Thank you!

What a great weekend!

The 3rd Vancouver International Swordplay Symposium was a great success. This year our event ran an extra 3 days, starting with the Pen and Sword event at the Vancouver Public Library, the VISS Instructor Summit, and then our symposium weekend, followed by an excellent sparring after-party.

We had instructors join us from around the world to share their arts, wisdom, and friendship. We had students from around the world join us in the spirit of learning and camaraderie.

There are so many people to thank and acknowledge that I’m certain I will miss some. So I apologize in advance for any offence; know that it is not an intentional oversight.

First, thank you to our instructors:

Guy Windsor – You continue to entertain and inspire with your enthusiasm for bringing these arts back to life, even when that apparently required your own resurrection.

Christian Tobler – It was a pleasure to have your passion and presence at our event for a third year in a row. We have many who are excited about the German arts yet again.

Team Puck & Eric – Your systematic approach to how you teach is marvellous, and the earnestness with which you take your art as both a passion and a responsibility inspires me to deepen my own connection to both the history and practice of my own art.

Steaphen Fick – It was a pleasure having you out to VISS for the first time. It was really great to see the care and conscientiousness that you took in your own learning and your thoughtfulness in how you wanted to pass that on to others.

Matthew Howden – Finally we got you to Vancouver to share stuff about that crazy Fleming! Your zeal and joy in teaching was apparent. I look forward to more connection between our schools.

Loki Jörgenson – It was a great to have you join us this year. Having you share the parallels between Filipino and Western martial arts was a real pleasure.

Mark Mikita – The best quote about your inspiring display of skill was, “He’s a wizard! Burn him!” Thank you for your compassionate guidance in how to always do things better.

Marco Quarta – You brought a thoughtful approach to both the psychology and the realism of combat. You showed yourself again to be a brilliant blend of the principles Think and Fight.

David McCormick – I get a chance to teach alongside you regularly but others do not. I’m glad that you were able to share your art and insight with our broader community of instructors and students.

David Packer – It was good to be teaching in the same space with you again. Looking forward to seeing great things from Valkyrie!

Kaja Sadowski – Welcome aboard, Kaja! You represented yourself well and I’m glad you were brave enough to be real with all of us.

Tom Leoni – Thank you for sharing your wisdom and for encouraging everyone to roll up their sleeves and be researchers. I also enjoyed your duels on the dance floor. VISS wouldn’t be the same without you.

Bob Charrette – Thank you for sharing your insights and wisdom into the heart of Fiore’s art both during the event and after.

We would also like to thank our additional lecturers Noelle Phillips and Daniel Helbert. You helped us reinforce the “H” in HEMA.

A special thanks also goes to our speakers at the Pen and Sword affair: CC Humphreys, Sebastien de Castell, Kris Sayer, and Jennifer Landels.

A congratulations is also in order to the whole VISS Board: Tracey, Katie, Jon, Nicky, Roland, Clinton, Rosie, Aurelia, Michael, and Chris. You guys were an amazing team and put on a superb, professional, and excellent event. It was so good that I’m energized to do it again (that’s not always the case after a big undertaking and it’s largely thanks to all of you.)

Beyond the VISS Board, we had an awesome team of volunteers who made the event possible. Thank you everyone for helping us set up, being runners, driving instructors from the airport, helping run the gala, and more.

With that in mind, we would like to recognize a few volunteers who went the extra mile:

Eduardo de la Mata – Thank you for all your excellent design work, particularly on our program and the amazing Pen and Sword poster design. I want to turn that thing into a t-shirt!

Matthew Simpson – This guy is still Tweeting up a storm and Facebooking all the cool post-event happenings. Thanks for your social media savvy and helping us spread the word so effectively, and entertainingly.

Aaron Lamontagne – Well done coordinating all the needs of the board to help us run an excellent gala!

Anton Pitts – Everywhere I went, there you were. I believe you did the equivalent of 4 volunteer jobs. Jon says you were unstoppable — you were going to help whether we wanted you to or not.

Dave Wayne – Thanks for being so present. You were super-dependable and available; we really appreciated everything you put in!

Sylvie LaRiviere – Thanks for filling in the gaps and always being on hand to help us when others were not!

Darren Scherck – Thanks for all your help to make the event come together beforehand. You took a weight off of many shoulders.

Kristin Meier – I understand you were Aaron’s second-in-command at the gala and helped with a lot of last-minute setup. Thanks for all of your help!

Thank you again to all of our attendees who through their support and participation made this event not only possible but vital. I’m looking forward to seeing all of you in 2017.

Devon Boorman
Vancouver International Swordplay Symposium