Fan Expo Canada is back and bigger than ever! The Pandemic may have held us back for a bit, this edition of Fan Expo is here to remind us all exactly what we’ve missed. Running through August 28, 2022 at Metro Toronto Convention Centre, this celebration of Fandom unites fans of all genres together under one roof by the hundreds of thousands. And for good reason. The celebrity guest list this year is unreal!
Cast members of The Lord of The Rings, Clerks, Stranger Things, The Boys, Sons of Anarchy all are slated to appear, reniting for panels, photo ops and autograph sessions in the North Building. All for the fans! Photo Ops for Stranger Things’Joseph Quinn who plays Eddie Munson on the popular Series, sold-out rather quickly and he certainly was the hot ticket this year. You cannot miss the Hall of Horrors where you can sit and listen to panels from your favourite name in Horror, and also and Tattoo Alley where you can get tatted!
Above this, there are so many cool activations to be seen including set-ups in the South Building by the likes of Bandai Namco, Studio Ghibli, Genshin Impact, Bell Esports Challenge, Nintendo Switch, TikTok, WhatNot and more! There are photos to be taken, prizes to be won and things to take home! And don’t forget to visit Artist Alley for a chance to meet and get commissioned pieces by some of your favourites. So many cool vendors and hard-to-find items throughout!
Check out my Highlight Reel. You cannot miss this and here’s why!
Tina Chan is a special contributor for us this year and here’s some highlights from the most buzzed Panels of Fan Expo Canada 2022!
GRACE VAN DIEN
The Stranger Things star revealed at her Panel that she officially came-out as Queer when she was 20 after being asked on a date and realizing that she had the power to say “yes”, and learned to accept her sexuality. When asked about whether or not she sees herself as an extrovert, she told the audience that she actually thinks she’s anti-social.
On what won her the coveted role of Chrissy Cunningham on the Series, the daughter of Actor Casper Van Dien says, “The Duffer Brothers said I was the only one who played Chrissy sweet. Everyone else played her mean in their auditions”.
Fun Fact: Van Dien revealed that she idolizes Paul Newman. Her favourite Movie is Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
The Harry Potter star who unfortunately had to cancel last year, was able to make it to the City for Fan Expo Canada 2022.Lewis tells fans at his Panel that getting into the role of Neville Longbottom wasn’t too tough as he truly related to him saying, “I got it cause I went through it”.
Reflecting on his childhood as an Actor, he spoke of it as being relatively normal. “When we were off set, we were in school together. We got to have a relatively normal childhood and knew we were all in same boat together. We had each other to lean on.”.
The Star Wars Actor known best for playing C-3PO has the unique distinction of having starred in all nine Star Wars films. Daniels tells fans at his Panel that during the first ever Star Wars Film, “I’d been rehearsing in the studio for six months while they made the costume. I felt special and I felt like a star the first time I put the costume on.”.
Fun Facts: C-3PO’s microphone is actually wired towards his butt. And his favourite of all Star Wars films would be Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.
The Guardians of the Galaxy star who plays Yondu has an obsession with Wunderbars and was “wundering” if these were a Canadian thing. He also vows to try everything Canadian this weekend and at his Panel tried Canadian Smarties, Wunderbar, Aero and Kit Kat.Rooker definitely wasn’t impressed by Coffee Crisp, describing them as “Kind of hard and dry, and it doesn’t taste like coffee at all!”.
JAMIE CAMPBELL BOWER
This Stranger Things star certainly is no “stranger” to Toronto having filmed The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones here. Campbell Bower who plays Vecna on the Series, professed “I love my job and I’m a fucking nerd!”. On how lucky he is to have landed this role, he says humbly “It could’ve been anyone and the writing is exactly the thing that made the Show”. He also describes the several hours a day in costume/make-up as being “very intense”. He adds, “I would find myself crying in the middle of the night saying ‘Papa please, Papa please….”.
Fun Fact: If Vecna were to order something at Starbucks, it would be, per Campbell Bower, “A venti Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew with extra foam”!
Sharing some of our own Snaps! One of our favourite events of the year, every year!
Great news, DC fans! Exclusively for those going to Fan Expo this weekend in Toronto, there will be a Metrolinx Booth where you can get a limited edition DC Superhero Presto Card! The limited quanity collection is a new collaboration between Metrolinx, FAN EXPO Canada, Warner Bros. Consumer Products and DC.
Additional details below:
5,000 limited-edition cards are available at the Metrolinx booth at FAN EXPO Canada (while supplies last).
Each costs $35 (plus tax).
Five different options available, each representing a fan-favourite DC character. Options include Superman, Wonder Woman, The Joker and two designs featuring Batman.
Set to take place again this year between August 25-28, 2022 at Metro Toronto Convention Centre, FAN EXPO CANADA returns once again! Even more celebrity guests have been added to the schedule, including, a just-confirmed Charlie Hunnam!
List of those confirmed so far:
• JEFF ANDERSON (Clerks, Zack and Miri Make a Porno) • SEAN ASTIN (The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Goonies) • JACOB BERTRAND (Cobra Kai, Kirby Buckets) • BILLY BOYD (The Lord of the Rings trilogy) • LEVAR BURTON (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Perception) • GINA CARANO (The Mandalorian, Deadpool) • ANTHONY DANIELS (Star Wars universe) • ASHLEY ECKSTEIN (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) • ROBERT ENGLUND (A Nightmare on Elm Street) • GIANCARLO ESPOSITO (The Mandalorian, Breaking Bad, The Boys) • TREVOR FEHRMAN (Clerks II) • DAVID FOLEY (The Kids in the Hall) • TYLER HOECHLIN (Superman & Lois, Teen Wolf) • CHARLIE HUNNAM (Sons of Anarchy, The Gentlemen) • RYAN HURST (Sons of Anarchy, The Walking Dead, The Mysterious Benedict Society) • MARTIN KOVE (Cobra Kai, The Karate Kid) • PEYTON LIST (Cobra Kai, Bunk’d) • CAITY LOTZ (Legends of Tomorrow, Arrow) • JES MACALLAN (Legends of Tomorrow, Mistresses) • JASON MEWES (Clerks) • DOMINIC MONAGHAN (The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Lost) • BRIAN O’HALLORAN (Clerks) • LANA PARRILLA (Once Upon a Time, Why Women Kill) • EMILIO RIVERA (Sons of Anarchy, Mayans M.C., On My Block) • MICHAEL ROOKER (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Walking Dead) • THEO ROSSI (Sons of Anarchy, Army of the Dead) • KATEE SACKHOFF (The Mandalorian, Another Life, Battlestar Galactica) • WILLIAM SHATNER (Star Trek) • KEVIN SMITH (Clerks) • BRENT SPINER (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Penny Dreadful: City of Angels) • BITSIE TULLOCH (Superman & Lois, Grimm) • CARL WEATHERS (The Mandalorian, Rocky, Predator) • MING-NA WEN (The Book of Boba Fett, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) • ELIJAH WOOD (The Lord of the Rings trilogy) • WILLIAM ZABKA (Cobra Kai, The Karate Kid)
Celebrating Sci-Fi, Horror, Anime, and Gaming, TORONTO COMICON returned once again this weekend March 18-21, 2022, after a short absence amidst the Pandemic. The event at Metro Toronto Convention Centre brought out fans with a chance to meet their favourite stars and Artists, and also a chance to connect with likeminded fans. Did you know collectively, all Fan Expo HQ events bring-in a combined 500,000 attendees annually?
More than ever this year, activations focused on family with a section devoted to kids’ activities, including a meet and greet with Disney Princesses, and a Super Mario photo op on the floor, which was a big hit!
A huge draw always is Celebrities and while the event saw some last minute cancellations from the likes of John Cusack and Jenna Coleman, some marquee names like Lou Ferrigno, Aaron Ashmore, Laure Vandervoort, Adam Baldwin, Brian Herring and the stars of the original Degrassi outfit, came out to speak at panels and meet their fanbase.
Our George Kozera had a chance to sit-in a few popular Panels at Toronto Comicon and he shares some highlights.
“YOU MADE ME QUEER”
YMMQ Podcast Host, Trevor Campbell, interviewed award winning Comic Book Artist and Writer Dan Parent on how the first gay character (Kevin Keller) in the ARCHIE Comics empire came to exist. Influenced by two diverse worlds…the characters in the teenaged comic world of Riverdale as well as Director John Waters’ “Pink Flamingoes”…Parent’s first pitch to introduce a gay character fell on deaf ears “as it would not go over well in Middle America”. With new management in charge of publishing the Archie comics, a years later subsequent approach was positively received, mostly due to “the success of that TV show, Will & Grace”. Rather than out Jughead, perceived as asexual, the new character was a media sensation and that issue sold out completely. The only other time an issue was sold out when the character of Kevin was predominant was a storyline set when Kevin and was 23 years old married to a man. It created a furor when the militant left wing Million Moms Movement deemed it immoral, causing Parent to say: “Want loads of publicity and make lots of money? Piss off a million moms!”.
Q&A WITH STAR OF “KILLJOYS” AND “LOCKE & KEY” AARON ASHMORE
While identical twin brother Shawn can be currently seen on TV’s “The Rookie”, Aaron Ashmore (best known for playing Jimmy Olson on “Smallville”) regaled the audience with entertaining stories from his many projects, from being stuck in a small confined space after “Warehouse 13” Co-star Eddie McClintock broke wind, to not really getting along with Saul Rubinek or his backstage stories on working in “Killjoys” and “Locke and Key”. When we asked if there was anything Shawn had done that he was jealous of and vice-versa, he said how incredibly proud he was of his brother after watching in “X Men” and “as for Shawn, you’d have to ask him” he replied with a great smile. My favourite of Aaron’s recollection was the time he was at the Montreal Comiccon: “I saw these millions of people in line near my booth and was surprised all these people were here to see me. Then I heard a voice behind me say “Hello, young man” and it was for Patrick Stewart! And I was oh man, and said “I’m not Shawn because I knew you worked together” and he said “I know”. He’s (meaning Stewart) such a nice man and very laid back.”.
“DEGRASSI JUNIOR HIGH” REUNION Q&A
The camaraderie between the three stars on stage was palpably positive and loving. Pat Mastroianni explained that the original audition took three weeks of daily workshops with all the hopeful cast members. “We started with 80 people and then next week it was down to 50. It was like the first reality show”. When we asked if they all had issues finding work after the show ended, only Mastroianni confirmed that he really wasn’t typecast as “Joey Jeremiah” and was able to pursue a career in the business. Because Degrassi was on air before Social Media, “we knew we were hits from the media reports in the Toronto Star and Toronto Sun but we never really knew the impact we were making”. It was also fun to hear that Mastroianni’s mother was supportive and encouraging of his, now famous, walking naked in the school!
Fan Expo and Comicon are always a chance to buy some cool merchandise from local fandom-minded vendors!
It’s always a thrill seeing some of the amazing Cosplay and this year was no exception. See some Snaps (always remember to ask for permission!):
Don’t forget, FAN EXPO Canada is back August 25-28, 2022 and it is looking pretty epic. More details on some of what’s been announced so far. Get your tickets now here.
Toronto Comicon is back on again this year at Metro Toronto Convention Centre’s South Building from March 18-20, 2022.
After a two-year absence, we are thrilled to see the event back and it’s a pretty star-studded line-up! In addition to stars, there will be celebrity presentations, photo ops, signings, sketch duels and so much more!
TORONTO COMICON 2022 HIGHLIGHTED GUESTS INCLUDE:
JENNA COLEMAN (Doctor Who, Victoria)
JOHN CUSACK (Being John Malkovich, High Fidelity)
TIM ROSE (Star Wars universe)
BRIAN HERRING (Star Wars universe)
AUSTIN ST. JOHN (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers)
LOU FERRIGNO (The Incredible Hulk)
LAURA VANDERVOORT (Smallville, The Handmaid’s Tale)
While Fan Expo looked a little different this year, fans still were able to enjoy the three day event safely amidst our current climate. The three-day event took place this weekend at Metro Toronto Convention Centre, bringing together fans of Comics, Sci-Fi, Horror, Anime, and Gaming together under one roof with a chance for them to meet some of their idols. The event was modified to a Limited Edition version this year, working around safety guidelines and restrictions/caps. It normally draws hundreds of thousands of people every year when at full capacity.
While there were several guest cancellations this year due to uncertainty and changes in scheduling, fans still were able to feast on an exciting array of programming and stars including the likes of Kit Young, GeorgeTakei, Robert Patrick, Melanie Scrofano, Robbie Amell, Stephen Amell, James Marsters, Italia Ricci,Trailer Park Boys (including a fun #Swearnet backdrop seen above for fans to pose at),Christopher Eccleston… and of course the legend himself William Shatner, fresh off his successful mission to space, giving him the distinction of being the oldest person ever to visit it.
George Kozera from Team Mr. Will and I were able to check-out some of the thrills and sit-on (literally on the floor) on some of the exciting Q&As with the talent. George even got to ask Shatner a question!
Some highlights and quotes:
This former Supergirl star, hailing from Richmond Hill, Ontario is connected to a few superheroes, being married to Robbie Amell (The Flash) who is a cousin of Stephen Amell (Arrow) – the latter married to Cassandra Jean, also who has starred in Arrow. When asked about her family being like a mini Comic-Con, she says “Well, none of us got the keep the costumes. Maybe Stephen, I don’t know. But yeah, it’s been fun. Supergirl shoots in Vancouver, but when I shot season one, it was on the Warner Bros. lot. But I had a lot of fun and didn’t think they would kill me. I thought ‘I’m coming back for sure!'”. Ricci also filmed Designated Survivor here in Toronto and when asked about McDonald’s vs. Pizza, she says she takes her son almost daily to McDonald’s right now, although she admittedly still hasn’t found amazing Pizza in the City just yet. Her hunt continues.
The most fascinating tidbit revealed during the Q&A session with Marsters (Spike on TV’s BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER) was that the Producers of the Show were unhappy with the success of the Angel character and that the audience attention was drawn-away from Buffy. Originally hired for a five to ten episode storyline (it stretched to 97 episodes), Marsters said ” I would have fired myself to keep the integrity of Buffy intact.”.
At 90 years young, the iconic, natural-born raconteur William Shatner greeted the crowd with “Hello, fellow Canadians” where he quickly added, “I haven’t been able to say that in a long time” and entertained the rapt and adoring crowd with stories of his childhood growing up in Montreal, living in Toronto on Sherbourne Street as a struggling Actor trying to find work and living on his one inexpensive meal at the Sherbourne Hotel. When I asked him about his experience working in JUDGEMENT AT NUREMBERG he replied, in part, “Imagine being a youngActor, sitting on a bench and watching icons like Judy Garland and Spencer Tracy perform”. He promoted his new album “Bill“, then spoke at length of his recent space flight on Jeff Bezos‘s rocket and likened the darkness he saw to death itself. There was only a very brief mention of STAR TREK (while never mentioning the title), none of BOSTON LEGAL (for which he won his only Emmy,) but it didn’t matter; Shatner owned the room!
Watching Christopher Eccleston at his Q&A was revelatory. He was self-effacing (“I am the worst Marvel villain ever” and “My dad said to me:you finally get a job in Hollywood and you play the invisible man?”), brutal honest (he spoke of his one season as DOCTOR WHO as contentious and hated the direction that the BBC wanted to Series to proceed. However, he also mentioned two episodes that contained some of his best work ever due to the exceptional Script and, in hindsight, would have liked to have done one more year to correct the acting mistakes he felt he made). Highly complimentary of other Actor’s work (“I don’t envy the next Actor who steps into the shoes of James Bond after what Daniel Craig has done in the past 15 years” but didn’t think he’ll ever get a chance to play the character “not with these ears!”) and comparing Toronto lovingly with his hometown of Manchester.
STEPHEN & ROBBIE AMELL
These Toronto born first cousins admitted they were not very close growing up (Stephen: “I was 13 years old. He was 6. He had little in common”), but eventually bonded when they discovered their mutual love of acting. Whereas Stephen was saddened when ARROW ended its TV run, he was excited about exploring new opportunities and then the pandemic hit and “nothing!!!” though he is thrilled with his new HBO show HEELS. Robbie was thrilled to report that the second season of CODE 8: PART ll is back in production and is currently being filmed in Toronto. The chemistry between the Amell boys was infectious and giddy to watch!
We’re thrilled that FAN EXPO returns finally to Toronto once again! Of course, safety measures and regulations will be in effect to make this as safe and fun as possible for all of us! For one, Photo Ops this year will be done with plexiglass dividers.
FAN EXPO Limited Edition will take place at Metro Toronto Convention CentreOctober 22–24, 2021. Confirmed are an exciting slate of stars including:
Robbie Amell (Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City) and Stephen Amell (Arrow); Star Trek alums George Takei and William Shatner; Schitt’s Creek’s resident heartthrob, Tim Rozon; Wynnona Earp star Melanie Scrofano; the Ninth Doctor himself, Christopher Eccleston; Pokémon voice actress Veronica Taylor; ‘MythBuster’ extraordinaire Adam Savage; Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s ‘Spike’, James Marsters; and more!
And don’t forget the many Cosplayers, Comic Creators, Voice Actors and more!
We don’t know about you, but we can’t wait till October when Fan Expo Canada returns to Toronto finally! So far, confirmed for the three day genre extravaganza October 22-24, 2021 at Metro Toronto Convention Centre, are Michael Rooker, Ray Fisher, Adam Savage, William Shatner, George Takei and more!
Above this, Fan Expo HQ have just announced a partnership with Hololive Production, Japan’s premier VTuber (virtual YouTuber) agency, to bring us the Hololive EN English North American Tour. The likes of Watson Amelia, Gawr Gura, Mori Calliope, Ninomae Ina’nis, and Takanashi Kiara will be appearing in a first of its kind virtual presentation.
FAN EXPO Canada usually marks the end of Summer here in Toronto for many, however with COVID-19, the event has been forced to go a modified route. The August event now has been cancelled this year. In its place LIMITED EDITION event will run from November 6-8, 2020. Instead of its usual capacity, a reduction to a cap of 25,000 tickets will be sold to ensure adherence to proper safety and social distancing guidelines.
Admission tickets purchased already for August’s event have been transferred to the new November event and refunds are to be requested before July 31, 2020.
Special events are to be refunded as well.
Photo and Autograph Ops purchased via Epic Photo Ops can be refunded.
Reservations at official hotels of Fan Expo also will be cancelled.
Signalling the end of Summer, Fan Expo Canada returned to Metro Convention Centre once again this past weekend, converging the worlds of Sci-Fi, Anime, Horror, Gaming, Comics and Cosplay together into one giant celebration. Fan Expo Canada celebrated its 25th year anniversary and they did it bigger and better than ever with several notable guests in attendance including John Travolta, Jeff Goldblum, Zachary Levi, Karl Urban, Peter Capaldi, Brendan Fraser and more!
Highly-touted Cast reunions highlighted the affair including that of Saved by theBell, Smallville, Blade Runner, The Goonies and more. The likes of Pamela Anderson, David Harbour, Kristen Kreuk, Jason Momoa also were slated but had other commitments preventing them from making it.
Fans found themselves with many events, panels, photo ops, autograph signings, screenings, panels and even LGBTQ+-inclusive matchmaking events to attend all the way through Fan Expo Sunday wherein previous years, Saturday normally is the busiest day.
The event brought-in an estimated 129,000+ people from around the world.
Some Highlights from Fan Expo Canada 2019:
RIPLEY’S BELIEVE IT OR NOT EXHIBIT
In addition to rate pieces from Star Wars, Back to the Future, Indiana Jones and more, a huge draw at the Exhibit was a travelling, growing ball made from the hair of 600+ people around the world!
SAVED BY THE BELL Panel with Elizabeth Berkley, Mark-Paul Gosselaar x Mario Lopez
Stars Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Mario Lopez and Elizabeth Berkley talk about their time on the 90s morning TV staple. They reveal while Berkley was filming a certain “Las Vegas movie”, the Cast were watching the O.J. Simpson chase while filming their own Vegas movie. Berkley and Lopez admitted they were nice to Dustin Diamond, Gosselaar not so much! Berkley says she had the most fun filming the Series’s fantasy sequences.
So awesome hearing them do the Show’s signature Bayside cheer!
The screen veteran known for his work in the Jurassic Park franchise, returns to the City he filmed The Fly! He reveals he spent seven hours in makeup a day, that his wife, Olympian Emilie Livingston is from here too! His new Disney+ series The World According to Jeff Goldblum, premieres November.
And he reveals his new Album on Decca will feature surprise vocalists! He even had the room singing “O Canada“! 🇨🇦
TEEN TITANS GO Panel with Tara Strong x Greg Cipes
The two Voice Actors joked around and Cipes brought his dog Wingman with him to the Panel and the dog stole the show, drinking out of Strong‘s water cup.
When asked what their advice is for their young fans, Strong said to “Choose kindness.”. Cipes said “Never give up on everything you ever wanted.”.
Strong advises also it is important for voice actors to have an acting background and admits she is very “physical” behind the mic.
Cipes cites Robin Williams as his biggest influence.
BLADE RUNNER – Sean Young x Edward James Olmos
Young made some candid revelations from her experience in Hollywood, telling the audience “Never make a Director feel bad for hitting on you”.
Onrecent reboot Blade Runner 2041, she admits “At 2 hours and 51 minutes, I thought it was much weaker than the original.”.
On working with Sir Ridley Scott, she says “He made me smoke cigarettes to lower my voice. He was very manipulative towards the ladies.”.
Olmos admits, “At the time he (Harrison Ford) was first announced, I thought he was miscast. All I thought was Han Solo.”.
Levi, unlike others, didn’t require a Moderator and Morgan Hoffman obliged kindly. He stood-up his entire Panel even, fielding fan questions directly.
One fan got to do a magic trick, one got to sing a song from Disney‘s Tangled with him even!
He imparted a bit of inspiration, telling fans, “We all are worthy of occupying space in this world.”.
On Toronto-made Box Office and critical hit Shazam!, he admits the most fun thing for him was getting to act like a 14-year-old. He says also, “The weather was cold but the costume did not keep me warm.”.
The screen icon talked about his new film THE FANATIC and how much he loves when fans talk to him. He two also reveals that two fans broke into his house with the intention of only meeting him. There was no ill will.
He admits he never thought Saturday Night Fever and Pulp Fiction would ever become as popular as they had. He always believed Grease was going to be huge and said he was the one that only wanted Olivia Newton-John as Sandy.
THE GOONIES Panel – Sean Astin, Corey Feldman x Ke Huy Quan
Feldman tells fans about his affinity for our country, “I love Canadians so much, I married one!”. He is referring to wife, model Courtney Anne Mitchell.
On the famous water slide seen in the Film, he states “We only got to go down the water slide twice. It was the stunt doubles who did the rest!”.
The star of Encino Man and The Mummy arrived straight from Johannesburg where he is filming currently. He asks the audience if they want another Mummy movie and they gave him a resounding cheer!
He advises Universal Pictures that the key ingredient is fun when making these movies. He currently can be seen in popular series DOOM PATROL.
Jack Quaid, star of Amazon Prime‘s THE BOYS
Peter Capaldi, star of DOCTOR WHO
Mia Farrow, iconic star of Rosemary’s Baby and Golden Globe Award winner