[5], also called Saskatoon Expo or Sask Expo for short. It uses a green recolor of CalEx's red logo and is held in mid-September.[6]

Programming

Doctor Who cosplayers pose with Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi during the 2014 Calgary Expo opening ceremony on Friday 25 April.

The convention offers an extensive range of panels that take place in favours different locations throughout the park. In addition to the exhibitors' hall taking place in BMO halls A-C, and celebrity autograph sessions taking place in D and E, multiple conference rooms throughout the BMO host smaller panels, with the Palomino hosting celebrity panels. Bigger names will often also have their panels in the Stampede Corral, and some also taking place in the Boyce Theatre. In addition to the regular panels which last 45 minutes, 2012 and 2014 included special, extended panels often labeled as "EXPOsed", which typically last from an hour to two hours long. These have ranged from concert-type panels to discussion panels.

Controversy

2012 overselling incident

In 2012, the convention had gotten even bigger, with the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation having been announced, and ticket sales skyrocketing. On Saturday of 2012, the venue had reached past the maximum capacity, with an estimated attendance having been projected as 45,000. The venue had blown past capacity, with the Fire Marshall having been called- at 1 PM, it was deemed safe for 100 people to be let in every 15 minutes. Many people were turned away and not let into the venue. Despite this, Expo staff had issued a statement claiming the convention was not oversold, and they hadn't been charged because no violations took place.[7]

A week later, the organizers issued a refund plan for people who were not let in.[8] In 2013, the organizers announced that to prevent a similar event from taking place, no onsite sales would take place.

2015 expulsion

CalEx made news relating to presence[9] and then eviction[10] of a booth. It also released statements on TwitterCalgary Expo [@Calgaryexpo] (17 April 2015). "We did not give GamerGate a booth. We're investigating the booth that is using that logo however" (Tweet). Retrieved 26 April 2015 – via Twitter. to people asking about the situation.

References

  1. ^ Behind Calgary Comic-Con’s Freeze-Out by Patrick Bissett of Daily Caller at 4:55PM on 22 April 2015:
    One of the most hotly anticipated events in the North American geek culture calendar took place this past weekend, with the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo (CalEx) attracting more than 100,000 people through its doors.
  2. ^ "Calgary Comic & Entertainment breaks records with outstanding 9th convention in Calgary, Alberta". Gay Calgary. 29 April 2014. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
  3. ^ Ramsay, Caley (28 September 2013). "Thousands drawn to Edmonton Expo for comic convention". Global News. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
  4. ^ The Edmonton Comic & Entertainment Expo retrieved 26 April 2015
  5. ^ past shows of SaskExpo
  6. ^ Saskatoon Comic and Entertainment Expo retrieved 26 April 2015
  7. ^ McCoy, Heath (27 April 2012). "Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo 2012 blows past capacity, turns people away". Calgary Herald. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
  8. ^ McMurray, Jenna (2 May 2012). "Refund plan set for packed comic expo". Calgary Sun. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
  9. ^ Rumours of #GamerGate booth at Calgary Expo have fans up in arms published 17 April 2015 by Metro News. Updated April 18 at 1:02pm
  10. ^ Booth evicted from Calgary Expo published 17 April 2015 by Stephen Hunt of the Calgary Herald. Updated April 19 at 7:52am MDT.