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'Celebration of all things entertainment': Sask. Expo Regina returns this weekend

Saskatchewan Expo Regina returns this weekend and organizers are looking to rebuild after last year’s lower attendance following a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

Mike Fisher, the owner and organizer of the event, said at first, they weren’t sure if they should hold the event last year because it wasn’t long after pandemic gathering restrictions had lifted.

“But a lot of the vendors had not had any business for two years and we wanted to fulfill our obligations,” he explained. So we went ahead with it and it went well, but the attendance was much lower than what we're used to.”

“This year has definitely been a bit of a rebuilding process to kind of recover from last year, and we sort of knew that because we took that chance and we knew it wouldn't be as good as the normal year. So we just kind of tried to roll with it the best we could,” he added.

Fisher said although these sorts of events are known to have ‘nerdy roots,’ since they began as comic book and sci-fi conventions, the events have expanded to become everything entertainment.

“We’ve got people from movies and TV that you can meet and get photos with, and then we’ve got lots of local and national artists and creators of comics and different art projects,” he said. “Then a big part, too, that people love is the costumes, especially kids.”

"It's a celebration of all things entertainment."

Celebrity guests include actress Judith Hoag (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Halloweentown), actor and voice actor Khary Payton (The Walking Dead, Teen Titans), voice actor Nolan North (Uncharted video game), and actress Amy Jo Johnson (Power Rangers).

There will also be about 180 artists and vendors, as well as several cosplay guests.

Sask Expo Regina will be taking place this weekend at the International Trade Centre (ITC). (Photo courtesy of Sask Expo Regina's Facebook page)

Another highlight of the event for Fisher is the costume showcase, which was previously a contest.

“What we found with the judging was people felt intimidated to enter and it's quite a long process to be pre-judged,” he said. “We just listened to our attendees and the overwhelming response was they just want a chance to show off their costume and to just display all the hard work they've done, which is what it's always been about for us anyway.”

The costume showcase will be held Saturday at 5 p.m.

“I just love putting the show together with the team,” he said. “It's just a lot of fun to hang out and to kind of make something magical happen like the expo, so that's my favorite part.”

The event will take place at the International Trade Centre (ITC) at Evraz Place on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are available online or at the door for cash only.

“It's so great for families. There's always been a misconception over the years that it's like a basement-dwelling nerd expo,” Fisher said. “What I love seeing is when little kids come in with their parents and they see a full-on Spider-Man costume and they're just like, to them it's real, and so their eyes light up and they're so excited.”

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