Vancouver Halloween Parade & Expo is kind of a blend of a pop culture convention, a holiday costume parade, and an art exhibition. The event was founded by the social service division of the International Health Council. It is organized by Vancouver International Halloween Festival Society in collaboration with local performers, artists and artisans. The inaugural festival was held on October 18–19, 2014. The parade featured 2,000 performers and attracted 100,000 spectators. The event was coordinated by about 600 volunteers.
The main aim of the festival is to contribute to the development of all kinds of arts in Vancouver as well as to celebrate and popularize Halloween as a family-friendly holiday. The organizers strive to reduce blood and gore themes. That’s why there are some rules and regulations that are strictly enforced during the festival such as no blood or gore, no hateful costumes and body parts, and no nudity or adult material. Vancouver Halloween Parade & Expo is designed for visitors of all ages, that’s why all content must be child-appropriate.
Aside from public safety and decency restrictions, there are no special regulations as far as costumes are concerned. According to the organizers, Halloween is the festival of fantasy, that’s why parade participants and attendees are encouraged to wear fantasy-inspired costumes from myths and legends, fantasy films, comics, anime, and video games. The Vancouver Halloween Parade features cosplayers, dancers and musicians who want to create festive atmosphere in downtown Vancouver and give spectators a mood boost. The parade can be joined by individual cosplayers, dance schools, music bands, etc.
Although the Halloween Parade is the main attraction, the Expo is also quite popular, especially among geeks. The first Vancouver Halloween Expo drew about 7,000 attendees. The expo is an indoor event that is a hybrid of a comic convention, a performing arts festival, and an arts exhibition. It features performers, cosplayers, artists, vendors and exhibitors from Vancouver and other Canadian cities. The program of the expo includes live concerts, an Artist Alley, panels, workshops, a cosplay contest, and other events. The Halloween Expo might be not so big as some other pop culture conventions, but it prides itself on its family-friendly atmosphere.
Photo by GoToVan