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Bronies ride into Richmond

BronyCAN 2014 organizers Tabatha Hughes and Afion Ruki say upwards of 850 people are expected to attend this weekend
BronyCAN 2014 organizers Tabatha Hughes and Afion Ruki say upwards of 850 people are expected to attend this weekend's convention at the Executive Airport Plaza Hotel and Conference Centre on Westminster Highway, which runs Friday through Sunday, Aug. 22 to 24.
— image credit: Martin van den Hemel

If you haven’t seen My Little Pony since the days of Expo 86, you will have a hard time understanding the phenomenon that has adult men and women dressing like pastel-coloured horses, and bringing their children to a convention about the show.

More familiar with the two-level humour from The Simpsons, Spongebob Squarepants, and Phineas and Pherb, one that’s aimed at children, the second squarely to draw in adults?

Then you’ll start to understand the latest phenomenon that will see in the neighbourhood of 1,000 people, children and adults alike, gathering at the Executive Airport Plaza Hotel this weekend for BronyCan 2014.

Bronies is a two-word combination (portmanteau) of bro and ponies, to refer to the adult male fans of the show.

In 2010, the cartoon was re-envisioned by series developer Lauren Faust under the name My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, with more sophisticated drawing and themes revolving around friendship and kindness.

Those themes have resonated not just with children, but adults too, many of whom come dressed as their favourite pony to conventions.

Tabatha Hughes, vice chair of the convention, said the newest iteration of the show is a “great kids show, but when adults watch it, they will get the small jokes.”

Like what?

Well, actor John de Lancie, known for his role as Q in Star Trek: The Next Generation, voices the villainous Discord, who is a trickster much like the omnipotent Q was in the Star Trek series.

Last year’s convention was a huge hit, drawing 850 people to the convention, where guests get to interact with the talented minds behind the Vancouver-made cartoon.

At $50 for a weekend pass, and $30 for a day pass, the convention is affordable for the very families that are the show’s bread and butter.

This year’s convention will feature more than 15 special guests, including contributors to the official comic book.

“The convention will have a diverse array of fans of the show, including children, teenagers and adults, collectively known as Bronies. The show is focused on the value of friendship and teaches a number of important life lessons through its colourful production and excellent storytelling that people of all ages can sit down and enjoy,” organizers said.

For more about the convention, visit bronycan.ca

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