Attendance soars at CAPE

Carol Grant, now Carol Sauve after her superhero-themed wedding, takes a seat in a DeLorean at the second annual CAPE Sunday, April 24, 2016 at the Benson Center in Cornwall, Ont. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – Early estimates show at least 6,000 people came out for the second annual Cornwall & Area Pop Event (CAPE) at the Benson Center.

“Just phenomenal!” said co-founder Randy Sauve at the end of the two day event on Sunday. “When we look at ticket sales and admission fees, none of that includes children, but children are very key for our show because 12 and under are free so we have to look at those numbers too to add to the admission sales.”

Last year’s one day event saw an attendance of 3,500.

“We really wanted to bring something really special to Cornwall so we wanted to cover a lot of different areas – Walking Dead, Clerks as a theme and then Star Trek because it’s the 50th anniversary – and all those things were phenomenal here,” Sauve told Cornwall Newswatch.

Sauve described the cos-players, such as Simon Fontaine of Montreal as Ace Ventura and Dr. Stevil, as “off the hook…those guys are so, so good.”

Sauve liked the expanded convention over two days and there are already plans to have a two-day event in 2017. “We’ll make an announcement this week on next year’s event. We are already kind of working on it so we know what we’d like to do again for next year, nobody’s getting married though,” Sauve laughed.

The two days of the event book ended Sauve’s marriage to co-founder Carol Grant Saturday night in a unique ceremony that included Darth Vader walking Carol down the aisle, a couple Dr. Who Dalek robots and Ace Ventura interrupting when deputy clerk Manon Levesque asked if anyone thought the two shouldn’t be married.

While many would consider the wedding the highlight of the event, Sauve doesn’t see it entirely that way.

“The highlight for the con was the wedding ceremony for Carol and I. But that’s not CAPE. For CAPE, it was the amount of people who would come up and shake our hands and say thank you for putting on such a great show for Cornwall. And that’s why we did it. We did it because Cornwall needs something like this. There’s a demographic that doesn’t have an outlet. They’re going to other cities to enjoy something like this. They don’t have to anymore,” Randy said.

Carol Sauve said the convention went well with a great team of volunteers. “(There was) a lot more experience on the volunteers front because of last year too, some returning, so that helped. Attendance was phenomenal,” Carol said.

There were some challenges with running a two-day show compared to the single day last year, but Carol characterized them as minor.

“I love the energy, I love our guests. Our guests are really awesome to work with. The vendors – I love that we have a great variety. But the highlight – I got married! But for the show itself, just seeing the smiles and everybody back and being supportive,” Mrs. Sauve said.

One of those CAPE exhibitors was Joe Penko of Ontario Fiberglass Production in Richmond Hill, Ont. with a replica of KITT, the car from the 80s TV show Knight Rider.

Penko said the 1983 black Pontiac Trans Am took him three years to build for his wife, Agi Pinter.

The event, spread out over two rinks at the Benson Center saw artwork, books, exhibits and everything in between for the young and young at heart.

Click on a image below to open a gallery of photos from CAPE.