Winnipeg’s inaugural Comiccon postponed until 2021 due to COVID-19

By Delaney O’Hara

Leatishia Arnaud, a digital media design student at Red River College, planned to the Winnipeg Comiccon scheduled from Oct. 30 to Nov. 1 this year.

Arnaud was not surprised when organizers postponed the event to late Oct. 2021 due to COVID-19. 

“It was good they cancelled this year…conventions get really jam-packed. I can’t imagine how awful it would’ve been if someone were sick,” said Arnaud.

This year’s Winnipeg Comiccon was supposed to replace Central Canada Comiccon, which shut down last year after over two decades of operations.

CapeFlow Productions, a Quebec based company responsible for hosting similar conventions in Ottawa and Montreal, expanded into Winnipeg to replace the previous convention.

“We were looking forward to bringing our brand of the Comiccon experience to Winnipeg for the first time this fall, so that makes the current situation especially difficult,” said co-founder of CapeFlow Productions Scott Péron in a news release about the postponement. 

The expected turnout at the inaugural event this year was about 9,000 people, according to Winnipeg Comiccon communications coordinator Julia Kedzierski.

Local artist Christopher Benson had a booth booked in the exhibit hall at this year’s Comiccon and praised the new organizers for their commitment.

“They wanted to assure everyone they were serious and wanted to meet our local artists, vendors or anyone else from the fan community,” said Benson. 

Benson said he saw the convention as an opportunity to share his work with new people.

“People who normally wouldn’t seek out your stuff would walk past and get interested…It was great exposure,” said Benson.

The artists selling at the convention are not the only ones who will be missing the exhibit hall this year. 

“I would more or less be going for the art; I love buying art and supporting local artists. The plan was to buy pieces so I could get them framed,” said Arnaud

This year artists are trying different methods to sell their art.

“Most artists I know are doing one of two things. They’re either focusing more on their online sales capabilities like Etsy or their own personal website stores. Or, they’re taking this whole year to focus on themselves and refine their booth for when shows open,” said Benson. 

Ivan Rendulic, a photographer who also had a booth at Comiccon, is one artist broadening his art.

“I’m working with new tools, perspectives and ideas, [to provide] new inspiration to push people’s minds in artistic ways, such as creating new cosplays, new designs and pushing themselves to new limits.”

Winnipeg Comiccon is just one of many local conventions to be forced into a hiatus by COVID-19 this year.