The Great Falls Gaming Rendezvous has been the city’s only annual gaming convention since 2012, and this weekend they’re hosting their eighth annual convention at the Great Falls Holiday Inn.
The event features video games, board games, and roleplaying games, as well as people dressing up as some of their favorite movie, television, and video game characters.
According to event co-chair Drew Lovec, the event is open to anyone, and although there is a registration cost, a portion of the proceeds from the event go to charity. The organization is a 501(c)(3) charity, and they donate a portion of the money that comes in from this event to the Sletten Cancer Institute and the University of Providence, among other organizations.
Lovec also says that on a typical day at the event, you can find participants doing anything from playing games to participating in art contests.
“We have our registration open and a bunch of open gaming where people can come in, sit down, and play a game,” said Lovec. “And then tonight we have our Iron GM competition, where up to ten game masters will compete to see who is the best. They’ll have one hour to complete their world and then they’ll have five hours for new characters to inhabit their world and they’ll be ranked on a scale of 1-10 on how they did by each player. The winner gets a very nice hoard of prizes. Tomorrow night, our biggest event is our cosplay contest and our parade. We will have a few hundred people in costume wandering around and they will go on parade to show off what they’ve done.”
The event is also popular because it gives an outlet to people who may rarely get to play board games or RPGs to meet up with people with similar interests and enjoy a day of fun and competition.
The website provides this overview of the organization and event:
Great Falls Gaming Rendezvous was founded late one night in March 2012 in a downtown Great Falls diner by four friends. The first event was October 2012, and the small con proved to be a hit. The founders intended GFGR to not only bring gamers, cosplayers, and pop culture geeks together but to also spread awareness of the things we love – including the arts and sciences.
Today, GFGR is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, with a board of directors, president, and a strong planning committee (the ConCom). Proceeds from the event go towards the Great Falls Gaming Rendezvous Arts & Sciences Scholarship at the University of Providence in Great Falls and the Sletten Cancer Institute.