History of The CaliCON

History of The CaliCON

You're probably familiar with Calimacil's major event, the one that brings together our partners and LARP enthusiasts from Quebec and beyond: we're talking, of course, about CaliCON!

To celebrate Calimacil's 20th anniversary, we're going to take a look back at the various editions of CaliCON that have marked Calimacil's history! Ready to embark? We're off!

What is CaliCON?

CaliCON is an event organized by Calimacil to bring together the LARP community and introduce the general public to this enchanting universe.

This was the first year for the event's name and scope, although Calimacil's annual Open House, which is the origin of CaliCON, has been running for several years.


Industry Open House 2016

The first Calimacil Open House took place in 2016 under the organization of Sherbrooke Innopole as part of the Industry Open House.

This event enabled students, job seekers and the Sherbrooke population to discover innovative companies that are usually inaccessible to the public, while providing concrete support for manufacturing companies' efforts to meet their recruitment challenges.

18 companies took part in this year's event, which demonstrates Calimacil's determination to open its factory doors to the people of Sherbrooke and the surrounding area!

The success of the event led the company to repeat the experience in 2017 and 2018. Since 2019, the open-house formula has evolved to offer what you know today as the CaliCON!

Open Doors 2018

Following a successful 2016 and 2017 edition, we decided to further improve our recipe by offering something new for the 2018 Open House edition.

We brought along our partners to take part in this special day, including Legendary Camps, who haven't missed a single edition of CaliCON since then!

CaliCON was beginning to take shape and resemble what it would become in subsequent years!

CaliCON 2019

Hosted by 75 volunteers, employees and high-caliber artisans from Quebec, the 2019 edition of CaliCON allowed visitors to try out our foam weapons, our "LEDsaber", fight in 4 official tournaments, meet great LARP players from Quebec and even attend conferences on weapon safety and Cosplay.

While visits to the factory were always in the spotlight, the Sherbrooke-based company also gave everyone the chance to immerse themselves in the playful world in which it operates, through games, meetings, conferences and other activities.

We also offered workshops in fencing with the club on our premises! Sherlames, one of our partners, was also on hand to introduce visitors to the sport! The aim of this first edition of CaliCON is to be a unifying event, which is why there are no admission fees and it's open to all.

For our CEO Patrick, CaliCON is an investment in the community that brings his team's passion to life: "There can be no success without collaboration, and we hope to create a climate conducive to discussion, exchange and fun for all.

This edition also marked the return from Italy of Samuel and Patrick, who took the opportunity to present their trip and visit to the major Lucca Comics & Games event. This project was supported by Sherbrooke Innopole's Sherbrooke International program, of which Mr. Lessard proudly became a Lauréat Ambassadeur 2019.

Watch The LedSaber Battle!

CaliCON 2020

In 2020, the world was hit by the Covid 19 pandemic. The various restrictions and successive waves of the virus meant that the 2020 edition of CaliCON did not take place this year.

No matter! Motivated by this missed appointment, Calimacil was ready to come back stronger than ever in 2021!

CaliCON 2021

After an unfortunate hiatus in 2020 due to the many effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were determined to make 2021 a success, and we pulled out all the stops.

For the event (and to make room for all our new Epic Armoury stock!), we overhauled our workshop almost from top to bottom. We were thrilled to finally be able to open our doors again as hosts!

With the global pandemic still with us, we had to organize the event a little differently. Beyond simply respecting local health safety protocols, here are some of the changes we made for this edition:

• We offered VIP tickets to reserve a time slot and guarantee access despite the strict limits on indoor attendance;
• Construction of a temporary store, larger and more accessible than our usual one;
• Set up a livestream that lasted over 7 hours, with expert help from Diratia Productions;
• Organized special workshops to build and paint your own personalized sword;
• Set up dedicated outdoor areas like a fireplace and coffee tent to keep warm.

Watch The Calimacil interview

CaliCON 2022

After a 2021 edition still marked by Covid-related restrictions, the 7th edition of CaliCON returned to its pre-pandemic objective: to be a unifying event.

To mark this reunion in the best possible way, we have once again evolved the formula to offer a striking edition in every respect.

Here are some of the highlights of the 2022 edition:

• Launch of our official showroom at the front of the building;
• Live streaming of panels and the new CaliCON awards ceremony;
• Organized special workshops to build and paint your own personalized sword;
• Launched Odin's Breath, an educational and immersive game;
• An outdoor combat training area supervised by Les Camps Légendaires.

CaliCON 2023

Always eager to renew itself and offer new experiences to its visitors, the last edition of CaliCON saw the introduction of many new features, the two most important of which were the character sheet and the boss sheet!

Yes, this year visitors had the opportunity to obtain a character sheet and improve their stats throughout the day! The first step was to choose between 3 class types (Warrior, Archer or Mage).

By taking part in the various activities offered during the event, and receiving stamps, their character gained in level just like in a real D&D game!

This year, the list of activities was really full:

• Try your hand at fencing with Sher-Lames, a Sherbrooke institution renowned for its performance and learning methods!
• Take part in a mini escape game with Évasion GN
• Take part in a tabletop role-playing game with Souffle d'Odin and Production Diratia
• Leather workshops with Fille du Triskel and Zardwin
• Watch combat demonstrations with Académie Scrimicie
•Take on your friends with Calimacil weapons in the arena of legendary camps
• Become a model for a day at Dracolite
• Or treat yourself at the Faim Renard food truck!

You can also practice archery with... or discover CaliWorld and its entire creative process! For the first time in CaliCON's history, the program also included a visit to the Calimacil Museum, where you can discover old Calimacil relics (early weapons, prototypes...).

All in all, we welcomed over 700 people who were able to immerse themselves in the Grandeur Nature universe, meet our partners, take part in various activities and enjoy exclusive in-store discounts!