Convention du Lac
|Convention du Lac / BayouCon|
|Venue||Lake Charles Civic Center|
|Location(s)||Lake Charles, La|
|Organized by||Justin Toney; Kendall Fontenot|
Convention du Lac, now known as BayouCon, is a North American multi-genre convention, held annually in Lake Charles, Louisiana, presented by the non-profit Southwest Louisiana Science Education Foundation.
Convention du Lac (a nod to the Acadian French heritage of the area), or Convention at the Lake, grew as the brainchild of lifelong Lake Charles residents Justin Toney, Stuart Griggs and other residents of Southwest Louisiana. The convention organized in 2008 and officially became a legal entity in February 2009. Upon completion of two successful conventions, most the board of directors disbanded to form another event. At this point, a new board was formed and a name change occurred. The name BayouCon was thought of to continue the nod to Louisiana and its rich culture. A joint branding of the convention took place in 2011 and a complete removal of the original proceeded the end of convention 3.
Year One: 2009 — Convention du Lac held its first event at the Enos Derbonne Sports Complex in South Lake Charles, with an estimated 280 attendees, and Battlestar Galactica actor Richard Hatch as the Guest of Honor. Fan groups, including the Bast Alpha Garrison and CajunBot attended as well. After this successful first-run, the convention organizers quickly decided that expansion was necessary.
Year Two: 2010 — expecting an even larger attendance for year two, organizers searched for a new host facility capable of handling the expected crowd. The event moved to the Lake Charles Civic Center and several programming options were added. Guests for this convention included Battlestar Galactica's Luciana Carro and Star Trek's Chase Masterson. Supporting guests included Larry Nemecek, Roger Nygard, Daryl Frazetti, and Curtis Webster. Many fan groups from Louisiana and Mississippi also participated in the convention. By the Board's estimate, attendance exceeded year one by more than 100 members.
Year Three: 2011 — after a great convention in 2010, the Board of Directors elected to combine the convention with the larger Contraband Days festival. This move was to offer a better selection of programming and expanded the space to accommodate more events and attendees. However, due to a raise of ticket prices with the Contraband Festival combined with other events in the area, the convention suffered a membership loss for 2011. The Board elected to return close to their original date in June.
Year Four: 2012 — once again held at the Lake Charles Civic Center, featured celebrity guests for the Klingon-themed event were Robert O'Reilly and J. G. Hertzler, who graciously dressed up as their popular Star Trek characters, Chancellor Gowron and General Martok. Various vendors, artists, fan groups and cosplayers were in ample attendance during the 3 day event.
Year Five: 2013 — on June 28 thru 30th, BayouCon V was held at the Chateau du Calcasieu event center in Lake Charles. Featured celebrity guests were Vic Mignogna (known for his various anime and Star Trek roles, particularly as Capt. Kirk in Star Trek Continues), and Jonathan Morton, best known as Luke Skywalker's co-pilot during the Battle Of Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back. The three-day event featured a variety of genre entertainment, including panels, contests, Q&A's, vendors, authors, artists and fan groups. A healthy variety of anime, steampunk, comics and other sci-fi/fantasy cosplayers attended.
Year Five: 2014
Year Five: 2015
Year Five: 2016 — June 24–26, 2016, at the West Cal Events Center in Sulphur, Louisiana. Guests include Taylor Gray, Robert Axelrod, Bobby Clark, and Scott L. Schwartz.
The 2-and-1/2 day convention provides over 20 hours of unique programming, spanning from science fiction, comics, and art, to acting, literature, and cosplay. In 2011, the event added a film festival to its programming.
- "CajunBot visits Con du lac". CajunBot Labs. June 17, 2009.
- "Con Billboard..." Trekland. June 2, 2010.
- Richards, Brandon (June 12, 2010). "Sci-Fi fans flock to Civic Center for Con du Lac". KPLC-TV.
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