Unfortunately the Vancouver show is MUCH smaller than the LA show. Although it was a 2 day show, we were able to cover the entire show in 2 hours. Out of the 29 booths there were only 4 big name makeup vendors that were selling product, 3 schools, 4 Brush vendors and 3 booths for Make-Up Artist Magazine, the show’s sponsor.
Unlike the old days of TransWorld, there were neither handouts nor samples. They did have a descent FX Makeup Museum and a good sized student competition stage hosting “The Battle of the Brushes”. The keynote speakers included Barney Burman, Taylor Chang-Babaian, Jojo Myers Proud and Siân Richards. There were also several mini classes/lectures presented by Makeup Artists currently working in Film.
So with plenty of free time in a foreign country we were able to
sightsee & explore the beautiful city of Vancouver. Vancouver is a big city, but unlike most I have visited it’s super clean and wonderfully friendly. We had no problem with our American dollars, and even the parking meters took US coin. The convention center was right smack dab in the middle of cruise ship central so there was plenty of shopping and noshing opportunities. Gastown was overrun with cruise ship escapees
so we ventured out to Granville Island; it’s like a Pikes Place market on steroids! Artistians have working shops open to the public, a large Public Market and tons of restaurants & storefronts. The Aquabus zips passengers over False Creek and there are rental boats to try out. The Granville Island Brewing Co. started there and was British Columbia's first "cottage" brewery, also plenty of pubs with spirits and wines.
As dusk approached we venture out to the Richmond Night Market. Picture if you will; a flea market, at night, in Asia! Neon lights pulsed to the music that permeated the air. Parking was free and entrance fee only $1.50. There were different foods like laksa and redang and stir-fried octopus (YUCK). I wisely choose the grilled meat on a stick. Bargains, oh yes! $5 T-shirts, $2 tote bags and sunglasses everywhere. There was some giant Rubber Ducky game that we just could not comprehend but was fun to see the masses going from vendor to vendor trying to compete.
Our second day at the IMATS show was to (hopefully) score some deals. Often vendors will sell their remaining stock at a discount instead of shipping it back. So with our shopping list in hand we hit the show floor only to find nary a deal to be had. Several of the items on the list were not at the show; we are talking basic makeup items, not specialty FX stuff. Leaving very disappointed we consoled ourselves with the best Chicken n Waffles in the country!
To sum it up, IMATS-Vancouver is a good 1st show for a newbie makeup artist or someone wanting to explore the craft. Anyone else should really consider attending one of the bigger shows.