You read that right: Atomic Lollipop.
Now just try and envision what type of an event that might conjure up in your imagination. Take your time.
Now that you’re finished, and if you are in any way familiar with the Ontario Science Centre, did the prospect of taking Ordinary Wizarding Levels (O.W.L) from the acclaimed ‘Harry Potter’ series creep into your mind? What about a course in Quidditich? No? Well, what about the Star Wars ‘Bring Your Own Lightsaber” event? Cosplay Dodgeball? Nerdgirl Burlesque?
This weekend was the weekend of Atomic Lollipop: a combined carnival and convention, music festival and geek-culture extravaganza hosted by the Ontario Science Centre.
The Ontario Science Centre is a premiere facility educational facility that is nationally-renowned for its interactive exhibits and educational science instruction. Teachers from across the province flock to this location for hands-on, interactive ways of providing science content for their students. For this to be the venue of extreme geek-worthy doings says volumes about the inferred relationship between science and nerd culture.
This was an event that catered to virtually every level of geekdom. Star Wars, Star Trek, Anime, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter and Zombie madness in addition to other tropes and motifs were fairly represented. Event-goers could indulge in board games as well as being entertained. Skill workshops like swing dancing, voice acting and costume fabrication were also thrown into the mix.
The event was tagged as an all-ages event. There were plenty of attractions for the younger nerd-in-embryo, like the Harry Potter wand workshops and discussions. However, towards the later hours of the evening, events like Nerd Girl Burlesque or hilarious Star Trek inspired performances by comedy troupes like the Dandies required an audience with a more mature perspective and appreciation. Some attractions were exclusively reserved for an 18+ audience.
While the venue may have been surprising, it was nothing short of ultra-cool. Mega kudos to the programmers at the Science Centre to host such a unique and eclectic fan event. Toronto already has a good range of geek-centric events, but for an established and institution like the Science Centre to host this event shows the level of geek culture acceptance in this city.
While a tad overbalanced towards the anime crowd, Atomic Lollipop still had enough variety to satisfy a wide range of geek culturists. Running over the weekend, the event could have benefited from more media coverage. However, with the success and coverage generated from this year, this will undoubtedly be resolved in time for next year’s A-Pop.
Mark your calendar for next year's Atomic Lollipop and leave nothing to your imagination. Oh ... and don't forget to bring your lightsaber!