Each year, the Calgary Expo has aimed to bolster the local arts scene and empower the pop culture community with its wide variety of vibrant enthusiasts. After over a decade of celebrating comic books, science fiction, fantasy, cosplay, and more, the local community has become stronger than ever.
The Calgary Expo began in 2005 when a group of local nerds decided to bring some notable comic book artists to Calgary, wrangle up some vendors, and put on a fun show for kids of all ages. Since that fledgling year which had an attendance of 3000 people, the Calgary Expo has grown to be the largest pop culture convention in western Canada with a 2015 attendance of 102,000 people.
Records were broken in 2012 as the Calgary Expo became the first convention to host a reunion for the original cast member of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Since then, the Calgary Expo has continued its trend for creating unique and memorable experiences, such as the 2013 “Weird Al” Yankovich concert, the 2014 Aliens cast reunion, which included appearances by Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, and Paul Reiser, and the 2015 debut convention appearance of Neil Patrick Harris for the Calgary Expo’s 10th anniversary.
However, the Calgary Expo has never forgotten its roots: Comic Books. Hosting some of the industry’s most influential creators, fans have had the opportunity to meet comic book legends such as Stan Lee, J. Scott Campbell, Bruce Timm, Fiona Staples, Gail Simone, Adam Hughes, and David Finch.
Continuing its tradition of community support, the Calgary Expo has launched several charity initiatives over the years including the annual art book auction, as well as the VIP pass eBay auction. Organizations that have benefited from these initiatives include the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Alberta, Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society, the Lac La Biche Native American Friendship Centre, Calgary Cancer Care, and many other incredible causes.