From January 16 to 17, the region held its fourth KW Tri-Con at THEMUSEUM in downtown Kitchener.
The convention featured a pleasant array of magic shows, panels for gaming, do it yourself tips and tricks, anime and comics, as well as a comfortable selection of designers, visual artists and vendors of other novelty items. All in attendance enjoyed the niche market opportunities that Tri-Con offered. A wide range of participants from 10 to 50-years old came from all over the area to enjoy the casual, less-congested atmosphere and to learn more about the geek/nerd community and to share in the excitement of their hobbies.
THEMUSEUM offered a unique venue for such a convention, and many con-goers interacted with the permanent exhibits and toys in the building.
“I think it is because I love being in THEMUSEUM, I think it’s a great venue for a convention because there’s so much stuff to play with,” said a local high school student.
— THEMUSEUM (@THEMUSEUM) January 17, 2016
“There’s plenty to do,” said Niq van der AaI, a Canadian cosplayer known as Detailed Illusion. “I saw people sitting down on a bed of nails … There’s a lot around so even if it is a smaller convention by convention standards there’s a lot to do here and I think that makes it really different.”
KW Tri-Con’s location mixed with its smaller attendance makes it the perfect convention to experience the community many may lose sight of when attending bigger conventions such as Anime North, the largest fan-run convention in Ontario.
“At Anime North everyone’s in a rush,” said another participant. “They don’t bother stopping you and then here people will just walk by and [say] ‘oh that’s really cool! You look really good!’ and it’s really nice.”
Costumes make up an important part of the anime, gaming and comics community. Known as cosplay, it is a form of dressing up as a character from a TV show, movie, video came or comic. Cosplays are distinguished from regular costumes for their complexity and attention to detail. Many cosplays are handmade and may include prosthetics, body paint or armour to achieve the character’s look. As one cosplayer put it: “Halloween has always been my favourite holiday and if I can dress up more than once a year … perfect.”
KW Tri-Con was a pleasant first for many, whether they be vendors or attendees.
The unique atmosphere and variety of things to do both within THEMUSEUM and the activities planned around it made for an enjoyable glimpse of the passionate community behind it.
“Everyone here is fantastic. We have such a great group of people and such a safe space for anyone and it’s so accepting,” said an attendee.
“We all have something in common so it brings everyone together.”