PNE: Why Game of Thrones, why Mosaic Music Series, why now?


Sex, violence, and war have been a recent recipe for many television series — it seems that without any one of these, a series falls short of becoming a likely success. The popular HBO series, Game of Thrones, derived from George R.R. Martin’s series of fantasy novels A Song of Ice and Fire, leads the way with an audience that spans across generations from teenagers to adults.

The exhibition at this year’s Fair at the PNE gave fans an inside look at the highly acclaimed show, featuring a collection of nearly 100 original artifacts, including elaborate costumes and props such as the Iron Throne. It also featured a 4D interactive Oculus Rift experience that placed attendees within the world of Westeros. Notably, the exhibition was one of the biggest hits of the fair, with line-ups spanning three hours long and reaching its capacity for the day.

“We think that the holistic entertainment program of the 2014 fair has been well received, said PNE spokeswoman Laura Balance, “but certainly the Game of Thrones exhibit has been a very important piece of the overall program. We think it is very much one of the big hits of the fair to date.”

The exhibit is very timely as Game of Thrones has become one of the most talked about shows on television. The show has a cult-based audience captivated by the storyline’s premise: who is the rightful heir to the Iron Throne? It helps, of course, that Game of Thrones depicts its characters as flawed people. We are both captivated and appalled by the actions of its characters: Tyrion Lannister is a master of manipulation with a prodigious capacity for never-ending wine and women, Daenerys Targareyen, better known as the ‘Mother of Dragons,’ leads her faithful unsullied army with strength and determination, and Joffrey Baratheon viciously rules his court. Fairgoers can see many of the costumes, iconic artifacts, weaponry, and crowns that their favourite characters use on screen.

Another fan favourite at this year’s fair was the new Mosaic Music Series that consisted of local, cultural, and iconic acts performed nightly on the Chevrolet Performance Stage. This year’s lineup included some popular local artists such as Victoria Duffield and Hey Ocean! and of course, the 75th anniversary of Vancouver’s legend, Dal Richard’s annual performance at the Fair at the PNE.

Despite the PNE’s effort to reduce admission and parking rates by 20 per cent, last year’s attendance was a low 712,049 — significantly short of its projected 800,000. Balance explained that Game of Thrones is exactly what the PNE needed to stay on top of providing up-to-date entertainment and finally boost attendance. “We are always looking for fantastic entertainment and exhibit opportunities for the fair. When we learned about the Game of Thrones exhibition, we identified that it was a great fit for the fair.” The Fair will have to continue to offer these kinds of innovative experiences to increase attendance and revenue in the coming years.




  1. Amazing article, great insight into the attempts by the PNE to expand its target audience to help boost revenues. Also very well written, this young writer has a great future ahead.

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