Svava Saunhuita has been involved with the family-friendly group for the last 17 years. She said they come together as a community and with a shared interest.
“No matter what you’re interested in or people that you connect to,” she said. “There is something here for everyone.”
The Medieval enthusiast group has been around for over 50 years and has 40,000 members worldwide. The Kingdom of Avacal has close to 500 members and is within the provincial realms of Alberta, Saskatchewan and parts of British Columbia.
Adelheid Holtzhauer travelled from Edmonton to study and learn with the group during the May Long weekend for their University of Avacal session being held at the University of Saskatchewan. Holtzhauer said everyone in the group chooses their own period to embrace, with everything from the Roman Empire to the invention of gunpowder.
“Our persona is where we’ve picked a region, a time era and have decided to take parts in some or all of those eras and try to re-create them,” she said. “Learn how they did things then and then build on them and then do it ourselves, we call it experimental archaeology.”
The experimental archaeology attracts people of all ages and backgrounds to join the SCA.
Wilum the Bear has only been a member of the non-profit society for 17 months. He explained the group is very welcoming to new members and they had 70 different classes offered over the weekend for all interests including hand sewing, calligraphy, history lessons and fighting.
“I am an arts and science guy,” he said. “I currently hold the title of Baronial Champion of Arts and Science of the Barony of Myrgan Wood in Saskatoon, I enjoy the act of creation, leatherworking, and woodworking.”
But beyond advancing education, Wilum the bear explained the SCA is a community.
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“It started off as a social that shared a mutual interest,” he explained. “It turned out to be hundreds of friends I hadn’t met yet.”
Holtzhauer said the non-profit group is dedicated to researching and re-creating the middle ages, taking part in taverns, wars, feasts and tournaments.
“Anything they would have done in history, we have someone who is interested in and trying to figure out how they did it and experimenting with it,” she said.
There are branches of the SCA around the globe and are open to members joining throughout the year.
More information about finding a local group is available on their website.