Manitoba

Comic Con event in Winnipeg cancelled this year, organizer says

Latex suits and colourful capes will have to stay in the closet this year: the organizer of Winnipeg's Comic Con says the event will not go on this fall.

Central Canada Comic Con would have been held in October

Attendees pose in cosplay at Central Canada Comic Con in Winnipeg in 2017. (Wendy Buelow/CBC)

Latex suits and colourful capes will have to stay in the closet this year: the organizer of Winnipeg's Comic Con says the event will not go on this fall.

A post on the Central Canada Comic Con's Facebook page said the event, which would have taken place in October, will not go forward.

The post pointed to rising costs and a lack of local support over recent years, as well as a lack of space at the RBC Convention Centre on the dates needed.

"One of the hardest things I've had to do in the past 20 years is to write this post," organizer Michael Paille wrote on Facebook.

"The next hardest thing will be telling my 11-year-old and 14-year-old that there will not be a C4 [Central Canada Comic Con] this year."

The group is looking for a public or private sponsor to help shoulder the cost, said Kailyn Gregorash, chief operating officer for the group.

"A lot of other events our size usually have city funding of some sort, or at least sponsors of some sort, but we haven't been able to lock any on," she said.

An average of 70,000 people turn out to the event each year, she said.

Drew Fisher, president of the RBC Convention Centre, said the centre is disappointed it won't be able to host the event. He said the centre had tentatively secured dates at the end of October, but the event had to look at alternate dates and the space wasn't available.

"Bookings for 2019 are very strong with national and international conventions, especially in the last four months of the year," he said.

Gregorash said she wouldn't characterize it that way, adding the group had inquired about multiple weekends around that time.

Paille wrote he's been organizing the annual event in the city for 24 years. It started in an 800-square-foot hotel space, he said, before expanding to the convention centre.

The event's committee considered other options, including moving it to another city, she said. They looked as far afield as Regina, but with no success.

Organizers hope to bring the event back in 2020, Paille said.

"We made so many great memories and new friends," Paille wrote. "We all made this happen by working together and we have made so many people happy."

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