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Island FanCon brings pop-culture celebration to Langford

Island FanCon brings pop-culture celebration to Langford

Walking around in dramatic face paint and furs, Murray Griessel was just one of the many people in costume at Langford’s City Centre Park on Saturday.

“It’s great having a local con here,” he said, surrounded by half a dozen friends in similar Viking gear at the inaugural edition of Island FanCon, a two-day celebration of entertainment and pop culture.

Griessel, who has travelled as far as Portland, Oregon, to attend similar events, said it was great to be able to walk to a convention for once.

Both arenas at City Centre Park were converted into a temporary exhibition centre where celebrities and cosplayers intermingled with families going through the merchandise and experiences on offer.

On Saturday, Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, the Icelandic strongman best known for his role in Game of Thrones, towered over attendees in a signing booth.

UFC Hall of Famer Forrest Griffin took questions from an audience curious about his fighting career.

Perry Krogfoss, who attended Island FanCon from Kelowna, said he’s surprised by the amount of foot traffic for a Langford event. “The marketing that they’ve done has been really, really good.”

A former Victoria resident, Krogfoss said he was pleasantly surprised by Langford’s growth in the past two decades.

Krogfoss, who helps run an anime-related store in Kelowna, said there would be only two locations where a store like his could thrive on Vancouver Island previously — Nanaimo’s Woodgrove Centre mall and downtown Victoria.

But after seeing Island FanCon, he’s considering Langford as a possible expansion location.

Event organizer Lonnie Eckardt said he’s expecting 3,000 attendees over the weekend. “I’ve already got people asking how to sign up for next year.”

Eckardt is hoping to return next year for an even “bigger and better” convention.

“The City of Langford has been amazing to work with … if we’re having this in Langford, this is the location.”

The capital region’s other comicon event, the Capital City Comic Con in Victoria, has been on hiatus since 2023.

Island FanCon brings pop-culture celebration to Langford – Victoria Times Colonist

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