Explore: Gaming fun, Batman panel, music camps and more

Victoria’s gaming community is throwing a party and everyone’s invited. LANtasy 2016, on Saturday and Sunday, is the community’s first broad-spectrum gaming convention.

The event is expected to attract more than 500 gamers and offers a chance to check out up to 100 different games — from classics such as Scrabble to League of Legends, a red-hot multiplayer video game, with teams in British Columbia.

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“It’s an opportunity for players of any age or skill level to try out new games,” said Justin Martin, media relations manager for LANtasy Gaming Society, the host of the convention. “We cover all genres, especially eSports, which really took off 10 years ago.”

The non-profit society, previously known as B.C. Gamer, is a collection of groups that have been active in the community for more than a decade. The society’s core mission is to stage and promote inclusive, all-ages gaming events.

The event includes a sold-out LAN party, where gamers gather to play multiplayer video games, including League of Legends, on a local area network. There will also be tabletop gaming, role-playing games and a variety of boardgames.

More than 20 vendors will also be at the event, including one showcasing Commodore 64 computers.

Expect local “cosplayers” dressed up as computer-game characters to be in full force.

Tickets are $25 for either day or $40 for both ($50 for people on the miniature war games tables), available online or at the door. Tickets can also be purchased at VicTech or Everything Games. Kids 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult. The event runs 9 a.m. to midnight Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at Pearkes Recreation Centre, 3100 Tillicum Rd. For information, go to lantasy.com.

What makes Batman tick?

Any comic-book fan knows about Batman, Gotham City’s avenger. But do you know what makes him tick? How did he come to be? Why does the Batman legend endure? Uncover answers to these and many other questions at An Evening with Batman’s Brain: A Comic Con Mash-Up of Popular Culture, Art and Science, on Wednesday.

Hosted by the University of Victoria, the event brings together three renowned Batman authors, Paul Zehr, Travis Langley and Mark White, to muse on the psychology, philosophy and neuroscience of the heroic character.

Zehr is a University of Victoria neuroscientist and author of Becoming Batman. He teaches the only Batman science course in the world.

“This event brings for the first time an authentic comic con panel experience to Victoria,” said Zehr, referring to the comic book convention phenomenon popular around the world. “Each of us have done lots of panels at lots of cons — including San Diego, New York and Anaheim. But this is the first time we get to do one together in one place on one stage. It should be a fantastic and energetic event.”

Langley is a Henderson State University psychologist and author of Batman and Psychology. He teaches a course titled Batman. He will explore whether Batman has post-traumatic stress disorder.

White, a College of Staten Island philosopher and author of Batman and Philosophy, will speak about the moral dilemmas Batman confronts to keep Gotham safe and how he measures up against the teachings of Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Kierkegaard and Lao Tzu.

The evening will be moderated by UVic Chancellor and former CBC journalist Shelagh Rogers and will include a discussion about Batman versus Superman, an upcoming movie.

Tickets for this event are free and open to all ages, with a limit of four per person. The event runs 7 to 9 p.m. at the Farquhar Auditorium, University of Victoria. For ticket information, call 250-721-8480, ticket@uvic.ca or tickets.uvic.ca.

Raise the roof at spring break music camps

Young musicians can hone their talents at two music camps during spring break, Monday to Friday.

Kids ages eight to 12 will sing their hearts out at Spring Break Kids Choir Camp, presented by SingYourJoy, a non-auditioned young adult chorus group, and sponsored by the Oak Bay United Church. Gordon Miller and Christine Chepyha, founders and co-directors of the chorus, will bring their brand of musical enthusiasm to encourage the next generation of singers.

Participants will learn singing, movement, stretching, breathing, body percussion and rhythmical walking while playing in nearby parks. A light lunch and snacks are included. The camp concludes with a 30-minute performance on Friday.

Registration is $90 and the camp runs 8:30 a.m. to noon daily at Oak Bay United Church, 1355 Mitchell St. To register, go to oakbayunitedchurch.ca, 250-213-1948 or singyourjoy@gmail.com.

The Cadboro Bay United Church is holding its 8th annual Spring Break Musical Camp Monday to Friday.

This year’s theme is Up The Staircase, a tale of Lucy who lives on the eighth floor of her grandmother’s apartment building.

The camp is open to children in Grades 1 to 7, who will learn musical score, choreography, set design, staging and singing. There will also be time to swim, play games and more.

The kids will show off what they learned with performances on Mar. 18 and 19 at 7 p.m.

Registration is $150 with snacks included (please supply lunch). Camp runs 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday at Cadboro Bay United Church, 2625 Arbutus Rd. This camp fills quickly, so early registration is suggested. For information, go to cadbayuc.org or call 250-477-2715.

Photography classes focus on nature

The Royal B.C. Museum is hosting a series of events to appeal to inquisitive young minds during spring break, starting Monday.

The museum is hosting two week-long spring break camps entitled Focus on Nature. The camps, which run Mar. 14 to 18 and repeat Mar. 21 to 25, are suitable for students between the ages of seven and 11.

At the camps, aspiring shutterbugs can develop their photography skills with a week of classes that include a visit from a winner of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. Students will learn about photo composition and storytelling, venture to Beacon Hill Park and explore the museum’s Natural History collection.

On Wednesday, the museum hosts two behind-the-scenes tours — Butterflies and More and Museum Alchemy. Both tours are 30 minutes.

In the former, entomology fans will see specimens in jars, boxes and bins and experience the working environment of researchers and staff.

In the latter, participants visit the museum’s arts studio and multi-media lab, where staff combine new technology with age-old craft to set the stage for exhibits.

The week-long nature photography camps cost $224 per person. They run 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday at the museum and nearby Beacon Hill Park.

The behind-the-scenes tours are included with the price of admission. Sign-up begins one hour prior to start time. The butterfly tour starts at noon and the alchemy tour starts at 2 p.m. Tours are held at the museum, 675 Belleville St.

For information, go to royalbcmuseum.bc.ca.

Farmers, fishers are artist’s muses in photo show

See coastal farmers, fishers and harvesters through the lens of photographer Ken Miner at Of Land and Sea, an exhibition with the Island Farmers’ Alliance, today until Mar. 20.

Miner captures important regional food producers from Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands using a 19th century wet plate collodion photography process.

The collaborative gallery exhibit is hosted by The Coast Collective, a not-for-profit community art centre. The show also features sculpture and other art works that embrace the theme.

The arts centre, at 103-318 Wale Rd. in Colwood, is an enterprise of the Society for Arts on the South Island.

Admission is free. The exhibit runs Wednesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., until Mar. 20. An opening reception takes place 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, featuring a brief presentation by Mary Alice Johnson of ALM Organic Farm in Sooke, one of the many farms included in the portrait collection. The reception includes a selection of local fare prepared by executive chef Shirley Lang.

For information, go to coastcollective.ca.


Learn African drumming and dancing 

Embark on a West African drum and dance journey with weekly classes offered by We Groove West African Drum and Dance Community Vancouver Island, every Thursday and Sunday until June 26.

At the Sunday drum class, you can learn the infectious rhythms and music of Guinea-Conakry. You will experience the Guinean polyrhythmic of various drums with an internationally renowned artist and teacher. The class is suitable for beginner and intermediate-level drummers.

The drum class (instrument provided) is taught by Aly Traore, a master djembefola from Guinea.

There is also an all-level dance class, with live drumming, on Thursdays.

Students are invited to bring their children to class. There will be toys for them to play with while parents learn.

The drop-in fee for the drum class is $30. It runs 6 to 8 p.m. Sundays, at the St. Saviour Centre, 310 Henry St.

The dance class, $15 drop-in, runs 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursdays.

Call 250-538-8101 or email wegroovejd@gmail.com to book an instrument.

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