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Connecting and collaborating at Hal-Con

Follow Warren as he details his experiences on his exciting trip to Hal-Con

If you’ve ever wanted a place where you could walk in wearing your entire Halloween costume and feel right at home, then Hal-Con was just that place on the weekend of Oct. 27 to Oct. 29.

When I entered, I walked into a kaleidoscope of colours and immersed myself in a world that belongs to the dreamers. Hal-Con 2023 was an experience that transported me into a whole new universe. 

“Hal-Con is an opportunity for everyone to kind of just be themselves and it is in an environment that is extremely supportive of that,” said Ken Rutley. 

Making memories and standing out was the order of the day, with cosplayers both young and old filling the Halifax Convention Center. Each floor opened up into a unique atmosphere. Whether it was  checking in, vying for a title, perusing merch or gaming, each aspect of the event was truly an experience. The highlights included board games, tabletop role-playing games and virtual reality.

“It took me [from] June till late last night to complete my cosplay,” said Charlie, who cosplayed as the Star Butterfly. 

Some costumes took over six months to put together, while others started work right after Hal-Con 2022. Impressively, it took Ace almost three days to work on each of their wings with the help of their girlfriend. 

A sense of community shone through at the event, as cosplayers not only carried their own outfits down to the judging arena but also helped others. Acting as much more than a networking event, Hal-Con is like a family gathering where you meet your entire family.

Eric Miller has been bringing his daughter to Hal-Con since she was two. Now six, she stole the show dressed as Flareon from Pokemon. 

“I like making costumes,” said Miller. “It’s fun to come and see what other people have done and get ideas for next year.”

He adds that people are super helpful with picking up pieces his daughter drops and returning them. 

Cosplayers from across the province and other parts of Canada came together not only to attend the event and support each other but also to be a part of the phenomenon that is Hal-Con! The sheer talent, dedication and attention to detail demonstrated by the cosplayers could be seen not just in the costumes but also in the knick-knacks in the stalls. 

Putting together elaborate costumes comprising of wings, hoods and capes, the Halifax Convention Center saw enthusiasts both young and old put on a show. Each costume left my jaw on the floor. 

The spirit of community was on full display as artists helped each other with makeup and final wig touch-ups. Lattice intricate wings, mushroom tops and filigreed swords were on most vision boards, and they executed with extra credits too! Glee and sheer joy were washed across everyone’s face. 

I got a first-hand look at the making of sci-fi and fantasy content and was mesmerized by a quick art booth. With merch inspired by everything from Sailor Moon to Pokémon. The vendor market was brimming with euphoria. Chants and cheers echoed through the hallways as patrons got autographs and took pictures in the photo booths located throughout the venue.

The classic Nova Scotia weather had nothing on the more than 4,000 people who came dressed in costume, dampening nobody’s spirits, including the family members, friends, well-wishers and comic book enthusiasts.

Gotta catch them all in action? Well, do not forget to mark your calendar for Nov. 8- Nov. 10, 2024 for Hal-Con 2024.

  

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