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They say, "with great power comes great responsibility”. So what happens when great power combines with piles of spare time? Answer: super-human generosity. Speaking for ourselves, this global crisis has at times made us feel massively inspired and at times overwhelmed. It's on those bad days that we’re grateful for our incredible fan community, and the examples we see of talented artists and makers putting their good days and significant creative powers to good use. Here are a few of our favourite examples from Calgary, AB:
Andrea and Colin didn't mean to raise over $7k for the Calgary Food Bank, but here we are. The couple are actually Calgary Expo volunteers, and as it turns out, great cartoon artists! During the quarantine they would keep their young sons entertained by decorating their sidewalk with colourful characters. Their block quickly became a popular destination for neighbourhood walkers, and before they knew it they were accepting commissions; for $10 donations to the food bank they began visiting neighbour sidewalks and leaving cartoon-grams to make people smile.
Enter Twitter, the hashtag (#CartoonsForACause) and the couple was taking hundreds of orders overnight. https://www.avenuecalgary.com/city-life/cartoons-for-a-cause-calgary/
Who you gonna call? Nerds. If you've been to Calgary Expo or Edmonton Expo you've definitely met this crew - maybe you've even donated at their incredible booth and helped them raise cash for the Alberta Children's Hospital or the Stollery Children's Hospital in Edmonton (last year they raised over $12k for these charities). But when our world changed and they couldn't meet up or exhibit anymore, they turned their attention and talent to supporting our heroes on the front line by making much-needed materials: scrubs, face shields and ear-protectors that make masks more bearable. This Calgary Herald article features a very cool video of the work, and also talks about how the group grew to include prop people from the new Ghostbusters movie, which was recently filmed in Alberta.
Is there anything more flattering than being stopped by M'Guphynn Media at the Expo and asked if you'd like to be included in their epic cosplay highlight reel? This awesome crew based out of Fort McMurray knew COVID-19 was getting us all down, and decided to put in the world and spotlight our talented cosplay community anyway. They solicited 'stay at home submissions' just a few days after hearing their summer cons couldn't go on, and created this masterpiece of creativity. So cool to see so many familiar faces in this. Bravo!
Fandom brings us together, and reminds us that we're not alone. These three examples are just a few of the stories that have kept us going over the past few weeks, but we know there are more. If we've learned anything lately, it's that we can't take anything for granted.