The Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) will be taking over the Toronto Reference Library this weekend, but that’s hardly the only event happening in Toronto. Bit Bazaar returns to Bento Miso on Saturday, May 9th, and you’ll want to make sure that you carve out some room for both in your schedule.
Bit Bazaar is a local marketplace where independent artists sell unique games, comics, and crafts of every variety. This year’s installment features dozens of locally developed video games, including Kara Stone’s Techno Tarot, Golden Gear’s Fate Tectonics, and Pop Sandbox’s LOUD on Planet X, a hybrid of Guitar Hero and Plants vs. Zombies featuring original music from a slew of independent Canadian artists including Tegan and Sara, Fucked Up, Metric, and Lights. It’s a perfect opportunity to get your hands on the game before donating to the Kickstarter.
Bit Bazaar also marks the debut of PanelScapes, an original exhibit that combines comics and virtual reality. The exhibit boasts new work from Michael Deforge, Hellen Jo, and John Pham, and all of which will be unveiled at the opening gala at 7pm tonight (May 7th) at Bento Miso.
In addition to the game vendors, there’s a Tournament Arcade where guests will be able to go head-to-head in Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime (Asteroid Base), Spacebro Justice Rocket (Rad Sandwich Studios), and N++ (Metanet Software). If games aren’t your thing, there are also a slew of comic book artists and a diverse array of local food options for vegans and non-vegans alike. Liberty Village Brewing Company will be on hand selling craft beers by the can (I recommend the Black Blessing stout).
Toronto is rapidly gaining a reputation as one of the most vibrant game development hubs in the world, and Bit Bazaar is a fantastic showcase that highlights some of the incredible work being done in the city. Bit Bazaar runs from 1-9pm on Saturday, May 9th at Bento Miso (862 Richmond Street West) in Toronto, so be sure to check it out if you’re in the neighborhood.
Admission is free, but you’ll want to bring some money for food and art.