This past weekend (May 12-15th) while working for Acart Communications, I had the opportunity to attend the 5th annual Ottawa Comiccon in order to promote the new Starfleet Academy exhibit at the Canadian Aviation and Space MuseumCanadian Aviation and Space Museum. The weekend kick-started on Thursday night at the museum itself for a Star Trek themed Gala, which was a huge success and sold out within a week of ticket sales. The event featured themed performances and refreshments, as well as a visit and speech from William Shatner, the original Captain Kirk.
Now before I go any further, you must know that I knew nothing about Star Trek leading into this experience, nor much about the various cultures that I would bear witness to at comiccon. I’m not the type of person to drool over celebrities or become addicted to TV shows and purchase all paraphernalia that is associated – safe to say that after this weekend, I’ve mastered the art of adapting.
Starting with Friday, the press conference at Ottawa City Hall where I got to meet Mayor Jim Watson (again) and the Major of Calgary, along with several actors from Lord of The Rings, The Walking Dead, Rocky, even the Incredible Hulk. I also got to see some off the coolest costumes ever, and spoke with the creators about the process of building them. One gentleman built a machine using materials found at every day stores such as Home Depot and the dollar-store. My mind was beginning to expand as I was amazed at the handwork and dedication that went into these costumes. Another gentleman spent his entire summer putting together his Star Wars storm trooper suit.
Then we have Saturday and Sunday at the EY Centre for the event. Over 45,000 people attended, dressed in their best to represent their heroes, ready for pictures and to get their hands on the newest merchandise. My role was to engage consumers in our Star Trek booth, to get them to sit in our version of the Captains chair and snap a quick picture, free of charge.
If there’s anything I can take away from this experience, it’s that there is a niche for everyone and it’s incredibly important to have an open mind.