It’s a place for like-minded individuals to gather and celebrate the culture that brings them together.
That’s the driving force for event mastermind Peter Kaz as he gears up to launch the Vernon Comic Con at the Village Green Hotel May 5.
“The biggest reason is just to get people like us together once in a while,” said Kaz, manager of special services at the Hotel. “This just gives everybody a reason to get together.”
From a photo booth that features surprise characters to a slew of vendors offering comics, cards, collectibles and everything in between, Kaz said the trade show, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., will have something for everyone. And, given that Vernon Comic Con intentionally lines up with Free Comic Book Day, the Ebenezer’s booth will have free comic books on hand while supplies last.
Kaz, who grew up exploring the comic con conventions in New York City and Calgary, wanted to bring a flavour of his favourite cons to his new hometown.
“There are a couple here in the Okanagan, but I just wanted to bring something more localized,” Kaz said. “It won’t be as big, but it’s definitely going to have something for everyone.”
Following the trade show, the hotel adjacent The Green Pub will welcome all young Padawans for Star Wars Trivia from 6 to 8 p.m. Following a successful Harry Potter trivia night last month, Kaz is hopeful for a good turnout.
After the trivia action, the Pub will transform into a cosplay and live music hub with the musical offerings of POUNDSIGN and DJ PK. While participants don’t have to dress up, prizes are available throughout the day for the best costume.
“From what we’ve been hearing, there’s a lot of interest and excitement. And, it’s free,” said Kaz, who is keeping his costume secret until the event. “It will be an epic day.”
Vernon Comic Con is only one of Kaz’s initiatives at the pub, however. Prior to joining the Village Green Hotel team in December, Kaz was a music manager and worked with an artist who recently toured alongside the likes of Ariana Grande and The Weeknd, among others.
“I was in a band numerous years ago and I remember after coming back (from a gig), my cousin introduced me to an up-and-coming singer,” Kaz said. “Before you know it, I had a slate of artists I was managing.”
Kaz ran his California-based business from his Calgary home before moving to the Okanagan with his family about two years ago. He still operates his business and always has his ears to the ground for talent, but Kaz has decided to slow down and enjoy the ride, though, remnants of his past seep through into his current work at the Hotel.
A priority of his is to bring in new and unique music into the pub every weekend and play everything from classic 1970s party songs to modern hits.
One of such offerings is Vegas Baby, a Las Vegas-theme night in the pub that seats 270 featuring The Legendary Lake Monsters April 28 at 9:15 p.m. Cover is $10.
“It feels like you’re in Vegas when you listen to these guys,” Kaz said.
Other happenings include frequent paint and sip nights and monthly trivia nights.
“I have a few other surprises just to shake things up,” Kaz laughed.
And for Kaz, whether it’s putting on new events, helping out in other areas of the Hotel — such as sales and ballroom rentals — or helping up-and-coming talent find their path, that’s what it’s all about.
“I just love helping people out,” Kaz said. “I just want to be there for them.”