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ENBICON finds home at Capital Exhibit Centre

Between Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, the gaming convention ENBICON will be taking place at the Capital Exhibit Centre in downtown Fredericton.

This is only the second year that the event is taking place at the Exhibit Centre, though previously the UNB Student Union Building was its home.

“ENBICON ran for around six years, back in the late eighties and early nineties, originally running in the SUB Ballroom,” explained Rick Gaigneur, who is helping organize this year’s event.

“At the time it was partially funded and supported by the Student Union. Eventually, the main organizers and motivators graduated from university, and the decision was made to move it to one of the local hotels.”

While the event lasted a few more years, interest waned and ENBICON was eventually discontinued.

“Now, gaming as a hobby and industry has seen a resurgence like never before, and the convention was resurrected, primarily through the efforts of organizer Julian Christie with the assistance and encouragement of the great staff at the Capital Exhibit Centre,” said Gaigneur.

Gaigneur, who is also a supervisor at the UNB Computer Sales Centre, said that for most people, getting a chance to try new games and meet new people is the highlight of the weekend.

“The big events currently scheduled include a large tournament for the Battletech miniatures game on Saturday, along with tournaments for Flames of War, Warmachine, Hordes and more.”

Along with games for beginners and veterans, there will also be an auction with portions of the proceeds going to the SPCA.

“This is the opportunity for attendees to get rid of stuff they don’t want or need anymore, while supporting a great cause,” said Gaigneur.

A costume contest, board games, and learning sessions will also be found at the event, which is estimated to see a couple of hundred people visit.

“Over two hundred came out last year, and I see no reason to expect fewer this year,” said Gaigneur.

“We hope there is something for everybody. Events for kids, new board games and tournaments for old favourites.”

ENBICON is part of a growing trend of social gaming events in the city. From The Capital’s weekly event, Arts and Crafts Wednesdays, to the soon-to-be-opened board game cafe, Unplugged, Fredericton has another artistic interest that is helping change the look of the city.

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