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What is the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA)?


The Society for Creative Anachronism is a historical recreation organization that focuses on cultures pre-1600! Our members study and try to recreate different aspects of life during that time. This means we have all sorts of activities that include combat, cooking, clothing and more! The SCA is a worldwide organization and we have organized into 20 different Kingdoms that span the globe! The SCA is also a LGTBQ+ friendly organization that welcomes everyone from all ethnicity and backgrounds.


The website you are on now is the site for the Kingdom of Avacal, which is in Canada and encompasses the provinces of Saskatchewan, Alberta and parts of British Columbia.


Did you relocate from another kingdom?


If you have received awards or registered a name, device, badges in another Kingdom, but are now a resident in Avacal please contact the OP Herald at op@avacal.org so that we may update the Order of Precedence and the Roll of Arms with your information.


How do I find my local branch?


In Avacal we have 11 branches in the following locations, each one is given their own name in the SCA:


Saskatchewan

  • Moose Jaw (Valley Wold)
  • Regina (Sigelhundas)
  • Saskatoon (Myrgan Wood)

Alberta

  • Calgary (Montengarde)
  • Cold Lake (Bordergate)
  • Edmonton (Borealis)
  • Grande Prairie (Vinjar)
  • Lethbridge (Windwyrm)
  • Red Deer (Bitterend)

British Columbia

  • Fort St. John (incipient group - Myrdegaard)
  • Cranbrook (incipient - Aeriesgarde)

If you don't live in any of those cities, chances are the closest one is considered to be your home branch. You can find out more about each of the branches and who to contact in each one here: Branches



Is there a membership fee?


You do not need a membership to participate in many parts of the SCA, however buying a membership card gives your some pretty great benefits including:


-$5 discount on entrance fee to events (this starts to add up quick!)

-Allows you to participate in members-only tournaments

-Allows you to hold officer positions within the organization

-Allows you to organize events


Although the benefits of a membership definitely make it worth while for an active player, if you are new and still just checking things out, you can still attend events and try out activities without one. You can find more information about purchasing memberships here: SCA Membership



Are there costs to play?


The SCA is a not-for-profit organization, and tries to keep costs minimal for it's members, but some activities have special space or material requirements, so some activities in the SCA do have a cost associated with them.. An example - some groups host weekly or biweekly combat practices. Groups may charge a nominal drop-in fee to help cover the cost of renting the space the practice takes place in, such as gymnasiums or archery ranges. These costs vary from group to group, but on average they vary between $3-$10/per practice. Some groups offer a discount rate for people attending multiple practices. Most groups also have loaner equipment that you can use to try out such as armour, bow/arrows, weapons, etc. Some groups charge a small fee for use of their loaner equipment, these fees help pay for the equipment maintenance and replacement when necessary.


Sometimes classes offered at events or meetings within your branch may have a cost associated with them as well. Our instructors try to keep costs as low as possible and any class fees are charged to cover materials and handouts that the instructors will provide you with. Any fees associated with a class will be advertised ahead of time so that you can be prepared.


The other fees you will encounter is if you decide to attend events. All events have a “site fee” which is the cost of admission. Anyone with a valid membership card will receive a $5 discount on the site fee for every event they attend. The site fees collected are used to pay for the rental of the site as well as the additional costs of running and organizing the event. Some events will also offer a feast, usually in the evening! Participation in the feast is optional, but it will have a separate charge per person, to cover the costs of food. Feast costs will vary but they often vary between $15-$25 and usually cover a 3 or 4 course meal.


If you have any questions about the costs to attend an event or local branch activity, you can contact your local branch and ask them about any fees that may be required here: Branches



So if I want to participate, how do I start?


In the SCA you get to choose your own persona! Most people start off with a time and place that interests them and go from there. Typically the first step is to come up with a name appropriate to the time and place you chose. If you aren't 100% sure what you want, you can use your modern name at first! You also can change your persona at any time, so you can try out different things. So start thinking of a name and reach out to your local branch and see what sort of activities they have going on. Many groups have regular fight practices, social nights, arts & science gatherings and events! Most groups have a person designated as a point of contact for newcomers, called a “Chatelaine”. You can find the closest one to you here: Branch Chatelaines

What should I expect at events?


Events can be broken into 2 different categories: Indoor and Outdoor


Indoor Events:


Usually indoor events are held in the winter months. These events will typically include tournaments in various combat disciplines, and often an arts & sciences competition, display or classes.


When you first arrive at the event you will need to sign in at “gate”. Gate is typically a table just inside the entrance way. This is where you will sign in, sign any waivers (if you do not already have them on file) and pay your site fee. If there is a feast at the event, you will pay your feast fee here too. Feasts typically require you to register in advance however there are often cancellations, so if you did not register in advance but still hope to participate in feast, you can ask the people at the gate about that. They will know if there are spots available, if there are no spots they will often add you to a wait list in case there are cancellations later in the day.


Once you have gone through gate it is time to get changed into your garb (costume) and stow your stuff. If you do not have a costume yet, most groups do have loaner costumes available. They call it “gold key” and it is usually available right near the entrance, just ask at the gate table and they will get you sorted. Once you are changed you need to find a place to put your things. Sometimes there is a ton of room in the hall and you have plenty of places to put your bag. Other times the venue is a bit cramped and the people running the event may ask people to move as much stuff into their vehicles if possible. It depends on the event and the venue!


Usually there is a schedule posted at the gate so you can see what activities are happening and where. Some venues have multiple rooms, the gate should be able to tell you what is happening where. Schedules and a list of activities are usually advertised well in advance online through our official e-mail group, website and informal Facebook event pages.


Typically events have activities scheduled throughout the day and then there is a feast in the evening, followed by court. Sometimes there is a break scheduled for lunch, but frequently there isn't, and activities will overlap. You get to decide which activities you are going to participate in or observe! Sometimes there is a lunch available by donation, but not always. If there is lunch available on site, it will be advertised in advance. Anyone in attendance is allowed to bring their own food. Many people find this convenient, as they can pack food that suits their dietary needs and fits in to their schedule.


In the evening, not all events have a feast, ones that don't, typically have a break schedule for dinner so that people can either go out and get food, or eat food they brought with them. Anyone participating in the feast is expected to bring their own “feast gear”. This means they are expected to bring their own dishes! Many people try to bring dishes that look “medieval”, but if you are just starting out, any dishes you have will be just fine. It is recommended you bring a plate, bowl, knife, fork, spoon and drinking vessel. Some groups actually have dishes they loan out to new people, so check with your local branch.


After the feast, most events have “Court”. Since we are a “kingdom”, we have a King and Queen! Court is a time where the King and Queen and other members of their court (Baron and Baronesses) give out awards and make announcements about things like upcoming events and tournament results. We have several different types of awards that are given out, which you can learn about here: Avacal Awards


Although sometimes court can run a bit late, often after court people socialize in the hall, play games or participate in period dancing before they head home!


Outdoor Events:


Outdoor events generally take place during the warmer months and most are considered to be “camping events”! That means these events are held in locations that allow people to set up tents and camp for the weekend! Sites used for this can vary, depending on who is running the event. They run the gamut from very developed campgrounds in Provincial Parks to very rustic sites in someone's field. Some people have period appropriate tents and camps, which is really quite a neat thing to see. Many people also use modern tents and camping equipment. Either option or a combination of both is fine!


Outdoor events share some similarities to indoor events. When you arrive you will still need to sign in at “Gate”. They can tell you where everything is and if there are any areas that you should or should not set up camp. Once you're all signed in, you can go find your camp spot and get set up! Typically people can drive their vehicle to their site to unload and set up, and then they are expected to move their vehicle to the designated parking area for the duration of the event.


Outdoor events don't typically have feasts, so you will need to plan for all of your own food for the event. Some sites have available fire pits and some do not, so it is recommended you bring everything you need to cook and prepare your food. Sometimes there are merchants selling meals at events, so you can ask the event organizer ahead of time if there will be any food merchants available.


Throughout the day there will be various activities scheduled around the site. Information about these can usually be found at Gate. Like indoor events there is usually Court in the evenings also, followed by lots of socializing!


Since the amenities at camping sites can vary, in general it is good to assume that you will need to pack up any garbage or recycling you generated during the event and take it home with you. Though some sites do have drop off locations for this, some don't, and it is better to be prepared. You should also be prepared to bring any water you will need, as not all sites have potable water.


If camping is not your thing, you do have the option of booking yourself accommodations elsewhere and just arriving at the event the day of. Depending on the location of the event, some people prefer “day tripping” because their home is not that far away.


There is a lot more to the SCA than can be covered here, but this website should give you the basics to get you out to your first activity or events! Sometimes classes specifically geared towards new people are offered, so keep an eye out for those at any events you may be considering! If you are looking for additional Newcomer information, check out the Society for Creative Anachronism's Newcomer Resources. It is a great source with tons of valuable information covering everything from clothes, activities, names, personas and more! SCA Newcomer Resources and Information


This is the recognized web site for the Kingdom of Avacal of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. and is maintained by Raoul Delaroche. This site may contain electronic versions of the group's governing documents. Any discrepancies between the electronic version of any information on this site and the printed version that is available from the originating office will be decided in favor of the printed version. For information on using photographs, articles, or artwork from this web site, please contact the Webminister at web@avacal.org. He or she will assist you in contacting the original creator of the piece. Please respect the legal rights of our contributors. Copyright C 2016 Kingdom of Avacal. The original contributors retain the copyright of certain portions of this site.
© Copyright 2016 SCA - Avacal