News: Introducing Island FanCon

Lonnie Eckardt is the showrunner behind Island FanCon, an inaugural event taking place this spring, in Langford, BC, the gateway to the rest of Vancouver Island.

Island FanCon 2024 Event Poster

Island FanCon 2024 Event PosterThere’s a new convention taking place in Langford, British Columbia! Although it’s being set up for the local community to enjoy all things fandom related, Lonnie Eckardt hopes Island FanCon will attract people far and wide. After having chaired Northern FanCon, located in Prince George, since 2021 and being a devoted attendee for even longer, he’ll be bringing what he loves of that show to Southern Vancouver Island!

Among the first guests announced are Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, best known as Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane from Game of Thrones or Thórfinnr Tooth-Gnasher from The Northman! Next up is Emily Swallow, AKA the Armorer in The Mandalorian. There’s also co-founder of the comedy group The Kids in the Hall, Dave Foley, and  former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Forrest Griffin in the names announced so far. The list will keep growing, as every Tuesday on their Facebook page will be another guest announcement; and they’re taking in last minute vendors and sponsors too! It’s not too late to get in. According to this organiser, “Because they are familiar with our events, these individuals reached out to us rather than the other way around.” 

But as for convincing those living outside the municipality to come, Eckardt’s arms are open to welcome them all like the master of ceremonies that he is. He said that those unable to make it this year can mark their calendars and plan for the next one. And when he knows a lot of young families live in this area, there’s a market to tap into. He’s glad to say kids under 12 can attend Island FanCon for free. Westshore Rebels wanted to make this happen and is this event’s latest sponsor. 

As for corporate support, sometimes knowing just how well this brand has done in one city can mean continued help in another. Harris Dodge is a car dealership supporting both events. That’s because one of the general managers, Kyle Bachman, also made the move from Prince George to Langford. He recognises the value of what Island FanCon represents and was quick to jump on board once again. 

Another name is a condo company known as Viking Sales. It’s easy to read between the lines to realise these groups simply want this community to grow. In order to make this event viable for the long term, Eckardt said he hopes to work with the city council on a regular, ongoing basis. They were very helpful in helping him set up the inaugural event, and everything is to do what’s best for the municipality. He also stated there’s no plan on taking it out, either. 

And unlike the big events where they oversell, he’s smart to recognize the limits. He stated, “We also want Island FanCon to not feel like it’s too crowded or jam-packed. So we’re actually limiting ticket sales.” 

“In the future, we will be limited by capacity and people’s willingness and desire to join. While our location does not have the same square footage that Fan Expo Calgary or Vancouver has, we want to deliver an experience that’ll be formidable.”

 

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