Kingdom Rush

Frostcon 2015: A Winter Review

Yup, it’s January 31st 2015 and boy is it cold outside. About 13 degrees Fahrenheit to be more specific. So what better to do than to travel to an Anime convention? I sent out my recon team to the Great White North to attend FrostCon 2015!

So about six months ago I heard of this small convention at the Sheraton Toronto Centre Hotel in Toronto, so of course I get excited and start planning on the trip. Unfortunately a week before I am about to go with my crew, I had to cancel for a family event. Again I am lucky enough to have great friends that also go to conventions with me, so they agreed to provide information for me. This is the perspective of the convention through the eyes and camera of my photographer Z-Is-Eternal. (All photos included are generously donated by Z-is-Eternal)

10386983_10102236146217008_7180316152174780890_o

“A review by Z-is-Eternal

                This past Saturday LEF sent a recon team across the border to scout out a relatively new convention in Toronto by the name of Frost Con. Despite a classic display of complete communication failure by myself at the border we made it through with no need to go into immigration, a rare feat for us. While we did not arrive in time for the opening ceremony we got out badges with no issue and from what I saw of the line’s movement throughout the day things seemed to move at a good pace for getting people checked in.Crowded

                Frost Con is a new convention in the Toronto area that has now entered into its third year of operation. While this was our first year attending the information that we got from the staff, vendors, and repeat con goers is that it has continued to grow in size each year. From the first year with an attendance of around 500 to this current year of them reaching the attendance cap for their location, which was set at 1500 for fire code reasons, growth seems to be good. Some even expressed hopes of reserving both sides of the downstairs convention space to be able to accommodate more attendees but that is a question for the FrostCon staff to decide. This year they had three rooms for panels in addition to a dedicated dealer’s room / artist alley. There were even some booth set up for other conventions and groups in the hallway used to get into the different panel rooms.

Even though it is still a new convention that apparently doesn’t mean that they will just let anybody into their dealer’s room and artist alley. Just because they aren’t the size of an Anime North or FanExpo doesn’t mean smaller cons are starved to fill their spaces. I had the chance to talk to one of the staff members about the dealer’s room and artist alley while she was making her rounds to talk to the different stall vendors. There is more to the process than just submitting an application to get table space and giving them the usage fee. They not only look to see that the people have enough quality and quantity in their work or inventory to have a good chance of making back their table fee and turning a profit but that their work is something that the staff feels will fit the taste of the crowd coming while remaining public friendly. Sorry those of you artist that only draw kinky stuff this might not be the con you’re looking for.

10391407_10102230399952568_5400843368149659186_n

                In addition to the dealers they had no shortage of guest:

Niq Cosplay / Detailed-Illusion – Guest of Honour, Miss Messy Mia – Guest of Honour, Vickybunnyangel Cosplay – Cosplay Guest of Honour, Amaleigh Photography / Amaleigh – Community Guest of Honour, Alfonso Espinos (Studiocomix Press) – Artistic Guest of Honour, Dr. Holocaust – Master of Ceremonies, Cosplay for A Cure – Community Guests, Fandom Musicals – Community Guests, That Joker guy / Toronto Joker – Artist / Costumer, Ovaryaction – Graphic Designer / Artist, Zombie Bit Me – Cosplayer, PureLight Cosplay – Cosplayer, Evie E – Cosplayer, Shelle-chii – Cosplayer, Purblind Cosplay – Cosplayer, Bec’s Cosplay Wonderland – Cosplayer, Playden – Cosplayer.

Go check out all of their pages. Nig Cosplay and Miss Messy Mia are part Canada’s World Cosplay Summit team for 2015 with the rest being local artist and cosplay figures in the GTA.

                Now that we have gone through the general overview of the convention it’s time for the personal opinions part of the show. First I must state that both Augiedoge and I enjoyed ourselves while we were there. I ran around being a noob with a camera taking pictures of people and Augiedoge would try to pull me away if I took more than 20 seconds to not fail. We both agreed that it is something that we would like to add to our convention travel schedule in the coming year hopefully bringing more of LEF with us. That being said and keeping in mind that it is only in its third year and has grown greatly in the number of people attending there are multiple issues that we and others would like to see fixed or changed in time for the next convention. The first thing I will mention is something that is likely to have one of the biggest effects on the other issues. Be it actual staff or dedicated volunteers the bottom line is that they appear to need a lot more of them than they actually had. Some of the few staff that we actually saw looked absolutely exhausted by 6pm and there seemed to be several breakdowns in communication between them, guest, and others. Based on the information from their main site they only have a staff of 9 people. That means they had almost twice as many guest as they had staff to handle over 1500 people. I’m unsure of what their volunteer status was but they clearly needed more dedicated manpower for the different areas. Take the coat check area for example. When Augiedoge and I walked in and saw they had one we commented that maybe we should have actually worn our coats since there was a place to store them. By the time the convention was half over I was glad we had not as their seemed to be no rhyme or reason to how the coats and bags were just all over the floor and I don’t think I saw anybody guarding the door at all with people just going in and out at random. While the idea of having a coat check at a small one day con where people usually won’t have rooms in the hotel that it takes place in is a great idea the execution was lacking. The coat check should have been guarded by a dedicated staff/volunteer team and set up so that only the appropriate staff had access to it to place and retrieve coats for guest based on the ticket that they purchased. “

 Umbrella

All-in-all I’m very happy with the review that my people have obtained from this convention. I am really excited to be able to personally go to this con next year. As we have stated, I was able to send two of my minions to Frostcon, so eventually I will have the viewpoint of AugieDoge available for everyone to see as well.

Again a big thank you to my Photographer Z-is-Eternal and reviewer AugieDoge.