Thursday, March 23, 2017

Pop culture event Toronto ComiCon continued to grow this year, the sixth year since its restructuring as a three day program. Beginning on Friday evening, it continued through to Sunday. Organized by the same company as Fan Expo Canada, the event offered exhibitors, retailers, an artist’s alley, and panels.

Cast members from Canadian teen show Degrassi Junior High were among the featured guests at the convention. While the current series in the franchise, best known as Degrassi: The Next Generation, has spawned Broadway star Jake Epstein, rapper Drake, and others, the earlier show including Stacie Mistysyn and Stefan Brogren remains popular, particularly in Canada. Brogren told industry publication Kidscreen: “A part of me thought we would do it for five years and maybe get recognized for a couple of years afterwards and then that would be it. I had no idea it would turn out to be such an important thing in so many people?s lives and not just in Canada, but around the world.”

The current program is now distributed by Netflix, and Brogen remains a cast member as school principal, in addition to being a producer and director.

It was the first time the cast did a convention event. The cast also plan to tour to other conventions in Canada this year.

Also appearing were Robert Picardo, the holographic doctor on Star Trek: Voyager, and Ray Park, Darth Maul in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.

Panels at the convention focused on topics like steampunk costuming, wig styling, recently rebooted comic Captain Canuck, toy collecting, and the history of comic books in Canada over the decades, in conjunction with Canada’s sesquicentennial year. Cast members from The Sean Ward Show appeared at the event, meeting guests to the convention and hosting a panel about the superhero comedy YouTube channel which has more than 600 million views.


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