Northward for fun! The Elmvale Scifi Festival recap.


On Saturday, July 20th, Bill and I went up to Elmvale to participate in the Elmvale Scifi Fantasy Festival Street Party. At first we were worried, because the weather forecast was calling for strong thunderstorms, but we figured we’d go and meet some people, play some games and have fun as best we could. And we did! We met some great people and had a great time! Best of all, the thunderstorms never materialized! We had to deal with scorching heat and oppressive humidity, which was only occasionally relieved by the wind which blew our cards off the table, but it was awesome nonetheless. So here you have the story of our day.

We arrived early to set up, and also because Hwy 400 was moving pretty well the whole way there. Even as we were setting up, we could see that there were going to be some interesting people there, with their booths and costumes.

Setting up the booth
Here we are setting up at around 9am

One of the first costumed people I saw and talked to was Yuuki Asuna, from Sword Art Online. Of course, I recognized her, because I’m all savvy and hip with the anime stuff that the kids are all into these days, but we had to explain it to Bill.

Asuna and friend

She and her friend were very nice, and fun to talk to, and she’s on Instagram,  and so is her friend, Shaila. They spent some time in our area, because they kept returning to the booth next to us, which was this one:


This was our next door neighbour in the vendors’ area. They were also nice here, and helped us pick up cards every time a gust of wind sent them off our table (we ended up taping most of them down). They were selling high-performance socks and shoe insoles.

Perhaps deterred by the weather forecast, not all of the expected vendors showed up, which is a shame for them, because we had some good groups of people come by! But we had neighbours on our left, who were kind enough to share the weights they had to keep their tent from being affected by the wind with us. They were Dowling Woodworking, and they made really cool signs!

Dowling Woodworking booth
All handmade and painted!

In addition to the “Welcome to our Home” signs, they had a great selection of nerdy fandom-related signs! An “Alohamora” key rack, a “Hobbit’s Diet” placard, a wonderful “I am a leaf on the wind, watch how I soar” sign, plus a bunch of others. This was my favourite:

Dowling's cool signs
Perfect for the game room!

They sold both of these by noon, I think.

Across from us were some more great booths, like Luna Ivy Creations. The owner, Lindsay, had some really cool gemstone jewelry and wands.

Luna Ivy Creations
Even their table coverings are awesome!

Beside her was an ambassador for Barefoot Books, who also happened to work at the local library! So naturally we talked about book collecting.

Barefoot Books

One of the cool things about Barefoot Books is that they use stories from around the world to give children a wider of view of different cultures and their stories.

Next to the books was a steampunk clothing shop that had some really neat looking items. I went over there as well, and asked why there wasn’t a sign up for me to get in the picture, and it turns out that they’re called Kinky Miss Lingerie, and have recently added the steampunk fashion to their inventory. Apparently people get shy about approaching a booth with that name on it. I guess I can understand that, but these items were way to cool not to go and look at!

Steampunk Lingerie
She randomly pulled something purple off the rack to display without even knowing it was my favourite colour! Or did she…?

You can check out what sort of items they have on their website and Instagram, unless you’re too shy…

And just then, I needed to stop to video a guy walking his spider.

This guy is Lawrence Connelly, and you can see other costumes and items by him on his Instagram, Facebook, and on Deviant Art.

I didn’t get to meet and talk to all of the interesting people there, because I was also showing and playing games at our own booth of course! But I did want to go over and talk to science fiction author David M. Kelly! We’re not related, but I thought it would be fun to meet him anyway. He noted that I have the same name as a famous American astronaut, and told me that people ask him about that too, because he actually looks a bit like him.

Note that I don’t look like either of them.

David M. Kelly

And another table that I did get to see was VonDelle Stitching. All of the outfits/dresses/costumes were made by one person, including the Queen of Hearts costume, which won an award at Anime North!

Okay, so now you’re thinking, “you’ve shown us the things near you, because you couldn’t get far from your own booth once the people started coming by the area, but what happened in your booth with your games, and did you beat Bill at Sinoda again?” Don’t worry, I’ll answer those questions, starting with the last one. Yes. Yes I did. On the new upsized boards using d4s, with the new starting layout of 6 pieces in a flower rather than 5 across the back, we had a great game of Sinoda.

Bill thinking about Sinoda
This wasn’t posed; he didn’t even know I was taking a picture.

And now check out all these other cool people enjoying our games:

Mathemagician's Duel - 2 games!
Two games of Mathemagician’s Duel!
Sinoda match
An intense game of Sinoda!
Mathemagician's Duel while Bill has lunch
The older sister was relentless, and quietly and efficiently casts spells on her younger brother with the barest hint of a smirk.

After playing some great games with some great people, we went over to Jack’s On Queen, the local game shop. What a cool store (and not just because of the air conditioning)! Nice tables, friendly staff, and a lot of games!

MDuelling at Jack's on Queen

We met and played Mathemagician’s duel with some of the local gamers, and then Bill also played Sinoda with the same guy there, while, having watched the previous game, Kimberly taught her husband (and staff member) how to play Mathemagician’s Duel. It was a great experience and I hope to get the opportunity to make the trip out there again.

And on top of all the fun we had meeting people, I also got interviewed for the True North Nerds podcast! We’ll keep you updated for that episode so you can listen to it! You can also see what else they’ve done and talked about by checking them out on Instagram.

There you have it! Our day in Elmvale! The wind was slightly irritating, blowing our cards off the table, but it was only a minor annoyance, far outweighed by the fun we had! Especially since we expecting thunderstorms! There was a lot that we didn’t see, or take pictures of, because there was more going on that wasn’t near our table. We are very much looking forward to going back next year, and strongly recommend that you go, too!

Until then, keep checking our socials and our event calendar to see where we will be next! Wherever we are, we hope that you’ll join us!

One response to “Northward for fun! The Elmvale Scifi Festival recap.”

  1. […] As much fun as the whole weekend at the encampment was, along with the battles down the pathway at Discovery Harbour and on the main street of Penetanguishene, I also took part of the Saturday afternoon to go into Penetanguishene to visit a game store. And I am so glad I did! I had already heard of North of Exile Games, because they are friends of the people at Dowling Woodworking, whom I met at the Elmvale Sci-Fi Festival and mentioned in this blog. […]

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