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Northern Alberta Lego festival comes to St. Albert region

Features Lego Masters and exclusive Northern Lights set

St. Albert Lego-maniacs will want to head to Edmonton this weekend to check out the Northern Lights and a giant Borg cube all made out of Lego.

The Northern Alberta Lego Users Group (NALUG) is celebrating its 25th anniversary on June 8 and 9 by holding the first annual Northern Bricks Adult Fans of Lego convention at the Glengarry Community League Hall (13325-89 St. Edmonton).

NALUG is a group of northern Alberta Lego fans that regularly shows off its creations at events such as the Greater Edmonton Model Train Show and the Edmonton Expo.

This weekend’s event is a chance for Lego fans to get together and show off their work, said NALUG president and St. Albert resident Angelique Roth. Guests can take part in Lego-themed workshops and discussions, compete in speed-building games, and check out about a hundred custom Lego creations.

“We have three Lego Masters from the Lego Masters TV show,” Roth said — former St. Albert resident Sam Malmberg, his mother Neena Ahluwalia, and Calgary’s Stephen Joo — and guests will get to chat with them about their experiences on the show.

Malmberg said guests will also get to buy a special Lego set he created based on the Northern Lights that will only be for sale at this event.

“You turn a crank and the Northern Lights will twinkle in the night sky,” he said of the set.

Malmberg said he plans to bring several Lego spaceships and an idyllic Lego cabin to the convention, as well as artistic sculpture he called “The Jungle.”

Roth said guests will also get a chance to check out the latest creations of NALUG members, which include a table-sized Borg cube from Star Trek and her own six-by-six inch model of the Muttart Conservatory.

Lego maniacs

NALUG co-founder Michel Magnan said the group started in April 1999 when he and six other Lego fans held a meeting at a Boston Pizza outlet on Whyte Ave. The group focused on model train shows in its initial years, but later branched out to do exhibits at the Telus World of Science Edmonton (including a large Star Wars display in 2007). Today, the club has about 50-80 active members.

Magnan said most adult fans of Lego start off as fans as kids before going through a “dark age” where they leave the hobby for many years. He got back into Lego in 1998 after seeing a Lego-themed train show in Seattle. Now, he spends months building trains and mechanized amusement park rides from Lego, some of which he planned to bring to this weekend’s conference.

Magnan said Lego saw a surge of interest during the COVID-19 pandemic as bored adults got back into the hobby. The last 25 years have also seen a rise in Lego sets themed after pop-culture juggernauts such as Harry Potter, as well as more complex sets marketed at adults.

“It has been pretty cool to see so many other people interested in Lego,” Magnan said.

Lego is a medium through which to unleash your creativity, said Malmberg, who is a full-time Lego artist. It’s also a communication tool, as everyone has an innate understanding of how those little bricks work.

“It brings everyone down to the same level,” he said, and helps you form connections with others.

Tickets to the Northern Bricks conference are available at the door and range from free for those under three to $20 for a family. Visit for details.

Kevin Ma

About the Author: Kevin Ma

Kevin Ma joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2006. He writes about Sturgeon County, education, the environment, agriculture, science and aboriginal affairs. He also contributes features, photographs and video.
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