ConBravo!

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ConBravo!
ConBravo! Logo 2016.png
ConBravo! Logo
Status Active
Genre New media, gaming, anime
Date(s) July 29–31, 2016
Venue Hamilton Convention Centre
Location(s) Hamilton, Ontario
Country Canada
Inaugurated July 3–4, 2010
Attendance 4217 (2015)
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 the special attention it has paid to online personalities,[2] including the first Canadian speaking appearances of Doug Walker, Noah Antwiler, Angry Joe, Nathan Barnatt and the Angry Video Game Nerd James Rolfe in 2011 and 2012.[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. The show has since featured the first Canadian speaking engagements of Jonathan "JonTron" Jafari, and game designer and contributor to Extra Credits James Portnow.

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 Improv All-Stars – usually hosted by the 404s Improv Comedy Troupe with special guests, Live Action Mario Party – a live-action recreation of the popular Nintendo game, D20 Live – a D20 pen-and-paper RPG scenario played out by guests of the con, the arcade and freeplay gaming halls, and the wide variety of LARP-based events such as Archery Tag and Troll Bowl.

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.

Arena Events[edit]

Largely played in the Arena space, these events include regular freeplay with boffer weapons (accompanied by tutorials on LARP and other associated activities), Archery Tag, Troll Bowl (a competitive capture-the-flag boffer game), a NERF war, and Quidditch.

Electronic Gaming[edit]

Includes freeplay and tournament gaming. Classic and retro gaming makes up a significant portion of programming, along with tournaments hosted by Even Matchup Gaming and the internal departmental staff. Typically there is a mixture of fighting games, shooters, and classic arcade challenges presented, with many competitions livestreamed. The gaming hall also includes a large number of arcade cabinets which are free to play.

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 MTG and Pokémon.

Musical Events[edit]

Friday night features multiple concerts 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 DJ Janos and regularly featuring Dj CUTMAN, Benjamin Briggs, Epikuro, and Grimecraft.

Autographs & Guest Walkabouts[edit]

Autograph signings are regularly available for most of the major guests. 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. This seems to be defunct as it has not run since 2012.

Event History[edit]

Dates Location Attendance Guests
July 3–4, 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, Reese "Lucahjin" Dressler, 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
4217 Nash Bozard (keynote speaker), Andre "Black Nerd" Meadows, Phelan "Phelous" Porteous, Allison "Obscurus Lupa" Pregler, Jared "ProJared" Knabenbauer, Paw Dugan, Maven of the Eventide, OverClocked University, Jonathan "Proton Jon" Wheeler, Emile "Chuggaaconroy" Rosales, Tim "NintendoCapriSun" Bishop, Reese "Lucahjin" Dressler, Andrew Gregoire, Domics, ALB (albinwonderland), Continue? (Nick Murphy, Paul Ritchey and Josh Henderson), The Game Chasers, Super Best Friends Play (including Matt, Pat, Woolie, and Liam), DJ Janos, Epic Game Music, Jirard Khalil (The Completionist), Mandy Moore (AmazonMandy), Norman "The Gaming Historian" Caruso, Bill "AlphaOmegaSin" Arensberg, Grant Kirkhope, Satchell "SatchBag" Drakes, Pat "The NES Punk" Contri, LoadingReadyRun (Graham, Kathleen, Alex and Cameron), Benjamin Briggs, Kaylyn "MarzGurl" Saucedo, Atelier Heidi, Michael "Skitch" Schiciano, Simon "DexTheSwede" Mattsson, VickyBunnyAngel, DJ Cutman, Joey "Roo" DeSena, Mike "Birdman" Dodd, Derek the Bard, Tom "heisanevilgenius" White, Chris "Vangelus" Ho, Shane Luis
July 29–31, 2016 Hamilton Convention Centre by Carmen's & Sheraton Hamilton Hotel
Hamilton, Ontario
TBD Curtis "Takahata101" Arnott, Emile "Chuggaaconroy" Rosales, Super Best Friends Play, Temmie Chang, James "Epic Game Music" Ronald, Andrew Gregoire, Ocean in Space, Tristan "Arkada" Gallant, Anthony "Antfish" Sardinha, Mat Brunet, Linkara

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 16 at the El Mocambo Tavern in Toronto, ON, with the second at Lee's Palace on June 6.

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.