The first Cariboo Hobby Con enjoyed a tremendous turnout to its passion-filled outing.
Masterminded by gym teacher Tim Hurley, the Cariboo Hobby Con is modelled after the world famous San Diego Comic-Con International. Hurley describes himself as always having been “all over the place” when it comes to collecting memorabilia and is not ashamed to say he owns a small collection of Star Wars and He-Man toys from the 80s.
“I came up with an idea when I learned about Comic-Con, I guess, 10 years ago now. I thought it’d be pretty cool to do something in Williams Lake to that regard,” Hurley said. “When I was a little guy growing up they used to have these convention shows for hockey cards, sports cards in general, and they were huge. That’s when collecting was on the rise, in the early 1990s, and then it just sort of fizzled away. In Williams Lake, there are no events like (the one I’m planning) anymore.”
Hurley had said before the weekend that if even only 50 people came out over the two days, he’d consider that a success.
As he told it, the first ever San Diego Comic-Con, now a world-famous event that draws hundreds of thousands every year, was attended by just 100 people.
While it may not attain the wild success of this venerable event, the Cariboo Hobby Con more than matched its initial attendance six times over, with an estimated 600 people passing through Columneetza’s doors over the two days. During the event, Hurley was animated and lively frequently posting live streams to the event’s Facebook page.
“Hobby Con certainly exceeded my expectations. Regardless of the attendance totals, I think the community is on to something special,” Hurley said. “Special thanks to so many people for making this event possible. Patrons weren’t sure what to expect when they entered the doors, they quickly realized that Hobby Con meant passion!”
The event raised well over $2,000 for the volleyball team and Hurley said he was overwhelmed by the turnout.
In fact, it was such a success that Hurley and many of the vendors at the event have agreed to make this a biannual event. Currently, Hurley is looking to put on the second Hobby Con sometime in April of 2019 and hopes to continue to help dd his part to nurture passion in Williams Lake.