Keycon is Manitoba’s premier Science Fiction & Fantasy Literary Convention. It focuses on science fiction, fantasy and related literary genres in any form. It includes, but is not limited to, writing, visual arts, television and film. It is traditionally held in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada on the Victoria Day long weekend.
Keycon is an around 500-600 person convention. As a point of reference, we might compare it to a large comic convention like ComicCon. Aside from the size, we share a lot of the same community, but the format is different. Keycon is far more personal of an experience.
The focus is more on panels and connecting our guests with the fans through informal contact. In past years we’ve had panels with authors, artists, scientists, musicians, performers, armourers, costumers, blacksmiths, television personalities, game developers, and more (don’t ask about the year Cthulhu rose from R’lyeh).
There are a lot of other things at the convention that you are probably familiar with. We have a costume/cosplay contest, an art show/auction, a table top gaming room, and a dealers room to purchase that extra something for your costume, the out of pring book or game you’ve been searching for, or something else that tickles your fancy.
There are a couple other things that are special to Keycon: the Social and the Hospitality Suites.
The Social is a Manitoba tradition. It’s our dance, a chance to strut your stuff, catch up with old friends and make new ones.
The Hospitality Suites are a set of hotel suites on the 15th floor that have been reserved for Keycon. Typically they are themed and most people should find something that suits their taste. During the day, they can be a place to sit down for a rest, catch up with a friend, play a game and more. In the evening they are far busier. You could find a filk-concert in one suite, a LAN-party in another suite, and the sky’s the limit in a third…
The most important part of Keycon are the people, the fans. At Keycon, you will find fans of many genres of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and other Fandom. Everything from androids to zombies, from Artemis Fowl to Timothy Zahn. It’s a great chance to make new new friends and talk about your favourite fandom. We have panels, table top gaming, larping, hospitality suites, art show & auction, masquerade, socials, dealers room, and much, much more!
Ultimately, Keycon is what you make it.
In addition to regular programming, there are six Extravaganzas regularly held during Keycon:
If you have questions about any of the events, please contact the Programming Team.
Past guests of honour have remarked that not only are the opening ceremonies one of the best attended, they are also some of the most unique, creative, and entertaining of all the conventions they’ve attended. Come and meet the guests, and find out what makes opening ceremonies so special.
Ope ing Ceremonies is the kick off for the weekend. This is our first chance to see and hear from our guests and get a taste of everything that will be happening over the weekend. Opening ceremonies have included, music, sing-a-longs, and certain hospitality suite organisers hurling chocolate missiles into the crowd.
Ice Cream Social (Meet and Greet)
Keycon provides a unique experience in terms of how attendees get to interact with the guests of Honour. That statement couldn’t be more true when applied to our Ice Cream Social, again, come and meet the guests as they serve a tasty treat!
The Masquerade (a.k.a. The Costume / Cosplay Contest)
It’s part costume contest, it’s also part fashion show / exhibit / presentation / skits / dance routines / and more! There is also usually an intermission featuring a performance (musical, or comedy, or…?). There are many reasons why our members spend all year planning and preparing for The Masquerade.
Audience members are welcome to wear costumes too if they like. However, there is no requirement. Sit back and enjoy seeing to work and performances of our contestants.
The Social (Dance Party)
If you’re from Manitoba, no further explanation is required. For our visitors from out of Town, this is our dance. A chance to shake a leg, and listen to great music all night long. Featuring music, and a late night snack, it’s a great way to spend a Saturday night.
It’s time to say goodbye. The last official programming item of the convention. Usually the winners of various prizes and contests are announced, swag is bestowed, and a sneak peak at what’s in store for next year.
An event like Keycon wouldn’t complete without a collective meal. It’s your chance to connect with friends and talk about the weekend.
This year’s meal has not been announced. Watch this site and through the traditional social media channels for these details to be announced.