Nova Scotia

CaperCon brings 'geek culture' celebrants to Sydney

Organizers are seeing attendance at a Cape Breton event "that celebrates geek culture" grow in leaps and bounds.

Anime, science fiction, fantasy, gaming and comic books will all be featured at the convention

Garth Lescaucron and Jenny Milligan of Mrs. Milligan's Millinery are featuring hats, haberdashery and costume accessories at CaperCon this weekend. (Joan Weeks/CBC)

A three-day event being held this weekend in Sydney is a celebration of geek culture, organizers say.

The second-annual CaperCon "is like taking Halloween to another level," co-founder Eoin Morrison said.

Anime, science fiction, fantasy, gaming and comic books will all be featured at the convention hosted by Cape Breton University.

"One of the biggest facets of this culture that people don't know about is cos play or costume role playing," said Morrison.

Marsha Reid and Hillary Ann of It's Tea Time Maid Cafe are in costume at this weekend's CaperCon. (Joan Weeks/CBC)

"People hand-make their own costumes based on their favourite character's genre, whether it be video games or comic books. Wait until you see some of the people that come either in full armour or people who just come in maybe their favourite T-shirt."

Event attendance climbing

Morrison said the event has grown beyond organizers' expectations. Even its first year, participation was almost 60 per cent higher than expected.

He's expecting somewhere between 1,000 and 1,500 people to attend this weekend, as well as dozens of businesses and artists from Eastern Canada to Toronto.

CaperCon gives a boost to local hotels and restaurants. Businesses that cater to "geek culture" also benefit, Morrison said.

NPC Games and Comics is one of those businesses. CaperCon brings its customer base to its doorstep, employee Vaughn MacDonald said.

"Before this, you know, we had to go to Halifax for the closest one and they were all across Canada, but we didn't have anything too, too close," he said.

Costume suppliers see sales rise

"So, you know even though it is starting out, it's getting bigger and bigger the last two years. It's wonderful that it's local."

Garth Lescaudron of Mrs. Milligan's Millinery in Bear River, N.S., is also participating in CaperCon. The company specializes in hats, haberdashery and costume accessories. 

"The costume world is growing," said Lescaudron. "These cons allow for a concentration of those types of people to be in one spot, so it's easier for us to bring our product forward."

The convention began Friday afternoon and continues until late Sunday.