Wai-Con

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Wai-Con
Waiconlogo2.png
Status Active
Venue Perth Convention Exhibition Centre
Location(s) Perth, Western Australia
Country Australia
Attendance 5027 in 2014
Organized by Perth Anime Convention Incorporated
Website
http://www.wai-con.org

Wai-Con is an annual anime convention held in Perth, Western Australia. The convention is held over two days and aims to promote Japanese culture (especially anime and manga) to the general community. Wai-Con was created by and is run by the non-profit incorporation Perth Anime Convention (PAniC).

Programming[edit]

A variety of events are run at Wai-Con, including:

  • Several rooms set up for Anime screenings
  • Panels on a wide variety of topics, related directly and indirectly to the target audience's interests
  • Traders, selling relevant goods
  • Two Cosplay competitions (one per day)
  • Anime Music Video competitions
  • Art competitions
  • Videogame competitions
  • Trading Card Game tournaments
  • Card Trading
  • Cosplay Photos taken

History[edit]

In September 2003, a group of fans and representatives from the three major Perth anime clubs assembled to create the beginnings of the first convention under the working title "WestCon". As the idea developed and PAniC became incorporated, the Wai-Con name was formally adopted. While the prefix of WAI was never officially given a meaning, fans have come up with their own interpretations such as "Western Anime Insanity" or "Western Anime Invasion". Unofficially, it was chosen to pay homage to the Japanese shout of joy.

On the 11th-12 December 2004 at the Arts precinct of the University of Western Australia, the first Wai-Con was held. Fans were treated to a two-day cosplay competition, artwork displays, many traders selling Japanese goods, anime music videos, as well as the latest anime screenings. Over two days approximately 400 people visited the convention, greatly exceeding the expectations of the organisers.

Due to renovations at the previous location, Wai-Con 2005 was held at the Economics/Commerce/Law (ECL) precinct of Murdoch University on the 10th-11 December. New events at Wai-Con 2005 were the introduction of videogames to the roster, as well as the anime game show "PANIC Button". Approximately 700 people turned out over the entire weekend.

After the sharp increase in attendance the previous year, Wai-Con 2006 left the university venues and was held at Arena Joondalup on the 9th-10 December. Wai-Con 06 added new con-day entertainment such as the Sumo suits and martial arts demonstrations, and introduced the Fund-raising Auction as part of the Closing Ceremony. This was also the first year an Official Theme was introduced, which was Space Cadets . Perhaps owing to the venue being more remote from the city centre, Wai-Con 06 boasted only a moderate increase in numbers, with official attendance figures at 850 people.

Bowing to the combined pressure from fans and traders for a closer venue, Wai-Con 2007 was held at the Perth Convention Exhibition Centre on the 15th-16 December with a theme of Spies. Official estimates for Wai-con 07 gave a total weekend attendance of over 1600 people, almost double the attendance in 2006. Over 450 people waited in line for the con to open on Saturday morning, and a total of approximately 1200 people had stepped through at day's end. Sunday saw an estimated total of 1000.

Throughout 2007, PAniC polled their members in a general survey. One of the questions asked members what month they preferred to have the convention. One of the reasons was due to the organisational issues involved for holding a convention in the December period. The outcome of the survey resulted in the decision to move the convention from December to January, and no convention being held in 2008. The next convention would then be held in January 2009.[1]

On the weekend of 31 January, Wai-con 2009 was held. The theme for that year was Steampunk. Due to the efforts of the committee in promoting the convention, the attendance rose to 3190[2] people, an almost 100% increase from the previous year. This marked increase in attendance showed, with massive lines at the entrance before the con opened, and the vendors' hall and the main theatre being filled to the hired capacity.[3]

The 2010 convention was held on the 23rd and 24 January. The theme was Angels and Demons, and a total of 3442 people attended the convention over two days. The convention was marked by a performance from seven members of the Eminence Symphony Orchestra, an anime and videogame themed orchestra. Eminence also brought with them Yasunori Mitsuda, a videogame composer famous for his work on such titles as Chrono Trigger, and several of his pieces were played during the concert.

Following the tradition, Wai-Con 2011 was held again on the final weekend of January. The theme for that year was "Sports". The convention saw a modest increase of 237 patrons, bringing the grand total to 3679 attendees. This convention marked the first voice actor appearances for Wai-Con bringing over international guests, Spike Spencer and Donna Burke. Both of these two guests have voiced in numerous anime and video games and were well received by the attendees.

On January 28th and 29th, PAniC held the 8th annual Wai-Con. The theme for this year was 'Invasion'. Once again, the convention saw a modest increase of attendees, reaching the highest number yet of 3750. Wai-Con 2012 brought back the Saturday night event, with comedian John Robertson performing "Dragon Punch Turbo". Along with John, international artist, Kelly 'Coelasquid' Turnbull, came to Wai-Con to show her work and run panels about the comic book industry.

In 2013, on February 2nd and 3rd, Wai-Con returns for its 9th convention. The theme for this year's Wai-Con is 'Circuit'. Due to Australia Day being the last weekend in January, Wai-Con was moved to the first weekend in February. Due to increase attendance, Wai-Con has moved the traders hall from the foyer into Pavilion 1 in the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre.

In 2013 Wai-Con achieved its greatest attendance to date with 4109 people at the convention over the weekend.

2014 was Wai-Con's big 10 year anniversary and a record-breaking 5027 people attended. Changes were made to the policy regarding minor's, getting rid of the need for permission slips. Despite some setbacks with their guests, Wai-Con welcomed Bryce Papenbrook and Tiffany Grant as their special guests.

Event History[edit]

Year Dates Venue Theme President Attendance Guests
2004 11th-12 December University of WA Journey to the West Justin Bairstow 400
2005 10th-11 December Murdoch University Fantasy Wade Allen 700
2006 9th-10 December Arena Joondalup Space Cadets Trina Tan 850
2007 15th-16 December Perth Convention Exhibition Centre Spies Hew Tromans 1700
2009 31 January & 1 February Perth Convention Exhibition Centre Steampunk Mike Browner 3190
2010 23rd-24 January Perth Convention Exhibition Centre Angels and Demons Mirai Raine 3442 Eminence Symphony Orchestra, Yasunori Mitsuda
2011 29–30 January Perth Convention Exhibition Centre Sports Wade Allen 3679 Spike Spencer, Donna Burke
2012 28–29 January Perth Convention Exhibition Centre Invasion Christopher Bobridge 3750 Kelly 'Coelasquid' Turnbull, John Robertson
2013 2-3 February Perth Convention Exhibition Centre Circuit Mike Browner 4109 Kyle Hebert, Kara Edwards
2014 1-2 March Perth Convention Exhibition Centre Celebrating 10 Years Mike Browner 5027 Tiffany Grant, Bryce Papenbrook
2015 Perth Convention Exhibition Centre Heroes Michael Cogan

Organizers[edit]

The Perth Anime Convention Incorporated (PAniC inc) is the name of the group responsible for running Wai-Con. It was formed in September 2003, though it was only formally made into a non-profit incorporation a few months later.[4]

PAniC Honour Roll[edit]

PAniC officially recognises and honours those who have given a great amount of their time and effort for PAniC and Wai-Con.

Year Name
2009 Wendy Chew Trina Tan
2010 Leah Crichton
2011 Wade Allen
2012 Mirai Raine Eugene O'Sullivan Jon Hayward
2013 John Robertson
2014 Mike Browner

Mascots[edit]

The mascots for each year is decided through an open design competition based on the set theme for the convention, with the then current committee judging and choosing a winner.

For The 2012 convention it was decided to make Watami a permanent mascot of Wai-Con. Watami was join by the second permanent mascot in 2013. Paco the boy who was riding a pig in 2009 was aged slightly and became the second mascot of Wai-Con

Year Theme Artist Mascot
2004 Journey to the West - -
2005 Fantasy Min L -
2006 Space Cadets - -
2007 Spies Ken B -
2009 Steampunk Erry H A boy and his pig
2010 Angels and Demons Marie F
2011 Sports Erry H
2012 Invasion Karis T Watami
2013 Circuit Emily S Watami and Paco
2014 Anniversary Emily S Watami and Paco
2015 Heroes Emily S Watami and Paco

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.panic-wa.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=36&Itemid=79
  2. ^ http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/convention/2009/wai-con/sunday-blog-report
  3. ^ The theater seats over 4000, but the configuration used for Wai-Con was only around 1500 bodies
  4. ^ http://www.wai-con.org/panic/what-is-panic/