Edmonton Entertainment Expo Exceeds Every Expectation

I’m sitting in the Edmonton airport, waiting to fly back to my home in Kelowna, our new home as of a week ago! It has been an October for the books: my last day at the job I held for twelve years was the last day of September, then my wife and I spent two weeks packing everything we own into a U-Haul, which we drove across the mountains on the 14th to start my new job on the 15th!

So when the Edmonton Expo was announced last August, our reaction was what you’d expect. As long as what you’d expect involves broken, furious weeping, gnashing of teeth and pulling-at of our hair.

But how could we not attend? Since the first year of the Calgary Expo, we knew two things: first, that the Expo team can put on a mind-numbingly good show, and second, that the city needed and wanted a good show very badly. We don’t know Edmonton very well but we could only assume that Edmontonians like fun.

(What Edmontonians don’t seem to like are Starbucks that are open at 8:30 on a Sunday morning, about which we shall have words, Edmonton.)

To be honest, a lot of the Edmontonians I talked to had already made the trip down to the Calgary show in previous years anyway, so it was not particularly different for them. Briefly I worried that they’d all bought Doctor Who and Firefly magnets already, but no, they did fine. Big thanks to everyone who came by my table, and apologies to everyone who came by my table after they were sold out; I will print more, and they’ll be available here once I do, and one of them will be River Song because no matter how often I explain that she’s a terrible Mary Sue character who can do everything in a show that’s already about a character who can do everything, you keep asking for her so all right already.

It was a smaller show–over 17,000, Tony announced–but that was nice. It didn’t have the people-crush and the logistic snags that Calgary gets as the natural consequence of growing so much every year. There were lots of people but you could still see the floor. It was as if the people in charge of running the Calgary Zoo had been asked to put on a charity llama-petting event in the Wal-Mart parking lot over the weekend: some hurt feelings and a lot of spitting but not, overall, a real challenge for anyone.

I bought my table for next year; we always buy our tables at the previous year’s event. No reason not to! We always go. If the Calgary Expo team held a convention in the irrigation drainage system of South Septic Colon, Alberta, I would go to it.

And it would be a damn good show.

Here’s a time-lapse video I shot by strapping my GoPro to the top of my magnet rack and shooting a still every ten seconds. Then I took each 11-megapixel frame and wodged them together into one video which was lots of fun for me but which my MacBook Pro didn’t seem to appreciate all that much.