BrickCan 2016 – Everything is Awesome!
Everything is awesome! That became the motto of BrickCan 2016. And everything was indeed awesome. Over 200 AFOLs from as far as Germany and Hong Kong convened at the River Rock Casino in Richmond BC April 21-24 to participate in games, activities and discussions, and to display their MOCs (My Own Creations) for the public exhibition that saw 5,500 people come through the doors over the weekend.
Although I was a bit overwhelmed when I first arrived, everyone was incredibly welcoming and willing to lend a hand to help me figure out where to set up my MOCs. As a newbie I had no idea what to expect and I was quite nervous to display my models next to the likes of Johnathon Vaughn Strebly who created the Pacific Central Station model recently featured in the media. It was quite an experience meeting some amazing builders, Canada’s only Certified LEGO Professional Robin Sather, LEGO Designer Justin Ramsden, and Kevin Hinkle, Community Manager at the LEGO Group.
What happens at a LEGO convention?
In addition to displaying MOCs at the public exhibition, there were lots of different games to participate in – I played mitten build (wearing lined wool mittens from The Hudson’s Bay), master build (using 3 unrelated sets, including the Exo Suit with pieces I was unfamiliar with, and an unknown theme), and left/right handed 2-person speed build (I learned that I am not at all ambidextrous; luckily Laura is apparently). There were also various other speed builds (solo and team), a box build, and a table top hockey tournament using small sets designed by Tyler Sky and Robin Sather.
Other activities included bricktory and gaming, two different parts drafts (I had no idea what this meant going into the convention), dirty brickster gift exchange which was a ton of fun, and lots of vendors, prizes and awards. There was also a BrickCANNES mini film festival and Brickucha presentations (based on the “Pechakucha” format). The Beaver Boys from Alberta became the unofficial social coordinators and kept the buzz going at all times of day or night. And of course, MILUG was born at BrickCan 2016!
What I learned at BrickCan:
- Everyone is encouraged to build and display their MOCs regardless of how long they’ve been building.
- There is such a thing as a LEGO Ambassador.
- Brick badges are a unique way to share your group affiliations and LEGO interests with others, and some builders hand out custom minifigs or mini builds to attach to your badge.
- The LEGO community, although worldwide, feels like a tight-knit family.
- There are a ton of acronyms to learn (many of which I still haven’t figured out yet)!