You’ve heard of San Diego Comic-Con, and C2E2, and Dragon*Con, and several other major conventions of their type. But you might not, however, have heard of a con which has quietly become the sixth largest such gathering of comic book and entertainment fans in North America. Last year, in only its seventh year in existence, it managed to get the entire original bridge crew from Star Trek: The Next Generation, something no other convention had been able to do. This year, it will feature a huge assortment of amazing guests, some of them making their very first con appearance.
It’s the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo. Last year, the Calgary Expo, held at the BMO Centre in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, welcomed 60,000 attendees to its three-day event; this year, the convention will be held April 26-28th and, judging by the list of guests, it could get even larger.
The Expo will see a reunion of the Torchwood: Children of Earth team (and arguably the best team on the show): Gareth David-Lloyd (Ianto Jones), Eve Myles (Gwen Cooper), and John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness). I know quite a few Doctor Who fans who came to that show via Torchwood, as it was the one broadcast on BBC America first, so this is surely a dream come true for fans of that series. (Torchies? Woodies? What’s the name for a group of Torchwood fans?)
For fans of Doctor Who, and The Hobbit, for that matter, the Seventh Doctor/Radagast himself, Sylvester McCoy, will be there. He owned the main hall at Gallifrey One a few weeks back, so one can only imagine what he’d do with 60,000+ looking on.
Not a fan of the Whoniverse? The Calgary Expo has plenty of other sci-fi/fantasy guests. Making his very first convention appearance, Game of Thrones‘ Peter Dinklage will be at the con, as will his co-star Lena Headey. The Lord of the Rings‘s Gimli, John Rhys-Davies, will be there as well, hopefully with beard extensions. And Star Wars fans will have a lot to celebrate as Carrie Fisher (Princess effin’ Leia!) and Ian McDiarmid (The Emperor) will both be in attendance.
Other guests include director John Carpenter, Stan “The Man” Lee, The Princess Bride‘s Cary Elwes and Chris Sarandon, Gillian Anderson, and two of the voices from Invader Zim, Richard Horvitz and Rikki Simons. And to top it off, “Weird Al” Yankovic will be performing nearby (cost separate from convention entry fee).
The three-day price is CA$55.00 (roughly $53.50 American) which is pretty good for all of those people. For more information, check out Calgary Expo’s website. If you can get yourself to Alberta, you’ll have plenty to do.