Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo (Calgary Expo) is an annual festival of all things pop culture including comics, sci-fi, gaming, anime, and horror, fantasy, and more. Since 2006, the convention has grown to welcome over 97,000 attendees annually and one of Canada’s biggest events, ever! Calgary Expo is Canada’s largest independent pop culture convention.
News on programming and special guest announcements are released each week leading up the big show in April. So far, Calgary Expo has announced the following special guests: Norman Reedus (“Daryl Dixon”, AMC’s The Walking Dead), Lana Parilla (“Regina”/”The Evil Queen”, Once Upon a Time), Ming-Na Wen (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., ER, Mulan) and Stephen Amell (Arrow, The Flash, Heartland), Robin Lord Taylor (“Penguin”, Gotham), Kristy Swanson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer – film “Buffy”), Luke Perry (Buffy the Vampire Slayer - film, Beverly Hills 90210), Kristin Bauer Van Straten (True Blood), and Tom Kenny (voice actor best known as the voice of “Spongebob Squarepants”). Creator guests include Fernando Ruiz (Archie Comics) and Bob Layton (Iron Man).
In the very first year, just 3,000 individual people attended the show, and it became an instant hit – doubling almost every year as it grew. In 2015, Calgary Expo will celebrate its 10th anniversary and expects to welcome over 100,000 people over four days. Many attendees decide to dress up for the event, either in full cosplay (‘costume play’ – dressing up as a character) or just by wearing their favourite superhero t-shirt. Anything goes! Calgary Expo has guidelines for costumes (height, size, materials, etc.) on calgaryexpo.com.
Who is it for?
Calgary Expo welcomes people of all ages – adults, families, kids – to celebrate what makes them ‘nerdy’. There is so much to do at Calgary Expo; guests can browse hundreds of vendor booths and exhibits, attend workshops and panels featuring iconic artists and stars, meet their heroes for a photo or autograph, and pick up a custom drawing from their favourite artist. Almost every interest is represented. There is even a newly added ‘Kids Zone’!
The Calgary Expo has always been hosted on the Stampede Grounds, in the heart of Calgary. The event has grown from an one-day event in a single hall to take over almost the entire grounds for a four-day festival of all things geek! Maps and layouts change each year to accommodate crowds, so best to check CalgaryExpo.com for current maps each year.