Regina Entertainment Expo draws hundreds of enthusiastic fans

Photo: Tanner Wallace-Scribner/620 CKRM

The City of Regina was buzzing with excitement as fans descended upon the Regina Entertainment Expo this past weekend.

The City’s International Trade Centre was transformed into a haven for pop culture enthusiasts, offering a wide array of vendors and celebrity appearances.

The Regina Entertainment Expo, now in its third year, saw a return to form after last year’s event saw lower attendance due to pandemic restrictions and uncertainty.

“It was great,” Mike Fisher, the organizer of the expo, said. “We haven’t quite tallied the numbers officially yet, but we’re very happy. It was definitely a healthy attendance. A lot of people put a lot of work into these shows, and it’s just kind of gratifying to see a lot of people come out and enjoy it.”

“Everything was kind of back to normal in terms of the attendance level and things we could do in the show, and sort of even the interaction with the attendees online,” he said. “There just seemed to be a lot more excitement this year. I hate to use the word normal, but it feels like things are getting back to normal, which is really exciting.”

Fisher said while getting a chance to meet some of the celebrity guests or take in the vendors from across North America is great, he said his favourite part is seeing strangers connect over similar interests.

“When I went to my first convention back in 2010, I had to be convinced to go, but as soon as I got in there, I just thought it was so fun, and it’s because to get to be around people that not only share the same interests as you but maybe are interested in something that you don’t know about yet. It’s just nice to be around other people that are sharing what they love.”

He said the expo saw people of all different ages and backgrounds take in the two-day event.

“We have a 10-month-old this weekend that I saw came in, and then we have all the way up to Grandma and Grandpa’s, and they’re all in there having fun. There’s not too many events like that, so I just like that it brings together kind of the nerdy side of everybody.”

Special guests at this year’s event included Judith Hoag, best known for playing April O’Neil in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; Amy Jo Johnson, known for her roles as Kimberly Hart on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers; Voice Actor and Walking Dead star Khary Payton, and voice actor Nolan North.

Fisher said for many of the guests, it was their first time coming to Saskatchewan.

“It’s not a hard sell to get them to go to the New York Comic Con or even Toronto or Calgary, but a lot of them don’t know about Saskatchewan or what it is,” he said. “We try to find the ones that are excited to come, and it really shows in how they interact with the fans.”

He said in the ten years between the Saskatoon and Regina Expo, the guests always mention how friendly the Land of Living Skies residents are.

“They always remark on it. I’m talking in private conversations with the officer, and they are just always amazed by how awesome the people are, and then what happens is they tell their friends.”

Fisher explained that Walking Dead star Khary Payton heard about Regina’s expo from co-star Ross Marquand, a special guest at last year’s event.

Overall, Fisher and the organizers were delighted with the event’s success and expressed gratitude to the attendees and volunteers who made it all possible.

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