Embracing Geek Culture in Cornwall – The Success Story of CAPE

Jason Setnyk
Embracing Geek Culture in Cornwall – The Success Story of CAPE

A celebration of pop culture has been thriving in Cornwall, Ontario, since 2015. The Cornwall & Area Pop Event (CAPE) has become an annual rendezvous for enthusiasts of comics, movies, cosplay, and all things geek. Founded by Carol Sauve, with support from her husband Randy, owner of Fantasy Realm, CAPE is a significant event that boosts tourism and draws thousands of attendees each year. Carol and Randy were co-recognized by the Cornwall & Area Chamber of Commerce with the Lifetime Business Achievement Award for their contributions to the community.

As a freelance journalist and photographer, I’ve had the privilege of attending every CAPE since its inception. Through my lens, I’ve captured the energy and enthusiasm that fills the Benson Centre each year. I’ve interviewed a diverse array of celebrity guests, from actors in iconic TV shows like “The Walking Dead” and “Star Trek” to actors in movies like “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Clerks,” as well as voice actors from beloved cartoons like “Sailor Moon” and “Care Bears.” The event has also featured comic book artists who’ve contributed to various Marvel and DC titles.

CAPE is more than just a convention; it’s a celebration of nostalgia and a bridge between generations. Comics and cartoons were the stories many of us grew up with in the late ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s. They’re not just entertainment; they’re part of our identity. CAPE allows us to reconnect with these cherished memories and share them with younger generations.

The event’s significance was felt more than ever during the pandemic when it was greatly missed. Its return shows how much people love geek culture and the community it creates. The success of CAPE highlights a demand for such events beyond the major cities. Having CAPE in Cornwall is incredible because it means we don’t have to travel to Ottawa or Montreal to experience a quality convention. It’s amazing to have this level of pop culture celebration right in our own backyard.

Looking ahead to CAPE 2024, the excitement is building. The lineup of special guests promises an unforgettable experience, including Crystal Reed (Teen Wolf, Gotham) who will be appearing on Saturday only, Matthew G Taylor (Resident Evil: Apocalypse), and Mikaela Hoover (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3), and more. The return of the Cosplay Contest adds another layer of creativity and fun to the event. Attendees can also look forward to exploring a variety of exhibitor booths and observing engaging panels. CAPE continues to evolve, offering something new and exciting each year while staying true to its roots. As CAPE continues to flourish, it cements Cornwall’s place on the map as a destination for geek culture enthusiasts.

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