We look forward to hosting future editions of furry fun, but we enjoy reminiscing about our past, too — so join this tour through our last four years as we prepare to celebrate our fifth anniversary in 2014!
Furnal Equinox 2013: Furries in Uniform
Furnal Equinox 2013 took place from March 8 to 10, 2013. The event attracted a total of 750 attendees, setting another new record for the fourth consecutive year. RedCoatCat and Rukis, from British Columbia and New York respectively, were the Guests of Honour for the convention, providing several stunning pieces of artwork to pay tribute to all uniformed personnel, including military, firefighters, police, EMS and many more.
2013 marked the first year of the convention's new venue, the Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel & Conference Centre. With exclusive access to all of the hotel's convention space, accessible restaurants in the hotel, and an expanded Zoo, there was plenty to take advantage of. Furry fans responded with enthusiasm, selling out the hotel in the first year!
2013 was a good year for vendors, as well! The new venue allowed the convention to undergo another significant expansion to the Dealers Den and introduce the inaugural art show, giving artists the opportunity to sell their artwork right to attendees. There was plenty of excitement among fursuiters, with 206 fursuits participating in this year's parade and the much-anticipated Fursuit Dance Competition making its debut.
Our attendees' generosity was again in full swing — the charity auction raised $6,000 for the Mississauga Humane Society.
Furnal Equinox 2012: Infurnally Yours
Furnal Equinox 2012 was held from March 16-18, 2012 at the Doubletree by Hilton Toronto Airport in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The event attracted a total of 651 attendees over the three days, becoming the second-largest furry event outside of the United States (behind only Eurofurence).
Furry art powerhouses Dark Natasha and Marci McAdam were the Guests of Honour at the convention, which celebrated the coming together of good and evil in romantic, forbidden love. Their collaborative spirit was in full display right from their announcement at the previous FE and continued at the convention itself, sharing the duty of conbadges and website artwork as well as teaming up to host a memorable Art Jam on Saturday night.
The 2012 convention saw plenty of new programming, and for the first time, the fursuit parade began outdoors in Furnal Equinox's warmest weather ever — pushing almost 20ºC in the middle of March! All 160 fursuiters in the parade received ear tags, and hotel guests received custom Furnal Equinox room keys. FE 2012 also marked the debut of the pizza dinner for sponsors in the Wolf's Den.
Charity director Shane put the challenge out to attendees to double the charity auction total from the prior year and they stepped up to the challenge, raising a total of $8,000 for the Mississauga Humane Society. Notably, it wasn't just from the Charity Auction — a number of on-the-spot fundraising initiatives raised some money too!
Furnal Equinox 2011: Wild Magic
Furnal Equinox 2011 was held from March 11-13, 2011 at the Doubletree by Hilton Toronto Airport. The event attracted over 450 furries over the three days.
FE was joined by some remarkable Guests of Honour for another year. Critically acclaimed artist and fursuit maker FirestormSix was present with a number of suits to showcase, and furry artist ZEN flew all the way across the Atlantic Ocean for his first convention in North America. Both led the Fursuit Parade contingent with the Canadian and South African flags respectively — FE 2011 provided to be a massively popular event for suiters, with 110 participating in the parade.
With an even larger event space this year, FE was able to offer even more new opportunities, including a massive zoo, a cavernous Dealers Den and an Artists Alley. FE 2011 also marked the introduction of the hospitality suite which provided snacks for sponsors throughout the convention, and hosted meet-and-greet events for other conventions as well. Moreover, a pinball machine in the Games Room proved to be quite the hit!
Thanks to the generosity of our attendees, the inaugural Charity Auction raised a total of $4,000 for the Mississauga Humane Society. This total included a commission from ZEN which was auctioned off for $450.
Furnal Equinox 2010: Furry Fun and Games
Furnal Equinox 2010 was held on March 6 and 7, 2010 at the Doubletree by Hilton Toronto Airport. Far exceeding anyone's expectations for a first year convention, FE 2010 attracted 330 attendees. The convention also achieved a fursuiter turnout of 40, who participated in events throughout the weekend, including the Fursuit Parade.
With a video gaming room, tabletop gaming sessions and the availability of convention space throughout the night, the inaugural edition aimed to capture the spirit of "Furry Fun and Games" and friendly competition embodied at the Winter Games held that February in Vancouver.
FE's inaugural Guests of Honour were Heather Bruton and Bushycat, both established artists within the fandom. Their contributions could be seen throughout the con through their presence in the Dealers' Den and providing panels for attendees. Heather also contributed the front cover art for the conbook as well a print for donators ("Trillium"), while Bushy contributed the conbook's back cover in addition to the unique button conbadges. All had a sports theme; attendees were depicted as hockey players, right up to our staff and concom... the dreaded coaches!
FE 2010 was graced with the presence of a number of high-profile panelists:
- Kent Burles, professor at the Max the Mutt Animation School in Toronto
- Kathy Gerbasi (Ph.D., Rochester), social psychologist and author of Furries from A to Z
- Phil Geusz, prolific furry author and contributor to Anthro magazine
- Linnaeus, chair of Midwest Furfest in 2006 and 2007
A special conbook signed by the Guests of Honour and all numbers of Furnal Equinox's convention committee was auctioned off at the Closing Ceremonies, raising $200 for the Mississauga Humane Society.
Michael "Morgan" Bard (1965-2010)
Michael was well known to the fandom as a prolific writer in the transformation and furry genres (including contributing and editing to a number of fan zines and archives), as well as fursuiting craft and performance. He was a member of the convention committee at Furnal Equinox 2010, coordinating panels and fursuit programming as well as conbook layout work. He was not only a tremendously creative person, but showed a warm personality and friendship to all that he met.
Several days after FE 2010, Morgan suffered a stroke while at his workplace. He passed away on the morning of March 19, 2010.
In an effort to ensure his legacy of creativity was preserved, Michael's friends published an anthology of his work entitled "A Horse of Many Colours" in November 2011. Proceeds from its sale go to support the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Ontario. You can buy the book on Amazon.com.