In 2019, Hal-Con hosted its largest event with the attendance of more than 16,000 people, but in 2020 the annual Halifax Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Gaming Convention moved online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year, the event was held in person once again, and although it was much smaller than previous years, attendees were excited for it to return.
READ MORE: COVID-19: NS enters Phase 5 ‘with a cautious approach’, keeping masks and demanding vaccination for some sectors
“There aren’t many opportunities to cosplay, so to put this part of your life on hiatus, it feels really good to be able to do it again,” said Dolan Hill, who has attended all Hal-Con since it started in 2010 at the Lord Nelson Hotel.
All attendees had to show proof of vaccination and wear masks, except in a few designated areas.
Though scaled down, this year’s event featured many of the fan favorites, including the annual costume contest. There were still plenty of guests, artists, and vendors, although the focus for 2021 was on local people.
“We always try to attract some local creators,” said Floyd Blaikie, Hal-Con’s chief marketing officer.
“To be able to focus on just that this year, I think it’s been really fantastic.”
For many of the vendors, Hal-Con is a great way to showcase their products and attract new customers. Jessica Shields is the artist behind ‘Work of Shields’ and she said having an emphasis on local has been helpful.
“I think it’s actually better,” Shields said.
“I know people weird big stars coming in, but not having them this year means more people are willing to pay local artists and businesses, so it’s been really cool.”
The New Reality: NS Food Producers Reach New Customers, But Will Interest Decrease After COVID-19?
‘Welcome to Halifax’ comic book creator Tim Carpenter said: “It’s great for local artists as well as people looking around who may not have encountered these people before.”
For others, it is a personal connection.
Konstantinos Manos is the co-founder of Vesuvius Media. which develops board games and online games. The company has been successful online, but Manos says he always likes to attend local conventions to talk to people, see everyone’s costumes, and interact with the public.
“When you see kids actually playing, it’s a different feeling than just making sales or presenting them online.”
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.