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DSBN Fan Convention a learning experience for gamers and geeks

Geeks, gamers, comic book lovers and cosplayers rejoice.
The District School Board of Niagara FanCon, set for this Saturday, will bring a variety of experts including podcaster Tracy Gibbons, motion capture technician Andrew George, and voice actor Christian Potenza all in one place.
The convention was the brainchild of Greater Fort Erie Secondary School’s librarian Matt Vandervoet. Now in its third year, Vandervoet said the idea is to “celebrate fandom itself.”
“Fort Erie has a lot of nerds and we wanted to create a space for them to be able to come and enjoy what they’re into,” Vandervoet explained.
There is a lot of opportunity for high school students to explore their passion for art, sports, drama and music, but until FanCon there seemed to be a gap for students who crave something just a little bit different.
That’s why FanCon’s organizers, which include Christian Kentie, owner of the Frugal Dutchmen, Hilary Bennett, Lori Dawn Antaya and Marcus Antaya, as well as several GFESS students, have been hard at work preparing for the event since early September.
Whether it’s costuming, comics, gaming or movies, FanCon is a place where everyone—students and the public–are welcome to come get hands-on experience and speak directly to experts working in the industries attendees are interested in learning more about.
“(FanCon) is the only one of its kind in Niagara in that it’s an old-style convention. It’s hands-on and we want someone to teach you what you want to learn about,” says volunteer Marcus Antaya.
“People don’t have to travel to a big convention in Toronto, they can get what they’re looking for right here,” he added.
The convention will offer a board game café, a Settlers of Catan tournament, Pokemon tournaments, a cosplay masquerade, an SFX makeup workshop, a prop making workshop and more.
The DSBN FanCon is planned for April 13 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Greater Fort Erie Secondary School, 1640 Garrison Road.
Admission is free but donations of canned food will be accepted for local food banks.
For more information about the convention visit