About Otafest Aurora

What is Aurora?

Otafest Aurora is a one day festival held at the University of Calgary. It is the successor to Otafest Lite, a festival held from 2009 to 2011.

Otafest Aurora was created in response to feedback from our attendees who wanted a better winter festival. Our team was challenged to provide new experiences that would be exclusive to Aurora while expanding the events that our attendees are familiar with and love. Otafest Aurora will feature many vendors, a larger artists alley, cosplay, as well as panels and showings. New to our winter festival is a gala dinner and dance, a formal event that is sure to add a level of class never seen before.

Creating Otafest Aurora gave us an opportunity to add a new face to represent our team. Persephone's best friend, Aurora will work to promote the winter festival. While Seph represents the history and traditions of Otafest, Aurora represents the energy, creativity, and enthusiasm of Otafest and all of it's participants.

Otafest Mandate

At Otafest our goal is to provide the participant with a rich and diverse experience of many culturally relevant artistic elements found within modern and traditional Japanese culture.

As a patron you will find yourself lost in the diverse nature of our festival's programming; be it the varied artists of all sorts attending the event to display their work, the high amount of Japanese media showings of a greatly mixed variety, or the highly interactive performance events encouraging you to be inclusive within them you will find that our festival has something for you.

Otafest is not a mere festival aimed at giving an audience a set experience, rather it is a festival aimed at encouraging our patrons to become a part of the experience. We encourage this involvement through our commitment to promoting amateur artists by providing them with opportunities to develop and showcase their artistic and cultural expressions within the Otafest community, as well as through our creation and implementation of interactive playgrounds in the form of special events that allow the patron to become an active part of the festivities. We welcome a diverse crowd of all ages to share in our festival, and invite you as a patron to take part in the inclusivity and participatory nature of our yearly event.


Otafest 1999 Jul 3 - 4, 1999 Approx 700
Otafest 2000 Jun 17 - 18, 2000 Approx 900
Otafest 2001 Sep 15 - 16, 2001 Approx 700
Otafest 2002 May 24 - 26, 2002 (not tracked)
Otafest 2003 May 24 - 25, 2003 (not tracked)
Otafest 2004 May 15 - 16, 2004 (not tracked)
Otafest 2005 May 21 - 22, 2005 (not tracked)
Otafest 2006 May 21 - 22, 2006 (not tracked)
Otafest 2007 May 19 - 20, 2007 2,709
Otafest 2008 May 16 - 18, 2008 4,278
Otafest 2009 May 15 - 17, 2009 4,361
Otafest Lite 2009 Nov 14, 2009 Approx. 900
Otafest 2010 May 21 - 23, 2010 3,697
Otafest Lite 2010 Nov 13, 2010 Approx. 800
Otafest 2011 May 20 - 22, 2011 4,135
Otafest Lite 2011 Nov 12, 2011 Approx. 700
Otafest 2012 May 18 - 20, 2012 4,938

Charitable Efforts

Attendees of Otafest have made charitable donations to various causes through various fundraising drives and activities! These have included the great 'head-shaving' initiative of 2010, and the infamous 'let's-put-chairman-in-a-dress' fundraising drive of 2011. We are very proud of our community for coming together and donating to great causes!

Otafest 2009 $  1,735 Alberta Children's Hospital
Otafest Lite 2009 $  5,000 Mustard Seed
Otafest 2010 $  5,300 Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation
Otafest Lite 2010 $  2,000 Children's Cottage Society
Otafest 2011 $10,398 Japan Red Cross
Otafest Lite 2011 $  1,000 Autism Aspergers Friendship Society of Calgary
Otafest 2012 $11,000 Calgary Humane Society
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