It’s almost Summer, and recently Summer has begun to mean only one thing… well, aside from the glorious thunderstorms… and that one thing is Ai-Kon. Winnipeg’s premier Anime and Japanese Culture convention is returning July 12th through 14th to the Winnipeg Convention Centre once again.
Ai-Kon is an event that I look forward to every year, and is fast becoming my favourite convention. It truly is unlike any other event I’ve attended, and sits on a perfect line between the larger more business-oriented conventions and the smaller fan-driven ones, offering some of the best of both.
Each year they attract a variety of voice actors to come and talk to fans – many of which come time and time again ’cause they just can’t get enough – and this year they’ve even managed to attract a representative of Funimation to do some industry panels. They also have local cosplayers, artists, writers, and others hosting panels on a variety of subjects such as making props or plushies, writing fanfic, etc. And, of course, it is an anime convention… so there are a wide variety of anime showings – plenty of opportunity to expose yourself to something new.
My personal favourite parts of the convention; however, are the contests and the cosplay. Winnipeg has some unbelievably passionate and talented cosplayers and they show up to this event in droves. Probably the most popular part of the event is the cosplay contest, which is always an awesome event… but I prefer the AMV contest. This year they’re apparently adding a third contest to the whole convention: they’ve recently announced that they’ll be holding a prop contest – sort of similar to the cosplay contest, but this one will be held in panel format where congoers can address questions to the creators of the weapons, armor, and other props that the cosplayers carry about. This is a fantastic idea since I’ve talked to quite a few people who excel at making props but don’t really like wearing costumes… so they either have to let one of their friends have all the glory or just not get any recognition at all. Having a contest where they can show of their wares without having to dress up will give them a lot more recognition, something I am all for.
Needless to say, I’m going to be at Ai-Kon camera in tow, and you can expect a post-show write up and more importantly lots and lots of cosplay pictures. But if you’re here in Winnipeg(or can make it here), I hope you take some time out of your busy schedule to come to this event… because it’s an event that is always worth attending, and I hope to see you all there.
For more information about Ai-Kon, you can view their website: http://www.ai-kon.org/