September 24th and 25th, 2011, for the second year in a row, Victoria, British Columbia, will host an art-happening of steampunk art, tech, fashion, music, architecture, story, film and food.
This year's Victoria Steam Exposition is hosted by the magnificent 1890 mad-scientist lair of Craigdarroch Castle, a monument to the exuberance of the Victorian age. Its endless panelling, brass speaking-tubes and soaring spires with widow's-walks lend the perfect backdrop to absinthe-inspired imaginings of time-travel and airship pirates. The show's celebrity authors include Kaja and Phil Foglio, whose illustrative work and storytelling are legendary among comics fans and gamers.
The $40 weekend pass gives you access to the castle and its permanent collections, as well as steampunk jewelers, tinkers, corsetieres, milliners, leather and glassworkers, artisans and anachronists. Additionally there are continuous panel discussions on costuming, history, literary readings, and prop-making.
Headlining the Saturday evening event is San Francisco's glam-noir siren Jill Tracy, who will conduct a seance communing with the spirits not of the departed, but of the castle's nineteenth-century Steinway pianos. Burlesque dancers and gypsy folk music will intertwine with tattoo artists, brass goggles, and mad contraptions. The cabaret evening is included in the weekend price, although guests may be expected to stand given the constraints of the architecture.
Sunday features a Victorian picnic on the castle's lawns, complete with period refreshments, entertainment, and a children's costume contest.
Not your typical "con" or convention, Canada's premiere steampunk event, VSE II is more intimate; a living art-show with evocative venues, and more oriented around conversation and sharing in an authentic Victorian atmosphere.
Tickets are now available for the all-inclusive Weekend Pass ($40).
*Please note: Children under 13 are free when accompanied by a ticketed adult and you must be 18+ to attend the Cabaret Burlesque.