I learned recently that there isn’t going to be a TY Expo in Toronto this year. I find that sad and frustrating.
The Treating Yourself Expo, TY Expo as it became known, started in 2010 and was Canada’s largest marijuana-based trade show/expo up till 2013. In 2014, in a last-minute bid to save the event, it was presented as the Champs Expo after they took it on.
I had the pleasure of attending from 2012 to 2014 while I was working for www.pot.tv and Cannabis Culture.
My experience of my first TY Expo in 2012 wasn’t a complete surprise as I had seen many photos and heard more than a few stories from friends about the first two shows. I arrived at the Toronto Convention Centre on the first morning with Matt Mernagh. We headed right to the Vapour Lounge where the Verdamper was being demonstrated; it was time to wake and bake.
After meeting Everett, the creator of the Verdamper—an all-glass, water-filtered vaporizer—we commandeered a table and set up to start a Pot TV broadcast. We monopolized one of the units for the show but that meant free promo so of course Everett didn’t mind.
I had heard more than a few stories about how well the Verdamper worked. OK, the stories were really about how it got some people totally stoned. It didn’t disappoint: I was well baked in a very short time. So much so that it was the second day of the expo before I realized I had forgotten to ask Everett how much they cost. So that’s how I got mine for $500. Depending on the model I think they are still around the same price today.
The TY Expo was a trade show, for sure. It featured many different exhibitors, some seemed a little confused and a lot out of place—like the booth promoting a golf course. Being an avid golfer I had to ask if the course was medical marijuana friendly. ‘Absolutely not’ was the answer, so I asked why she was even there. The rep said she was asking herself the same question.
There were a number of seed vendors like the Vancouver Seed Bank, nutrient companies, and other growing supply companies; various information and activism booths; and lots of glass pipes and bongs from big guys like RooR and Sheldon Black as well as from lesser known glass blowers.
I returned in 2013 for what would become the last Treating Yourself presented show. In my opinion it was the best expo with a glass Flame Off.
Three teams—one from Canada, one from the USA, and one from Japan—of three members each worked on a compilation piece over the three days of the event. Judging occurred at the end of the last day with the awards announced just before 4:20.
Japan created a glass soda cup dab rig that owned the competition.
With even more exhibits and speakers than the year before by the time this expo was over I was excited to return in 2014.
But as the 2014 date drew closer there were rumours floating about that there may not be an expo. At the eleventh hour Treating Yourself Magazine was joined by SKUNK Magazine and Champs Trade Shows to put on the event but it was scaled back quite a bit. For one, the carpeting was gone; after three days of standing on cement my back noticed it. And although there were live glass-blowing demos and about the same number of exhibitors as the previous year there wasn’t a glass competition.
And now we know there won’t be a TY Expo in 2015. The news frustrates and saddens me because we are so close to legalization; we need networking opportunities and industry associations more than ever. Here’s hoping a new expo will grow to takes its place.