Furnal Equinox 2024

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Furnal Equinox 2024
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Furnal Equinox 2024

Furnal Equinox 2024 was the thirteenth annual in-person Furnal Equinox convention, held in the Westin Habour Castle on March 15-17, 2024[1]

The theme was "Under The Sea" and adopted an underwater theme, which incorporated some sea shanty performances from staff during Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Kikidoodle, SewingStuffs, and Avian Invasion were selected as Guests of Honor[2] With regards to COVID-19 novel coronavirus, testing for international travel was not required, and the convention did not require wearing masks or obtaining vaccines (though they were strongly recommended). Registration opened on October 7, with the room block for highest-level tiers opening on November 7. Aside from the Westin Harbour Castle, the Radisson Blu Toronto Downtown and Novotel Toronto Centre were incorporated into the room block[3], with three additional hotels added later and free shuttle service established between all hotels.[4] Ongoing maintenance at the Westin Harbour Castle limited the number of available rooms, prompting the convention to utilize a tiered system of room block openings, with higher registration tiers getting earlier access to the room block. Increased demand for rooms led to the convention limiting room reservations to one per attendee.[3] Despite proactive measures, increased demand and communications issues between the convention group and hotel staff complicated the room reservation process, leading to the convention releasing letters of explanation to the community.[5][6] On account of the anticipated increased attendance and observed growth of the convention since its founding, security measures were enhanced which included first aid and medical training and certifications for volunteers. The Nightingales Public Safety team was supported by uniformed officers from the Toronto Police Service, all of whom had engaged in mental health training or had identified as members of the LGBTQ community.[7]

Despite the challenges of registration and room reservations, the convention was well-received. Hotel staff members were incorporated into the convention via wearing specially themed pins. Lobby column colors were changed to reflect support for the Ukraine in the wake of the ongoing war with Russia[8], as well as a glowing blue or green "sea" theme. The front desk and various poster boards around the hotel and convention space displayed photos of previous years' conventions. Attendees enjoyed discounts off all food and non-alcoholic beverages at the hotel's Chartroom Lounge restaurant.

Fursuiters were spotted in the hotel lobby as early as the afternoon of Wednesday March 13, 2024 before the convention's opening.

The convention included a VRChat portal and meet-and-greet for the second time in its history, with portals established during the nightly raves. The VRChat meet incorporated a giant banner signed by all attendees. The banner was auctioned off at the charity auction for $425 CAD.[9]

A "night market" featuring adult content was hosted in the lower levels of the convention on Saturday night. Due to extremely high interest and attendance, the lines for the market were cut off shortly after opening due to overcrowding and limited space.

The convention exceeded its previous attendance numbers, bringing in 3,647 attendees, 1,520 fursuiters, and over $14,000 CAD for the Procyon Wildlife Rehabilitation & Education Center. Exact numbers were confirmed on March 28, 2024.[10]

References[edit]

  1. Syn - "March 27, 2023 – It’s been a week since FE2023!" from Furnal Equinox. Retrieved April 30, 2024.
  2. Syn - "March 27, 2023 – It’s been a week since FE2023!" from Furnal Equinox. Retrieved April 30, 2024.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Syn - "November 7, 2023 – Hotel Opening Schedule" from Furnal Equinox. Retrieved May 28, 2024.
  4. Syn - "January 25, 2024 – Hotel Shuttle Service" from Furnal Equinox. Retrieved May 28, 2024.
  5. Syn - "November 14, 2023 – Concerns about Early Access to Hotel Block" from Furnal Equinox. Retrieved May 28, 2024.
  6. Syn - "December 8, 2023 – A Letter to the Furnal Equinox Community" from Furnal Equinox. Retrieved May 28, 2024.
  7. Syn - "February 18, 2024 – Regarding Security in 2024" from Furnal Equinox. Retrieved May 28, 2024.
  8. 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine from Wikipedia. Retrieved May 28, 2024.
  9. Chevron The Wolf - "FE2024 - Charity Auction: VRChat Meet-and-Greet Banner" from Youtube. Retrieved May 28, 2024.
  10. Syn - "March 28, 2024 – Looking Back at FE 2024" from Furnal Equinox. Retrieved May 28, 2024.

External Links[edit]

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