The Calgary Reptile Expo returns on October 14 and 15 to the Genesis Centre in northeast Calgary. Attendees can anticipate taking part in a variety of fun activities and getting to see some incredible creatures.
Close to 60 vendors are set to be at the event, including reptile and amphibian specialists, plant vendors, artists, balloon-animal artists, face painters, as well as several food trucks.
Visitors can expect to see a large variety of animals, including bearded dragons, ball pythons, leopard geckos, and dart frogs, as well as some uncommon breeds of reptiles and amphibians.
The Expo is targeted to reptile and amphibian hobbyists, and those who are interested in diving into the world of these interesting animals. Staff encourage visitors to ask any questions they might have about the animals and plan to make it an informative two days.
The event is put on by the Alberta Reptile and Amphibian Society, a non-profit organization that helps preserve and protect these animals in our province.
Some of TARAS’ core foundations are an emphasis on conservation, education, and advocacy of reptiles and amphibians, a theme you can expect at the event when learning about these fascinating creatures.
Garth Paynter, the Vice President of TARAS, is especially interested in promoting healthy pet ownership. He highlights the importance of educating prospective pet- reptile owners to make sure they have the knowledge to properly care for them. He ensures visitors that they’re in good hands with the Expo’s staff and pet specialists.
“They’re very passionate keepers, everybody who’s there really loves their animals. They love what they do, and they’re really good at it,” said Paynter.
Staff will handout care sheets to visitors at the Expo, explaining the basics of caring for the more commonly kept reptiles like corn snakes, and vendors are happy to answer any questions about the species that will be on display.
Besides the expected targeted audience, the Expo wants to invite those who may be unsure about reptiles, to come challenge some stereotypes. Reptiles especially are often stigmatized, as they often get misrepresented as dangerous or frightening.
“Just like with any myth or stigma, it’s not based on facts. It’s based on perception,” said Paynter.
Paynter hopes the event will give visitors the right facts about reptiles, and that it will get people excited about a chance to learn more about these unique creatures. He says that the purpose of this event is about, “Having our community come together and hosting these expos where we can invite the larger community to come in and view all these wonderful animals, hobbyists, breeders and plants and just to learn.”
The Calgary Reptile Expo takes place Oct. 14 and 15, 2023 at Genesis Centre.