Special Guests


Umbrella formed in March 2010 around the core members of Yui on guitar & vocals and Hal on bass. They held their first live performance in June of the same year. Their first mini-album, [Amayadori], was released on July 1, 2011. In about three months, around October 17, the 500 copies of the album's first press sold out and 300 additional copies were quickly printed. From October 14-19 they participated in the Road to V-Rock Festival event at HEAVEN'S ROCK VJ-3 and won, giving them the opportunity to perform in V-Rock Festival '11 on October 23. They performed two songs on the Saitama Super Arena stage.

The guitarist Syu also joined the band in October 2011. On December 1 of that year, they released their first single, [Samidare], through Starwave Records. In April 2012 they kicked off a nationwide tour, ending with the Kanto final on June 6 at Takadanobaba AREA, and on June 23 they claimed great success in their first one-man performance at Shinsaibashi club ALIVE!. They released their second mini-album, [Monochrome], in fall 2012.

Umbrella will be performing for the first time in Canada at Otafest 2013! The concert is in association with Starwave Records and J-rock North Promotions Inc. They will be playing Saturday, May 18 at Otafest, with appearances throughout the festival!


Kieran Strange

Hailed as an artist to watch both online and off by media outlets worldwide (Lithium Magazine – Canada, India Times – India, World News – USA), Kieran Strange is fast becoming known as this generation’s Joan Jett.

Raised on a variety of music from Top 40 pop to heavy metal above her grandmotherís pub in West Sussex, England, Kieran left her family behind, moving to Canada on her own at the tender age of seventeen to pursue her dream of making music.

Kieran and her fans, who refer to themselves as the Strangers, are an online force to be reckoned with. Bullied viciously at school for her social awkwardness and nerdy hobbies, Kieran found a way to channel her quirky personality into her music rather than try to hide it. With her unique personal style and love of geeky pastimes (such as roleplaying games and costuming), Kieran preaches a message self-acceptance and self-love to her fans, encouraging them to be themselves and support each other in doing the same. She has made Special Guest appearances at anime, costume/cosplay, and video-game/comic conventions since 2010. She will be a performing and doing autograph sessions at Fan Expo Vancouver (Vancouver, BC) in April 2013, Otafest (Calgary, Alberta) in May 2013, Cos & Effect (Vancouver, BC and San Japan (San Antonio, Texas) in August 2013, and Ramencon (Merrillville, Indiana) in September 2013.

With a punk rock attitude as authentic as the deep connection she shares with her Strangers, Kieran’s profile began to rise in early 2011 as her Twitter fans propelled her into the international spotlight. She was nominated “One of The Top 24 Artists in The World on Twitter”, alongside Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Paramore, and Katy Perry.

In mid-2011, Kieran’s face and story was seen in newspapers as far away as India, when her hockey-themed YouTube video parody “Because We Believe”, of Adam Lambert’s “If I Had You” went viral online during the 2011 Hockey Playoffs, earning Kieran praise from Mr. Lambert himself and a nod on his website to her video.

In March 2012, Kieran showcased at Canadian Music Week and was compared to Joan Jett by the media who assembled to watch her perform (Lithium Magazine).
Kieran returned to Vancouver immediately after Canadian Music Week to play a sold-out release show for her first studio EP, Adamantine Heart. Over 250 all-age fans jammed into Tom Lee Music Hall in downtown Vancouver, to watch Kieran perform, in one of the largest all-age indie artist release shows the city had experienced.

Hot on the heels of her first release, Kieran crossed the world with a string of club dates and special command performances booked in Canada, the UK, and the United States in 2012. She will be playing further dates internationally in early 2013, as well as releasing a string of singles around the theme of “Pink, White, and Black”. She has been signed to micro-label imprint, Dangerous Pastry Records, and booking agency Firebones Artist Management, showing further still that the industry is stepping up to recognize her talent.

She continues to be a positive role-model for teenagers and young adults, remaining steadfast in her support of anti-bullying and autism awareness causes, and encouraging her fans to share their talents with the world and pursue their dreams just as she has done.


Synaptic Chaos Theatre

Synaptic Chaos Theatre is an improvisation/comedy troupe, with a flair for all things geeky. They specialize in live improv and semi-scripted comedy shows such as "The 99 Yen Challenge" and "Late Night Dub Fight". Formed in 2010 and boasting decades of improv experience amongst its members, SCT regularly performs for large crowds at anime, gaming, and sci-fi conventions across North America.

SCT is always trying new things for the con experience and loves springing their experiments on an unsuspecting audience. Con-wide games, murder mysteries, jam sessions, acting workshops - they'll pop up where you least expect them!


Michael Daingerfield

Michael Daingerfield is one of North America’s busiest and most versatile voice-over artists with over 17 years of voice-over experience in over a thousand projects. Highlights include the series-leading role of Ace Ventura on the CBS Saturday morning series “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” and Superman on “Krypto the Superdog”. Michael has also voiced many characters in Anime, including the voice of Sesshomaru on “InuYasha:Final Act”, Johann Trinity on “Gundam 00” and had leading roles in three “Transformers” series “Armada”, “Super Link” and “Cybertron”. In “MLP: FiM”, Michael played the character of Braeburn.

Michael is also a 3-time LEO Award Nominee and has appeared on-camera in over 60 Film and Television productions. Sci Fi fans will recognize Michael as “Gordon Godfrey”: one of the main villains from the 10th and final season of “Smallville”.

Michael is the founder and one of 6 instructors at On The Mic Voice-Over Training. On The Mic is the most respected school in Vancouver to learn the art of voice-over for commercials, animation, video games and narration.

Learn more at http://www.onthemictraining.com

Carol-Anne Day

Carol-Anne Day is a veteran voice actor with a career that started in anime in 2001. She has since provided voices for characters in more than 40 different projects, most notably: “Four Murasame” in Gundam, “Teen Chi Chi” in Dragonball, “Fiona” in Zoids: Chaotic Century, "Marino" in the Megaman X Command Mission video game, “Mai Tokiha” in Mai Hime, and “Misaki Tokura” in Cardfight!! Vanguard.

When she is not busy recording animated projects or video games, she is also involved with dinner theater and numerous musical endeavours spanning back up singing to lead guitar, songwriting, and recording with her indie rock band, Bellewether.

Lucas Gilbertson

Lucas started working as a voice actor in 2001. With many animation voice-over credits to his name, Lucas’s most notable roles have been “Zero” in MEGAMAN X8, CM, MHX, “Antares” in SCAN 2 GO, “Sir Percival Sadlygrove” in WAKFU, “Finn” in DELTORA QUEST, “Chow” in D.I.C.E., “Hanzo” in HUNTER X HUNTER and “Morikawa” in Cardfight!! Vanguard.

When he's not performing in animated projects, video games and numerous Indie films, Lucas is also a prolific painter, creating large colourful canvases. And he also enjoys playing music with his alt-rock band. Most recently Lucas is loving his job working in radio making silly online videos and doing voice work for Country 105, Q107 and QR77 in Calgary.

Adam Hunter

Otafest is very pleased to present Adam Hunter! Having worked on many of Blue Water Studio’s dubs, some of Adam’s credits include Domon Ishijima from Flame of Recca, Baby from Dragonball GT and Gouki from Cardfight!! Vanguard. He was also in Dragon Ball, Hunter X Hunter, Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam and My-Otome. Adam will be at Otafest on Saturday only, for the MEN (and woman) OF VOICE ACTING Panel, so be sure to come say hi!

Brendan Hunter

Professional actor since birth and Voice Actor for past 12 years, Brendan Hunter has loved doing lead roles in Hunter X Hunter (Hisoka), Dragon Ball GT (Oob), Dragon Ball (Tien), Gregory Horror Show, DICE, Hoop, Jubei-Chan 2, Di Gi Charat Nyo!, Pretty Cure, many Gundam VG’s, “Megaman: Powered Up” VG (Elec Man), and many others. He’s having particular fun these days as Doctor O in Cardfight! Vanguard.

Recently turned feature film producer, you can watch get LLOYD THE CONQUEROR, a LARPing comedy with Brian Posehn, Mike (Bubbles from Trailer Park Boys) Smith and Harland Williams, with rising star Evan Williams (lead in Baxter, “Kelly Ashoona” on Degrassi Next Gen) AVAIL NOW ON iTunes.

Kirby Morrow

Kirby trained in Theatre and developed his vocal skills on the stand-up Comedy stages around the world. Goku from Dragonball Z, Cyclops from X-Men: Evolution, Miroku from Inuyasha, and Michaelangelo from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Currently, he is starring as Cole, the leader of the ninja warriors in the third season of Lego’s hit show Ninjago.

Kirby is also a veteran of the silver screen and has guest starred on dozens of television shows and movies, including Arrow, Supernatural, Human Target and Fringe. He is also widely known as Captain Dave Kleinman from Stargate: Atlantis and Stargate: Universe.

More shows you would know Kirby from are: Slapshot II, Life Unexpected, Transformers, Gundam Wing, Team Galaxy, Class of the Titans, Starship Operators, Gundam Seed Destiny, Project Arms, Barbie & the Nutcracker, Mary Kate & Ashley, Alienators, The Vision of Escaflowne, Nascar Racers, Z-Mind, Brats of the Lost Nebula, Yvon of the Yukon, Ark, Hamtoro, MeltyLancer, Kong and the list goes on.

For a complete list of Kirby's credits, please visit IMDB.com.

Scott Roberts

Scott Roberts has been voice acting for a very long time, staring in many of Blue Water Studio’s dubs! Some of his biggest roles include Recca Hanabishi from Flame of Recca, Shiro Ryujoji from Jubei-Chan2: The Counterattack, Kirea from Futari wa Pretty Cure, and Shin from Cardfight!! Vanguard! He was also in D.I.C.E., Di Gi Charact Nyo, Dragon Ball, Fancy Lala, Mobile Fighter G Gundam, Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam and My-Hime! Scott will be at Otafest on Saturday only, for the MEN (and woman) OF VOICE ACTING Panel! It’s his very first panel, and he’s super excited!

Lightning Knights

Otafest is very pleased to present Lightning Knights, made up of DJ R3jection, DJ Critical, DJ Disillusion and MC - Vicious! Lightning Knights is based out

of Calgary, and will be playing an eclectic mix of anime, J-pop, J-Rock, K-pop and dance and electronica (anime style inspired) at the Saturday Night Anime

Dance! Check out their facebook page and sound cloud below!

Lightning Knights - Sound Cloud

Lightning Knights - Sound Cloud

Midnight Taiko

Midnight Taiko is a group of taiko drummers who have played at Otafest for the last several years, spreading their love of the art of Japanese drumming in Calgary. The group is named because they are very passionate about taiko and would gladly stay up all night playing! With their unique brand of audience participation, they will continue to put on a show you surely don't want to miss!


George Trombley

George Trombley is a professional Japanese interpreter and web-personality. His family moved to Japan when he was 12 years old. George is the creator and founder of the Japanese from Zero brand of language-learning materials, as well as of the www.YesJapan.com web portal. He has hosted a number of online Japanese topic shows relating to learning the Japanese language and the Japanese culture. George has over 20 years of interpreting experience and will be joining us at Otafest to instill his knowledge about the Japanese language and culture from the perspective of a gaijin (foreigner).

George has worked with Japanese musicians, business-men, medical professionals and more. He once did an interpreting gig for a Spirit-Channeller ... he will be sure to entertain, educate and engage all those who are interested in gaining an intimate knowledge of the country that brings us anime & pocky!

Check out some of his entertaining videos below, and visit his websites for more content! (Did you know what a Chikan was? Because we didn't!)

George's Personal Website

Yes Japan Web Portal

Yes Japan Facebook Page

Dave Rathnow

Iaido is a traditional Japanese sword art, more commonly known as "The Way of Drawing the Sword". It is a non-combative martial art practiced with a metal replica or a real katana (Japanese sword). Practitioners work to achieve improved awareness by focusing the mind and body on a complex, single activity. Iaido practice was first formalized sometime in the late 16th century, but its roots go far back to the origins of the Samurai, Japan's old warrior class.

This session will present a history of Iaido and the role the sword played in the life of the Samurai. There will be demonstrations of Iaido kata, or "forms", as well as of cutting with a real katana.

Dave Rathnow has studied Iaido for over 18 years and has 5th dan ranking in the Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iaido school. He teaches for the Shin Ken Kai Nobara Iaido Club in Calgary and gives regular demonstrations at the Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens in Lethbridge.