Halloween is over, but that does not mean that people stop wearing costumes — at least for those who attended the Hal-Con Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Comic Convention this past weekend.
From Friday to Sunday, geeks and nerds alike flocked to the World Trade and Convention Centre and the stadium floor of the Scotiabank Centre for the event. Attendance has grown from around 1,500 in 2010 to an estimated 8,500 this year.
The Signal talked to a few costumed people over the weekend about their experience. Here’s what they had to say.
This was Mann’s third year attending Hal-Con. The 20-year-old music major from St. Francis Xavier University cosplayed as Asami Sato from Avatar: The Legend of Korra. She bought the costume online, “from somewhere in China.”
“I was driving up from Antigonish and we stopped at Tim Hortons,” Mann said. “I went to go use the bathroom and I got in and was like, ‘Oh wait, I’m in a weird costume.’ People started looking at me and I was like ‘you know what? I’m just going to work it.’”
Ryan is a 20-year-old music student at Dalhousie University who made her costume over a four-month period. This was her fourth year at Hal-Con.
“Dressing up is fun,” Ryan said. “Getting looks from creepy people in the streets is also weird, but fun.”
Morash, 28, works as an audio engineer. He was dressed as Robin from the Arkham Knight game series, a costume that took a month to complete. This was his fourth time at Hal-Con.
“I love cosplay and I love Hal-Con … this is kind of like my Christmas and my birthday combined,” Morash said. His favourite thing, other than the cosplayers, is “the love that everyone has for each other, whether they’re in a cosplay, a vendor or a performer. Everyone’s kind of on the same page, usually, so it’s pretty great.”
Seaboyer is a 21-year-old who describes herself as a “poor arts student.” Her cosplay, Undyne the Undying from Undertale, was made for academic purposes and took over 200 hours to complete. This was her second time at Hal-Con.
“I love having the opportunity to dress up as someone I’m not normally, and having that escape to someone else’s reality,” Seaboyer said. Her favourite part about Hal-Con is “dressing up in a project that’s taken so long, being able to wear it and have people be excited about it. It becomes a reality and it makes you appreciate what you’ve done.”
Hallahan, 38, works as an animator and cosplayed as Junkrat from Overwatch for her first Hal-Con. The costume took a month to complete.
“I love that everyone is just having so much fun together,” she said. “It’s just a great place to nerd out and have fun.”
Brown is a high school student who cosplayed as an original character. This was her second time attending Hal-Con and her costume took two months to make.
“My dad’s with me,” she said. “I made his costume too; he’s one of the knights of hell.”
Aucoin, 46, is a computer programmer who cosplayed as a warrior from World of Warcraft in a costume he bought. It was his second time at Hal-Con.
“I love the atmosphere and I love the geeks. My daughter loves it too, (so) this is kind of our thing,” Aucoin said. “We missed last year which was bad; we regret that, but we’ll be coming every year.”
Batson is 66 years old and retired. He borrowed his Gandalf costume from a friend, as this was his first time attending Hal-Con.
“(I’m) coming from my son and daughter-in-law’s wedding. We just had it two hours ago, on the eighth floor of the convention centre,” he said. “It was my son and daughter-in-law’s idea to have Patrick Fulgenciotheir wedding at Hal-Con.”
Mailman was one of Hal-Con’s costume cosplay guests this year and it was her second time attending the event. The 23-year-old makes pizzas when she’s not making costumes. Her costume of a paladin from World of Warcraft took two months to complete.
“I come to wear my costume to show people, but I also come for the community; I find that the community here is so accepting of everything we do. We don’t have this community outside of this convention and it’s just nice to come here for that community, specifically.”
Cruickshank is a 45-year-old master craftsman at a crystal factory. His costume took four months to complete and this was his third time at Hal-Con.
“We do it for the smiles; we do it for the kids.”