Vancouver Retro Gaming Expo returns for its 11th year

The expo will include guest panels, vendors, gaming, music, and more

The Vancouver Retro Gaming Expo returns for its 11th year at the Anvil Centre in New Westminster on Saturday, June 24. (Submitted)

The Vancouver Retro Gaming Expo returns for its 11th year at the Anvil Centre in New Westminster on Saturday, June 24. (Submitted)

The Vancouver Retro Gaming Expo will return to the Anvil Centre in New Westminster on June  24 from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm. 

At the event, there will be various forms of entertainment like vendor halls, artist alleys, musical performances, panels, and video games. There will also be a “Battle of the Rock Bands”, a costume contest, and “Retro Gaming” Jeopardy.

Brian Hughes, show director for the expo, came up with the idea after attending the Portland Retro Gaming Expo a decade ago. The first Vancouver Retro Gaming Expo was held in 2012. 

“We have a solid team of volunteers that come out every year and make sure that we get the local vendors and other local organizations together to provide a day of fun for everyone,” Hughes says. 

This year’s expo will include different tournaments, traditional chiptune folk music by the Balkan Bleeps from the United States, and performances by Vancouver-based Koopa Troopas and ska-punk band The Wavebirds

The costume contest will allow participants to display their best gaming-themed cosplay costumes. “Battle of the Rock Band”s is a video game and comedy event that will judge participants performing tracks from Rockband 4, a music video game, based on their accuracy, stage presence, and participation. 

Shane Steward, a Canada-based musician who melds music and video games will also be performing at the event. Musical performances also include chip music showcases where local musicians use vintage computers and gaming systems to perform music. 

The panels will include a question and answer period with John Hancock, one of the original organizers of the Portland Retro Gaming Expo, and a video game music challenge. There will also be an Improv Antiques Roadshow with the Fictionals where gaming historians will unravel the history of rare finds, an audiovisual computer art panel called Demoscene, and fandom trivia.

The tournaments will include games such as Mario Kart: Double Dash, Super Smash Bros 64, Tetris, Street Fighter 2, and Goldeneye 007.

Hughes says the vendors at this year’s expo are more than they have ever had. The vendor hall and artist alley will feature local, flea market vendors, selling a range of video games from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm. Artists will also be present with rare collectibles and video game themed creations. 

“At the end of the day, people want to have fun with their friends doing the things they enjoy. So, we design the event around people having fun for the day,” Hughes says. 

He also says the event is an opportunity for people to play retro video games together. There will be free-play gaming stations featuring retro consoles, modern compilations, single and multi-player classics, as well as popular older games. 

Tickets for the event are $25 and will be available at the venue as well as online. For more about the expo head to