What began as an annual weekend of 20 people playing board games in the Marlborough Community Center has expanded in attendance of over 600 board game enthusiasts, making this year’s FallCon the most successful one yet.

FallCon is Calgary’s largest board gaming convention. It was founded in 1987 and according to FallCon Director, Michael Cox, continues to grow exponentially each year.

“Being at SAIT this year has been the biggest change for us. We now have access to transit lines and can accommodate for hundreds of people. I have a feeling we will even outgrow this space, seeing as our attendance broke records at around 680 people this year.” says Cox.

FallCon brings more than 1200 games that attendees can play with their friends and family, all provided by the directors from their personal collections.

“Personally, I own around 1400 unique board games that I actively lend to the convention and donate to our gaming auction as well. My collection is probably worth over $65,000.” says Darren Bezzant, FallCon organizer.

Game ambassadors are available at the convention to help select and teach games from the gaming library, and also to host and teach games available for advanced signup. People new to the hobby are welcome, as the variety of boardgames range from “out of print” classics, to the “latest and greatest” board games.

FallConBodyFallCon topped attendance this year with 681 guests. If SAIT becomes too small, the question remains: where will FallCon host next? Photo by Lexi Wright

“What makes FallCon so unique is that the convention is entirely volunteer-run and any funds raised to support the convention come directly through admissions,” says Brent Lloyd, who in addition to directing FallCon’s non-profit society, also runs the Canadian Game Design Award contest.

The 2017 winner of this award was the boardgame “Fingersmiths.” This was also the first year FallCon had 501st Legion Stormtroopers present the award.

Expansions of FallCon led to the creation of FallCon 365, a meetup group where boardgamers can gather around different parts of the city to play games. FallCon is engaging local communities year-round by hosting and promoting events in several cities including Calgary, Cochrane, and Airdrie.

There is no doubt Calgary’s board game scene is growing and Bezzant credits much of FallCon’s success to board game enthusiasts everywhere.

“FallCon does not operate in a vacuum. Without proud supporters of our convention and our FallCon 365 initiative, we wouldn’t exist”.


Editor: Jamie McNamara | jmcnamara@cjournal.ca

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