|Hal-Con Sci-Fi, Fantasy & Comic Convention|
|Venue||World Trade and Convention Centre|
|Location(s)||Halifax, Nova Scotia|
|Organized by||HAL-CON Sci-Fi Fantasy Association|
Hal-Con Sci-Fi, Fantasy & Comic Convention, commonly known as Hal-Con, was founded in the 1970s and revived in the 2010s. It is traditionally an annual weekend event held in Halifax, Nova Scotia in Atlantic Canada and held at the end of fall.
Originally showcasing comic books, games, science fiction/fantasy and film/television, and related popular arts, it has grown to encompass the full spectrum of geekdom, including Comic Books, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Gaming, Cyberpunk, Steampunk, Renaissance, Anime, Furry, Cyber goth, Cosplay, and anything else of the fantastical while still having enough appeal for even the most casual fan. The gathering includes entertainment for most tastes from music, stage show, and small social gaming circles, and the chance to rub elbows with the famous and infamous of geek pop-culture.
Hal-Con 2013 was held November 8th-10th, 2013 at the World Trade and Convention Centre, and was noted for overcrowding issues on Saturday which caused fire marshals to force the event to turn ticket holders away. Hal-Con offered attendees who had already purchased day passes the choice of trading their Saturday passes for Sunday passes, or receiving a full refund for their tickets.
Activities and Events
- Celebrity Q&A sessions
- Autograph and Photo Booths
- Guest Lectures
- Authors Readings
- Anime and Video Rooms
- Artist Alley
- Charity Auction
- Specialty Vendors
- Discussion Panels
- Masquerade Dance
- Costume Contest
- Dressing in Costume
- Gaming demonstrations, tournaments & play
Year Round Events
Hal-Con is active in the HRM community, promoting both the convention and Geek Culture. They hold events throughout the year leading up to the conventions. These events include BBQs, Nerd Themed Trivia, Game Days, Classic Movies, and even participates in Parades and Zombie Walks. As Hal-Con is a largely homegrown and unfunded event, the volunteers hold fund-raising events such as grocery bagging, and Laser Tag events at Alpha Strike.
Hal-Con is active in charity events. Each year they host a live charity auction at the convention as well as numerous silent auctions with profits going to the IWK Children's Hospital and Kids Help Phone.
Hal-Con, independently and with Let It Roll, Geeks Versus Nerds and Gelatinous Dudes, has participated in numerous charity fund-raising events with the funds going to local children groups, special needs camps, and Japan Disaster Relief.
The mascot is Nelson, a small purple alien (from the planet Teebius) named Nee who lives in, and operates, a robot shaped like the Halifax Town Clock. Nee plus the LSON (Liveable Space Operating Node) Robot make up Nelson. The mascot is seen at promotional material and appears at every event, wearing appropriate attire.
Since the introduction of the mascot costume Nelson had appeared in numerous parades, played Laser Tag, Avoided the undead in the zombie walk, and even ran a 10k marathon for charity.
Nelson can also be seen at the convention, multicultural festivals, Halfax's Comic Art Festival,
Hal-Con has a long history in Halifax, and was running annually for many years in the 1970s and 1980s. The old Hal-Con then disbanded leaving Halifax and the east coast of Canada largely without a geek culture event for their own.
In 2010 Hal-Con underwent a revival. The new Hal-Con took the meaning of the old convention, the want to bring like minded people together for fun, but did it under entirely new management and with a modern convention practices. The official organizing committee is made up of volunteers who want nothing more than to make a successful convention in Atlantic Canada.
|2010||October 29-31||Lord Nelson Hotel||Est. 2000||Walter Koenig, Denise Crosby, Kevin Murphy, Bill Corbett, Coner McCreery, Drakaina Muse, Kenneth Tam, Ajay Fry, Teddy Wilson, Matthew LeDrew, Ellen Curtis, Sandra Staple, Nina Munteanu, David Rhind||The first convention was well attended, with more people than expected coming through the doors. Actor and wrestler Robert Maillet was also in attendance during the convention. He spent the weekend signing autographs and posing for pictures with fans while enjoying the events at the convention.|
|2011||November 12-13||World Trade and Convention Centre||Est. 4700||Nicholas Brendon, Erin Gray, JG Hertzler, Robert Maillet, Steve Jackson (US game designer), Debbie Rochon, Faith Erin Hicks, Coner McCreery, Anthony Del Col, Drakaina Muse, Ajay Fry, Teddy Wilson, Matthew LeDrew, Ellen Curtis, Darren Hann, Chantal Boudreau, David Rhind, Fat Apollo||The venue expanded to nearly 30,000sqft and was two floors. Attendance more than doubled, despite the change to a 2-day format. The finalist in the Munchkin tournament will be playing their final match against Munchkin creator Steve Jackson (US game designer). The annual KAG Kanada Grand Assembly was hosted at Hal-Con.|
|2012||October 26-28||World Trade and Convention Centre||Est. 6000||John Rhys-Davies, René Auberjonois, Nicholas Briggs, Brian Downey, Manu Intiraymi, John Dunsworth, Richard Donat Ajay Fry, Debbie Rochon, Paul and Storm, Nerd Army, R. A. Salvatore, Geno Salvatore, Brandon Sanderson, Rachel Caine, Alex Bledsoe, C.S. Maccath, Matthew LeDrew, Ellen Curtis, David Rhind, Gail Simone, Steve McNiven, Darwyn Cooke, Conor McCreery, Nick Bradshaw, Larry Hama, Mark Oakley, Geof Isherwood, Francesco Francavilla, Ramón Pérez, Faith Erin Hicks, Mike Holmes, Tim Larade, Andrew Power, Hal Hilden, Joel Duggan, J.R. Faulkner, Jay Paulin, David Cullen, Drakaina Muse, Howard Nash, Fat Apollo||The venue expanded to a third floor and moved back to the 3 day format. Gaming aspect of convention is largest in the Maritimes. There was a concert and a small scale film festival. There was a renewal of wedding vows that was overseen by John Rhys-Davies.|
|2013||November 8-10||World Trade and Convention Centre||Est. n/a||Billy Dee Williams, Jewel Staite, Peter Davison, Garrett Wang, J. August Richards, David Nykl, Richard Hatch, Vic Mignogna, Ajay Fry, Robert Maillet, Pete Williams, Terry Brooks, Robert J. Sawyer, Shawna Romkey, Matthew LeDrew, Ellen Curtis, David Rhind, Julia Phillips Smith, Christopher Jones, Ty Templeton, Ian Boothby, Tom Fowler, Lar deSouza, Nick Bradshaw, Christopher Torres, Rob DenBleyker, Troy Little, Brenda Hickey, Kelly Tindall, Faith Erin Hicks, Peter Chiykowski, Joel Duggan, Hal Hilden, Robert Bailey, Danica Brine, Jay Paulin, Monte Cook, Wordburglar, Yaya Han, Drakaina Muse, Fat Apollo||The attendance surpassed 2012 numbers, but overcrowding led to the Office of the Fire Marshall to step in and shut down entry, trapping hundred of people and denying entry to hundreds more. Refunds were issued at that time. The cause was due to confusion of the daily passes as the passes themselves were not defined on which day they were for. |
- Wong, Julia (9 November 2013). "Long lines at Hal-Con leads to frustrations, refunds and an apology". Global News. Retrieved 11 November 2013.