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Medieval reenactment society to hold crown tournament in Beiseker

The sounds of clanging swords and shields will be heard at the Community Hall in Beiseker Feb. 16 and 17, when the Kingdom of Avacal hosts its Winter Crown tournament to determine the successors to the Griffon Thrones.
Reenacting history
Members of the Kingdom of Avacal will duke it out to see who will succeed the throne Feb. 16, at the Winter Crown tournament in Beiseker. The Kingdom of Avacal is the local chapter of the Society of Creative Anachronism – an international organization devoted to reenacting medieval and pre-17th-century customs.

The sounds of clanging swords and shields will be heard at the Community Hall in Beiseker Feb. 16 and 17, when the Kingdom of Avacal hosts its Winter Crown tournament to determine the successors to the Griffon Thrones. “A crown tournament is where we select our king and queen,” said Nicole Roth, the social media officer for the Kingdom of Avacal and a co-organizer of the Winter Crown. “They reign for six months, and then we select another king and queen. “We do this through armoured combat. That’s specifically what this crown tournament is about – selecting the successors to what’s called the Griffon Thrones of Avacal.” The Kingdom of Avacal is the local chapter of the Society of Creative Anachronism (SCA) – an international organization whose members reenact the events and customs of pre-17th century civilization, using period-appropriate technology. The SCA started in California in the mid-1960s, but now has chapters around the world. The Kingdom of Avacal is a relatively new chapter, and includes members in Saskatchewan, Alberta and parts of British Columbia. According to Roth – who goes by the name of Roya Khuvö Tavilansaid during reenactments – the tournament in Beiseker will see knights, squires and noblemen of the kingdom donning their armour and duking it out using imitation weaponry. Roughly 150 Kingdom of Avacal members have already confirmed their attendance at the Winter Crown, which Roth said will be the first SCA event to take place in Beiseker. Following the crown tournament, Roth added, the weekend will also include educational activities, including seminars Feb. 17 on how food was prepared and how clothing was made during pre-17th century times. SCA events like the Winter Crown are ideal for history enthusiasts who want to bring a little more realism to their research, according to Roth. “I personally got involved because I really loved the arts and science aspect of it, so recreating clothing and researching ancient cultures,” she said. “But I also really enjoy the fighting aspect.” While the creation of characters and the costumes worn during SCA events may resemble Live Action Role Playing (LARPing), Roth noted there are some key differences. Specifically, she said, the SCA strives for historical accuracy, whereas LARPing is more based on fantasy. “You won’t see elves, dwarves or wizards and stuff like that,” she said. “[Instead], people will choose an area anywhere in the world that’s pre-17th century, and they’ll construct their persona around that, while doing their research to back it up.” Along with the crown tournament, Roth said the Calgary-based branch of the Kingdom of Avacal – the Barony of Montengarde – participates in regular medieval-influenced activities throughout the year, including archery events and tavern nights, as well as medieval arts, science and technology demonstrations. “We’re super inclusive,” she said. “We have pretty much every background you can think of, from the very young to the very old.” For more information on the Kingdom of Avacal, visit avacal.org, and for more information on the SCA, visit welcome.sca.org/about/