Vanier’s Student Life team is always coming up with new and creative event ideas for the Vanier population to enjoy. The first annual Vanier Geekcon is no exception.
Geekcon took place on Wednesday, February 26th in Jake’s from 10:00am to 3:00pm. Cafeteria tables were moved to make way for the many activities taking place for the occasion.
There were around twenty vendors selling their handcrafted goods like pins, stickers, and other knickknacks. There were also some vendors selling apparel, POP figurines, or commissions for artwork.
There was also an artist present, who drew people in anime-style on a tablet, and projected his drawing on a screen for onlookers to witness his talent.
Activity-wise, there was a raffle hosted by Vanier Student Life (VSL) volunteers – the prizes being popular movie posters. There was also a photo booth where students could wear a mask and a cape, as they posed for a picture with their friends.
Additionally, also hosted by the VSL volunteers, was an art table, where people were invited to draw or paint their favorite superhero, anime, or cartoon character. Volunteers were also hosting superhero and comic book trivia Kahoot games.
Another company was present to give free lightsaber duel workshops, thereby teaching basic sparing and defense techniques to students.
In a conversation with one of the planners of this event, Julien Lefebvre, an employee at Student Life, said that the event was very successful, since all there parties involved were content with the outcome.
Lefebvre said that these types of events are very popular in Montreal and that Student Life’s inspiration for the event involved the want to try something different and bigger.
“We wanted different types of students involved, and everyone has a geek side, so it was the perfect plan for that day,” explained Lefebvre.
Vanier Student Life also wanted to include an activity hosted by Legion 501. They are a troop of Star Wars fans who dress in movie-realistic Star Wars costumes. Lefebvre said that they still got to have The Force Academy at the event to give lightsaber workshops.
Next year, Student Life is looking to have another Geekcon, which they hope will be larger and have different activities for students to enjoy. When reflecting upon the event, Lefebvre said: “The Geekcon is a good event idea, but what’s in the Geekcon can switch”.
Some possible ideas include having arcade machines like Dance Dance Revolution, as well as a fully-fledged cosplay masquerade.
For Lefebvre, it comes down to the costs, as arcade machines, for example, are expensive to rent. He explained, “Do we want to spend X amount of money on this and cut on an activity that can have more students play at a time?”
One difficulty when organizing the event was finding vendors, as the event was in the middle of the week and many of them have full-time jobs. The Student Life team is still evaluating the outcome of the event, but an idea they had was to have two days of Geekcon, seeing as it might be more compatible with the vendors’ availabilities.
Lefebvre clarified that they were nonetheless psyched about the number of vendors they did have, who, in turn, were happy with the outcome of the event as well.
Vanier Student Life holds many events throughout the semester, and student volunteers are always needed. The volunteering also counts towards Star Hours.
Lefebvre mentioned that if you see a poster or a social media post about an event that would interest you, just go and see either him or Kristen Whitelaw in their offices in B205: “Every time we have an event, we’re always looking for people to help out; we will find a place for you.”
So, if you would like to help out next Geekcon, or in any other Student Life event, be sure to visit B205 to get involved. Vanier Student Life also has a Facebook page (@vanierstudentlife), where you can stay up to date on everything that’s happening.
By India-Lynn Upshaw-Ruffner