The furry fandom is a subculture interested in anthropomorphic animal characters in cartoons, films, television shows, comic books, anime, manga, science fiction and fantasy novels, and other pop culture works. Although animal characters with human personalities and characteristics originated in fairy tales, the furry fandom as a modern pop culture phenomenon emerged in the early 1980s. The world’s first standalone furry convention was held in the US in 1989.
Scotland’s first furry convention was originally planned around Easter in 2010. However, one of the organizers had to leave for personal reasons, and ScotiaCon was put on hold. Several months later, the convention was relaunched under new management. The inaugural ScotiaCon was held from July 15–17, 2011 at the Ramada Jarvis hotel, Inverness, Highland.
The first edition of ScotiaCon attracted about 50 visitors. By 2015, the attendance had grown to 150. The convention’s program is similar to that of other furry conventions. It includes seminars, workshops, panel discussions, competitions and tournaments, parties and dances, a fursuit walk, samplings of traditional Scottish delicacies such as haggis and deep fried Mars bars, and a charity auction. Charity auctions are a common event at furry conventions, they aim to raise money for animal welfare charities. At every convention, there is a new charity of the year that receives the money.
Each year, the organizers of ScotiaCon announce a new convention theme which sets the tone and atmosphere. Previous themes include Scotland and Scottish Culture, Keep Calm and Sing Along!, Science Fiction, Superheroes and Villains, Apocalypse, and Winter Wonderland. Each convention features special guests known for their contribution to the furry fandom.
ScotiaCon has a mascot. It’s a black Scottish terrier named Walles. The mascot was named after sir William Wallace, a Scottish knight who was one of the main leaders during the Wars of Scottish Independence. Since his death, Wallace has obtained an iconic status, he is considered a national hero.
Photo by Awkore