Christopher Butcher’s “TCAF 2009 – Wrap Up”

Source: Comics212

“Hello folks,

I’m Christopher Butcher and I’m the Festival Director and co-founder of TCAF, The Toronto Comic Arts Festival. Co-founder Peter Birkemoe, a handful of staff, and dozens of volunteers and I present TCAF every two years in lovely downtown Toronto, Canada. A little over a month ago on May 9-10, 2009, we held our fourth Festival. It was a first at our new home, the Toronto Reference Library, the flagship of the 99-branch Toronto Public Library system (the largest library system in North America). Following tradition, we thought a nice note sent far and wide might be a good way to sum up this year’s Festival, and make a few announcements about the next one.

First and foremost, we think that TCAF 2009 was a great success. Our main goal with TCAF is to create a stage for the comics, art and graphic novels that we love, so they can really shine and find the audience that they deserve. Canada is a country that produces great cartoonists and comics and we’re proud that more than 250 creators, a dozen publishers, and more attendees than ever could participate in this year’s Toronto Comic Arts Festival. Despite economic concerns, TCAF 2009 proved that comics are still a boom medium, bursting with creativity, craft, and passion—and people want to come out and be a part of it!

Attendance at TCAF 2009 events more than doubled over our 2007 figures, with 10,500 TCAF-specific attendees visiting Toronto Reference Library across both days (official numbers, at that: from audited data provided by Toronto Public Library’s turnstile powers-that-be), and with over 14,000 attendees visiting TCAF-branded events in total. Feedback from guests, attendees, and partners has been overwhelmingly positive so far. While we did experience some growing pains this year (heat, crowds, traffic-flow) familiarizing ourselves with and settling in to the new venue, we’re confident that moving forward we’ll be able to rectify these issues.

Click on the link to read Christopher Butcher’s TCAF 2009 – Wrap Up, in its entirety.


One thought on “Christopher Butcher’s “TCAF 2009 – Wrap Up”

  1. TCAF 2009 was an excellent event, and was very well attended. Glad to hear that it will be a yearly event!

    I have some concerns about the turnstyle numbers being used as is for counting attendance… as anyone who attended could tell you, any time anyone had to exit and leave the building (to get a drink, have a smoke, get lunch, etc.) they had to re-enter via the turnstyle and were therefore counted again. I must have been counted at least 8 times myself… (Saturday – when I arrived, coming back from getting coffee, coming back from getting lunch, leaving to meet Raph’s girlfriend outside to give her some books for Raph, coming back from getting a coke, returning on Sunday, leaving the building to meet James outside and take him over to the booth, and coming back from getting a coke).

    I would guesstimate the actual numbers for TCAF to be somewhere in the neighbourhood of 2,500-3,500 unique visitors. The only way I could see them really counting attendees accurately would be to introduce a single count method such as a passcard or a sticker that each person receives once. Problem is those things cost $.

    The other thing is that government sponsored festivals such as TCAF aren’t really “free” as the funding comes from the taxpayers.


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