ConBravo!

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ConBravo!
ConBravo! Logo, on PANTONE 300C blue as per company guidelines.png
ConBravo! Logo
Status Active
Genre New media, gaming, anime
Date(s) July 18-20 2014
Venue Hamilton Convention Centre
Location(s) Ontario Hamilton, Ontario
Country Canada Canada
Inaugurated July 3-4 2010
Attendance 4042
Organized by TeamBravo! Inc.
Website
http://www.conbravo.com

ConBravo! is an annual fan-run new media, gaming, and anime convention held during July in Ontario, Canada since 2010. The convention was created as a multi-genre event which has given it much of its framework, but has since begun to tout its specialization in the aforementioned areas.[1]

It is notable for its web celebrity guest roster in 2011 and 2012,[2] including the first Canadian appearances of Doug Walker, Noah Antwiler, Angry Joe, Nathan Barnatt and the Angry Video Game Nerd James Rolfe.[3] Further, its 2012 show was the first time James Rolfe and Doug Walker appeared at a convention together,[4] revisiting an online rivalry which saw a boom in popularity for the latter. Paw Dugan and Elisa Hansen (Maven of the Eventide) were also surprise guests, added to the roster at the last minute.

Programming[edit]

Live Events[edit]

Quiz shows, game shows, and other live participation events are a staple of the convention. Many are run by the 404s and other external groups, with a number of slots reserved for staff-run games. Popular features include the Late Night 404s Improv Comedy Show, Geek Squares (similar to Hollywood Squares), Project Cosplay (a quickfire costume creation contest), and Live Action Mario Party(sponsored by Youmacon in Detroit), a fan recreation of the popular party game in live format.

Panels & Workshops[edit]

Includes discussions with guests; how-to sessions for costumers, video editors, podcasters, etc; fan sessions about popular media genres including specific brands and series'; craft workshops for puppetry and props.

Costume Events[edit]

The Masquerade runs over Saturday evening and is a major draw for costumers of all ages. It follows the guidelines of the International Costumers Guild and is divided into Novice, Journeyman, Artisan, and Master categories, with awards and prizes for showings in each. As well, there are hall cosplay awards which are given by floorwalking judges on the spot.

Outdoor Events[edit]

Largely played in the outdoor greenspace, these events include regular freeplay with boffer weapons (accompanied by tutorials on LARP and other associated activities), Troll Bowl (a competitive capture-the-flag boffer game), and Quidditch (hosted in 2012 by the Ryerson University quidditch team, a member of the International Quidditch Association). These events are held in an area called the Arena, overseen 2011-2012 by EPOCH Larp, and in 2013 by Underworld LARP.

Electronic Gaming[edit]

Includes freeplay and tournament gaming. Classic and retro gaming makes up a significant portion of programming, along with tournaments hosted by Toronto Top Tiers and the internal departmental staff. Typically there is a mixture of fighting games, shooters, and classic arcade challenges presented, with many competitions livestreamed.

Tabletop Gaming[edit]

Featuring card and board games like Munchkin and Settlers of Catan primarily, along with RPGs such as Pathfinder and Dungeons & Dragons, and TCGs like Yu-Gi-Oh and Magic: The Gathering. Includes regular freeplay and a number of competitive tracks, particularly for the Pokemon TCG.

Musical Events[edit]

Friday night features the Music Show where geek-themed artists perform from genres including chiptune and nerdcore. Saturday night features DanceBravo!, a dance open to all attendees of the convention hosted by Toronto local DJ Janos.

Autographs & Guest Walkabouts[edit]

Autograph signings are regularly available for most of the major guests and are routinely at no-extra cost. Attendees may get a maximum of 2 items signed for most sessions. Many of the guests also do a floor walk session, sometimes dressing up as their characters and filming sessions for their shows with fan participation while at the convention.

InVid Showcase[edit]

An indie video showcase run in collaboration with Channel Awesome,[5] InVid is set up as an open competition, accepting review shows, short films, effect demos, and AMVs for consideration. Selected videos are shown in a 20-slot run, with the top 3 being awarded special prizes including being featured at Channel Awesome's main outlet thatguywiththeglasses.com.

Event History[edit]

Dates Location Attendance Guests
July 3-4th 2010 Oakville Holiday Inn
Oakville, Ontario
350 [6] Robert Axelrod, Svetlana Chmakova, The 404s Geek Improv Comedy Troupe
July 30–31, 2011 Burlington Holiday Inn Hotel & Conference Centre
Burlington, Ontario
1200 [7] Doug Walker, Noah Antwiler, Angry Joe, Nathan Barnatt (as Keith Apicary), Mike Dodd, The Moonroses, Kudrel, Dawn McKechnie, Maral Agnerian, Ricky Dick, Dr. Holocaust, Syd Bolton, Featherweight, Mai Sheri
July 27–29, 2012 Burlington Holiday Inn Hotel & Conference Centre [8]
Burlington, Ontario
2331 [9] James Rolfe, Doug Walker, Noah Antwiler, Lewis Lovhaug, Lindsay Ellis, Todd Nathanson, Paw Dugan, Elisa Hansen, Mike Dodd, Joey DeSena, Danimal Cannon, Mega Ran, DJ DN3, Skrypnyk, Peter Chimaera, The 404s Geek Improv Comedy Troupe, Greg Pabich, Tom White, Dawn McKechnie, Maral Agnerian, Kudrel, Mai Sheri, Katie Shanahan, Dr. Holocaust, Derek the Bard, Featherweight
July 26–28, 2013 Hamilton Convention Centre
Hamilton, Ontario
2605 Mark Meer, Brentalfloss, James Portnow, Doug Walker, Mara Wilson, Pete Williams, Lewis "Linkara" Lovhaug, Leo "That SciFi Guy" Thompson, Justin "JewWario" Carmichael, Lindsay Ellis, Todd "in the Shadows" Nathanson, Kyle "Oancitizen" Kallgren, PawDugan, Elisa "Maven of the Eventide" Hansen, Rantasmo, Dan "FoldableHuman" Olson, Antonella "Nella!" Inserra, Mike Bennett, Dan Roth, Pat "The NES Punk" Contri, The Game Chasers, Joey "Roo" DeSena, Daniel "The Commodore" Cordaro, Norman "The Gaming Historian" Caruso, Jared “ProJared” Knabenbauer, Cast & Crew of "Space Janitors" (Helen Johns, Pat Thornton, Brendan Halloran, Scott Yamamura, Evany Rosen, Davin T. Lengyel, Geoff Lepaire, Andy Hull, and Glenn Macaulay), Valerie Lapomme & Guy Sideki ("Versus Valerie"), Petros Ioannou, 3killabytes (Jason Hooft, Mike Colangelo and Kat Jovey), Mike "The Birdman" Dodd, Derek Burrow, Tom White, Doctor Holocaust, Pete Williams, Peter Chimaera, Wordburglar, The World is Square, Super Guitar Bros., DJ Janos, James Ronald, DJ FINISH HIM, E-Bison, The 404s Geek Improv Comedy Troupe, Starpilot, The Blast Processors, Skrypnyk, Coins, Vitaly S. Alexius, Syd Bolton, MeltingMirror, Kudrel, Featherweight, Andrew Gregoire, Mai Sheri, Dawn "Kaijugal" McKechnie, Sarcasm-hime, Vickybunnyangel, Cats_Luna and WildRose (The MoonRoses), Luc "Card Master" Biron
July 18–20, 2014 Hamilton Convention Centre by Carmen's & Sheraton Hamilton Hotel
Hamilton, Ontario
4042 Jon "JonTron" Jafari, Shane of "DidYouKnowGaming", Satchell "SatchBag" Drakes, The Best Friends Zaibatsu (Matt, Pat, Woolie, and Liam all attending), Jonathan "Proton Jon" Wheeler, Emile “Chuggaaconroy” Rosales, Tim “NintendoCapriSun” Bishop, Bob Chipman, Gaijin Goombah, Pat "the NES Punk" Contri, The Game Chasers, Bill "AlphaOmegaSin" Arensberg, Shane Luis, Joey "Roo" DeSena, Daniel "The Commodore" Cordaro, Joe "Angry Joe" Vargas, Lewis "Linkara" Lovhaug, Nash Bozard, Leon Thomas, 3killabytes, Mike "Birdman" Dodd, Derek Burrow, Tom White, Petros L. Ioannou, Manda Whitney, "These Warriors Are Terrible", Benjamin Israel, Anthony "Antfish" Sardinha, Doctor Holocaust, Dj CUTMAN, Benjamin Briggs, Brent "brentalfloss" Black, Blast Processors, James Ronald, The 404s Geek Improv Comedy Troupe, Debs & Errol, Fandom Musicals, Magic Steve, Press Start 2 Play, DJ Janos, Katie Tiedrich, Andrew Gregoire, Featherweight, Vitaly S. Alexius, Ryan Consell, Kudrel, Detailed-Illusion
July 24-26, 2015 Hamilton Convention Centre by Carmen's & Sheraton Hamilton Hotel
Hamilton, Ontario
TBD Andre "Black Nerd" Meadows, Phelan "Phelous" Porteous, Allison "Obscurus Lupa" Pregler, Jared "ProJared" Knabenbauer, Paw Dugan, Maven of the Eventide

Facilities[edit]

2015[edit]

The 2015 show will return to the Hamilton Convention Centre by Carmen's, along with the Sheraton Hamilton Hotel. As with previous years, layout is expected to occupy all three floors of the Convention Centre, with the marketplace on the first floor, community panels on the second, and guest and live event content on the third. Additional space to be added will include a screening room. The Sheraton will again be dedicated to Tabletop Gaming and have its space dedicated to the convention, including its large 2nd floor ballroom and breakout rooms. Further support for photoshoots and meetups was announced at closing ceremonies, and will likely be via the outdoor terrace.

2014[edit]

The 2014 show was held at the Hamilton Convention Centre by Carmen's and the Sheraton Hamilton Hotel, connected to each other via skybridge. The show occupied all three floors of the Convention Centre, with the Marketplace consuming the entire first floor's Wentworth room. The second floor was dedicated to fan-run panels and workshops, including much of the cosplay programming. The third floor housed guest panels, electronic gaming, the geek sports arena (including the NERF war) on Saturday, concerts, and live shows. The outdoor terrace was dedicated largely to photoshoots and meetups. Tabletop Gaming was run by the former staff of Hammercon out of the Sheraton, including all of its Kings Court area, which also served as home to overnight programming. Both a Cosplay Recovery Zone and a Cosplay Cafe were available at various times within the Sheraton out if its Charlton and Ferguson rooms.

2013[edit]

The 2013 show was held at the Hamilton Convention Centre, attached to the Molson Canadian Studio, Hamilton Place theatre, and Copps Coliseum. The show occupied space on all three floors of the Convention Centre, with the Marketplace operating in 2/3rds of the first floor's large Wentworth room, the other 3rd being dedicated to Tabletop, Console & Arcade, and PC Gaming. Panels were held on the second floor in the HCC's breakout rooms, with guest sessions and other large events on the third floor in major ballrooms. An outdoor terrace also held geek sport-oriented programming such as Quidditch (in partnership with Ryerson University) and LARP-related events held by Underworld LARP and Epoch LARP.

2012[edit]

Returning to the Burlington Holiday Inn Hotel & Conference Centre, the convention took up the majority of its event space. Most of the larger programming items were run out of the second largest ballroom and Atrium, the latter being a new addition in 2012 to the official event space. Other panels and workshops were run on the first and second floors at the south end of the building in the conference rooms, with outdoor events in the greenspace located outside of the Atrium. The largest ballroom was again used as the Marketplace, with vendors and artists splitting the space. The greenspace was also reused for outdoor activities.

2011[edit]

ConBravo! moved to the Burlington Holiday Inn Hotel & Conference Centre, occupying 75% of its event space. Panels were held in a divided space alongside Tabletop Gaming, while Electronic Gaming was extended to run both days in its own dedicated space. Events were placed in the second largest ballroom, while the Marketplace was upgraded to four times its original size in the largest ballroom with locking doors. The outdoor greenspace available at the hotel was utilized for a series of outdoor events including a boffer arena and competitive capture-the-flag style games.

2010[edit]

The initial site was at the Holiday Inn (Oakville) on Argus Rd, located south of Sheridan College. It featured Events running out of the largest ballroom, with Tabletop and Electronic Gaming on the Sunday only, which took over half of the event space for that day. A dedicated coat check and volunteer office was available, as well as dedicated panel rooms in the hotel's breakout room area. The marketplace was run in the second largest ballroom as a dedicated space (lockable) which included a solarium (non-lockable) where some artists were set up.

Mascot[edit]

Connie Bravo is ConBravo!'s traditional mascot, a female adventurer with short red hair, clad in a blue-and-yellow convention shirt, leather jacket, black jeans, and red chucks. She was originally designed by the convention chair and has since been rendered by Katie Shanahan, a Toronto local artist and co-author of Silly Kingdom, former Giant Bomb artist Kat Smith, and Kyu-Bum Lee, animator and artist who has worked for YTV and Nelvana. For the 2012 show, she was officially portrayed by Jennifer Norman, a Toronto-local cosplayer.

Other Activities[edit]

ConBravo!'s key staff are responsible for several other affiliated shows, branded as "ConBravo! Presents". These include:

FanFare Geek Fest[edit]

A single-day event consisting of a Vendors Room, Gaming Area, and Events Area. The first iteration was held for free as a promotional event out of the Sheraton Hamilton Hotel. The second will be held at the International Plaza Hotel in Toronto, ON and feature much expanded facilities. Admission is $10.00 at the door, or $5.00 with a ConBravo! pass (weekend and days are accepted).

Super Audio Land[edit]

This is a concert series facilitated by ConBravo!, centring on music derived from videogames and similar fandom-related sources. The first iteration ran on May 16th at the El Mocambo Tavern in Toronto, ON, with the second at Lee's Palace on June 6th.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Scott Thompson Show July 20 Hour 3 (Approx 25:00 in)". AM900 CHML. Retrieved July 24, 2012. 
  2. ^ "ConBravo! brings together nerd culture in Burlington". Burlington Post. Retrieved July 24, 2012. 
  3. ^ "ConBravo Conference coming to Burlington". AM900 CHML. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Con Bravo 2012: Doug & James". Cinemassacre Productions, LLC. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Do you want your video featured on Channel Awesome?". Channel Awesome. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  6. ^ "ConBravo! 2010 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved July 24, 2012. 
  7. ^ "ConBravo! 2011 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved July 24, 2012. 
  8. ^ "ConBravo! brings together nerd culture in Burlington". InsideHalton. Retrieved July 24, 2012. 
  9. ^ "ConBravo! 2012 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved August 18, 2012.