is the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA)?
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.
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.
do I find my local branch?
Avacal we have 11 branches in the following locations, each one is given their own name in the SCA:
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
there a membership fee?
do not need a membership to participate in many parts of the SCA,
however buying a membership card gives your some pretty great
discount on entrance fee to events (this starts to add up quick!)
you to participate in members-only tournaments
you to hold officer positions within the organization
you to organize events
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
there costs to play?
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.
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.
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.
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:
So if I want to participate, how do
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
should I expect at events?
can be broken into 2 different categories: Indoor and Outdoor
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.
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.
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!
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
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
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
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
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!
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!
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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