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Special Guests

01. The 404s – Anime Improv

02. Dave Rathnow & Shin Ken Kai Nobara (Iaido)

03. Calgary Go Club

04. Todoroki Taiko

Special Guests Info Coming Soon!

1. Anime Improve with The 404s

You know them, you love them! They’ve brought their show to cons all across and even ventured outside the Canadian boarders into Sakuracon in the US! The 404s return to Otafest to perform their unique brand of anime themed improvisation! A fan favorite!

The 404s are a touring group of improv performers based in Alberta, Canada. Presenting their own brand of improv comedy at events across Canada and in the United States, they combine heavy audience participation with their own witty charm, and leave every show with a bloody trail of busted guts and teary eyes in their wake.

For a schedule of the 404's performances, check out their website here!


2. Dave Rathnow & Shin Ken Kai Nobara (Iaido)

Iaido is the art of Japanese sword practice done with a live blade. Dave Rathnow has praticed the art for 12 years, and has given regular demonstration and talk on iaido at the Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens in Lethbridge. Be sure to check out his demonstration and mini-lecture on this exquisite art!

Iaido is a non-combative martial art that involves no direct physical contact or combat with other individuals in the dojo. Practitioners perform patterns, called "kata", that represent confrontational situations where he or she is attacked by one or more opponents. Almost all patterns are solo; that is, there is no physical enemy. There are some two-person kata, but these are choreographed, with one person defending against a pre-defined series of attacks. Solo kata involve drawing the sword, making one or more cuts, cleaning the blade, and returning the sword to the scabbard with concentration and focus.

For more information on Iaido, check out Shin Ken Kai Nobara's website here!

3. Calgary Go Club

How to Play Go

The Calgary Go club will be explaining the principles of Go, then playing games with anyone who likes. Come and learn the delicate art of strategy!

Made popular by the Anime/Manga series Hikaru no Go, this ancient board game is coming back with a vengence!

What is GO?

GO is an ancient Japanese board game and it's quiet easy to learn. The objective of the game is to control more territory than your opponent. It is usually played on a 19x19 grid board with 181 black and 180 white lens-shaped stones.

Interested in learning or just having a friendly game? Stop by the GO room and we'll assist you with your GO needs!

4. Todoroki Taiko

Otafest is proud to present the Todoroki Taiko group! The great Japanese drums will be pounding their signature brand of musical magic at Otafest. Come listen to these powerful Japanese drums as they weave you into their exchanting spell! Just follow the sound of the rhythmic rolling thunder – you can’t miss it!

Taiko means ‘great drum’ in Japanese, and today is a musical art form performed by hundreds of thousands.

The Todoroki Taiko team is dedicated towards the common goal of learning and performing Taiko Japanese Drumming. Through this, Todoroki Taiko is helping to increase awareness and promotion of Japanese culture and the arts in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

For more information on Taiko, check out Todoroki Taiko’s website here!