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'Find that sense of belonging': 100K turn out for Calgary Comics and Entertainment Expo

Calgary's Comics and Entertainment Expo saw more than 100,000 science fiction, supervillains, superheroes and comic book enthusiasts blast the doors off the BMO Centre for the 16th annual event.

Hundreds of vendors crammed inside the exhibition hall, selling merchandise and memorabilia, along with some celebrities taking pictures and signing autographs for the supportive fans.

“I just love seeing everyone's creativity and seeing the effort and their costume ship,” said expo fan Avalin Hamilton.

“It's really cool.”

Hamilton was dressed as Juliet Starling from Chainsaw Lollipop.

She along with her friends Matteo Fontana and Ivy Edwards say the event is their favourite in the city.

Cosplayers at the Calgary Comics and Entertainment Expo.

“I love seeing everybody here,” said Fontana.

“The environment is so grand you see these amazing cosplays and you get to meet your favorite voice actors. So I personally love it here.”

Organizers say 16,000 fans attended the parade down Stephen Avenue on Thursday.

The event competes with some of the biggest in the world.

“It’s based on passion,” said vice president of Fan Expo HQ, Andrew Moyes.

“You can't get this sort of energy and excitement through a digital medium. People want to see each other they want to celebrate the characters together and find that connection and find that sense of belonging too.”

Moyes adds that a successfully event keeps some businesses afloat.

“There are hundreds of retailers here, hundreds of artists to, that are bringing one of a kind, unique pieces that you can only get here at the expo and it’s a huge impact for those vendors,” said Moyes.

“A lot of local vendors. This is where they make their year”

For staff at Comic Traders, their booth is more around fan interaction, focusing much of their sales online.

After attending Megacon in Orlando, FL, the event in Calgary is even more special.

“This is important weekend for us because it's in our hometown,” said Steven Ferguson.

“We do comic cons all over the world, but doing the one in our hometown is a lot of fun.”

Fan Expo HQ says plans are underway for 2024 with tickets already on sale. Top Stories

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