This year was my 5th year (if I remember correctly) working as part of the AE staff force. There was quite a big surprise announced to the staff members with just a little over a month before the scheduled dates of AE. This was: a change in location of the convention to UBC from SFU.
I’m most likely not authorized to disclose any further information other than that. Actually, I don’t really know much to begin with. But, let’s just say that in the end the convention still happened on the scheduled dates. It was just held at a different location than previously advertised.
I was a staff working at the Artist Alley, so unsurprisingly I stayed in that area the most during the convention. It’s definitely a change from what I was used to seeing up at SFU. Because of the change of location, the space we originally reserved for the artists at the Artist Alley was changed drastically. We almost gave everyone a heart attack when the AA dept told the artists that we might have to cut the numbers because of the smaller space. But in the end, everything was able to work out.
A popular area for photoshoot meetups. KHReborn meetup in progress.
The entire convention layout was split into three buildings that were placed a bit far from each other. I know some of the congoers didn’t get to the far building because it was a bit hard to find and very much out of the way. Most congoers only stayed in the main building (where AA was), and the Dealers’ Hall (which was in another building). In the middle of these three buildings, there was a huge space where the congoers congregated most of the time. Most photographers lingered here where they can look out for most cosplayers.
Because of the new location, many people didn’ t know where to find food. People who go to UBC on a regular basis told me that the nearest food source would be a good long walk away from the main convention building. That piece of information deterred me from actually going to the place they’ve mentioned. There were food places at the main con building. However, because it’s the only nearest place for food, it’s almost always filled with people. Also, they close early during the weekends.
BUT! I was able to chance upon a quaint little cafe not too far away from the main building! This is what I had for one of my meals with my friend:
People anticipated that weekend to be a rain-filled weekend. However, we lucked out and got two days of no rain. It rained on the last day in the morning, but it stopped around noon. So, I think we were pretty lucky for the most part of the convention!
I usually don’t stay long in contests at conventions because I can’t sit still long enough to watch the entire show. But this year, I was suddenly pulled from my staffing duties to help out at the cosplay contest. There was some miscommunication and the contest staff were not able to receive notification in time about one of the judges not being able to make it to the convention. So, as a last minute decision, I was recommended as a backup judge. The decision was made by the other two judges (the two lovely ladies from ohSNAP), and Clara, the head staff in charge of the contest. Clara and I once ran the contest together a few years back so we knew each other from then. I was introduced as a prop maker so to make me seem more qualified as a judge (..?) Anyways, this year the entries in the contest were quite entertaining. You can view some of the entries on YouTube. The ones I enjoyed the most would be the Yagami Light skit. That one was one of the more creative skits I’ve ever seen. We also got to see some nicely choreographed kung-fu sequence by the Avatar group.
The final word
In all, AE this year was interesting to say the least. A lot of “firsts” happened for me. Helping out at AA made me tired for the rest of the day since the staff have to be ready at their stations at an early hour. It also limited me to not being able to look around the convention as much. But that comes with being part of the staff. Sometimes things come up and you just have to deal with it.
Here’s what my team that I’ve worked with that weekend has to say about me:
Here’s our AA map, done by the different artists at AA.
Click here for a close-up picture.