Feb 132011

After last year’s “step up” in location for AE being held at the Vancouver Convention Centre, this year AE moved back to the campus of UBC (University of British Columbia). Whatever the reason, it was quite the “step down” in most people’s eyes in comparison to last year’s location. However, as a local convention, many attendees and fans still attended and supported the convention held at UBC.

I think all attendees would remember 2010 AE by the weather that weekend… as it was insanely hot. Apparently, it was the hottest weekend of the entire month as Vancouver was hit by a heat wave that weekend. Just, that weekend. Such is our bad luck. Not to mention that the Friday of the weekend was the 13th (wonder if that had to do with anything…). But I digress, despite many unfortunate mishaps throughout the weekend, many attendees still braved it as did cosplayers alike. Ventilation was a bit iffy in places, especially Dealer’s Hall since air conditioning hardly worked in that building (that was meant for a gym). Dealers that had to stay in the building the entire day had to keep themselves hydrated constantly and kept themselves as cool as they could with hand-held or make-shift fans as electric fans and air conditioning was but a distant dream.

The only place where I found air conditioning running, was in the basement of the Student Union Building. Fortunately, there were food options down there you can choose from and chill while replenishing yourself. I opted for the Bubble Tea store. I deemed it my best choice I made all weekend. I don’t doubt that they made a fortune from many of the attendees that weekend, what with the weather as well.

Artist Alley
Inside the Student Union Building was also where the Artist Alley located. AE had always been fortunate to have many artists attend the event, this year was no exception. As there were quite a big number of artists displaying their wares, AE decided to split up Artist Alley into several rooms. It was a bit tricky to maneuver my way throughout the rooms as they were slightly cramped and warm from the amount of people (+weather) in the room. However, it was still nice to see that there were so many artists in attendance! Not to mention that many of their wares and artworks were quite high quality. AE’s Artist Alley have always been one of my favourite haunts of the convention every year.

The Worse Cosplay Contest
This was the only panel I attended all weekend, and I’m very glad I did! Hosted by Valdrien, Weatherstone, and Becky, the contest was a very enjoyable one to sit through. Valdrien especially, was quite the humorous hostess I’ve ever had the pleasure of sitting through. Basically, the premise for the contest was to have contestants battle out with each other until the winner remains. Such winner means that they indeed, truly, have the worst cosplay amongst all contestants.

Of course, none of it was meant to be offending and was all done in good humour. Hopefully, we would see this contest happen again as it is quite entertaining to watch. Also, having the same hosts would also be delightful.

AE2010 had its ups and downs. Most would probably say it’s bad while some still appreciated it. At the time of writing this report, I have encountered an E-mail sent out officially from the AE committee claiming that AE will not be officially occurring in 2011. Due to financial and planning problems it seems. It is sad to see a local convention go like this. It’s a fun event for most local attendees to enjoy and look forward to in the summer. Some that are able to leave the country are able to attend other conventions. However, for those that do not have this luxury would be sad to see something they look forward to every year not happening. As a commentator, I hope Vancouver would once again have a local convention. Perhaps it would be educational to learn from other local conventions (such as Sakura-con in Seattle, WA) as to how they managed to run their conventions from a small event to a big annual one that is able to invite guests from Japan. I remember in 2007, AE managed to invite Back-On as their musical guest. That was surely something to remember. I hope this would happen once again in the future.

I didn’t take any pictures at AE2010 as I was literally dying half the time at the convention from the heat. I had next to no motivation to take any pictures whatsoever. Therefore, I’m going to borrow a picture a friend took of me that weekend:

(Photo by Yuushiron)
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