Main Events

The main live programming events at Otafest are those big key events you really don't want to miss!

Cosplay Events



Cosplay Contest (Saturday)This is always one of the biggest events of any convention, and certainly the most popular here at Otafest! Come and see the results of folks' creativity as they pay tribute to their favourite anime characters through costumes and entertain the crowd with their skits.

Rules for the Cosplay Contest can be found here and Pre-Registration into the Cosplay Contest is now open here!

Cosplay Battle Chess (Sunday)
Warriors from across the cosmos clash and heroes choose sides as the Black Team returns for a rematch against the White Team. Duels are fought and generals marshal their forces. Who will win, and who will be crushed on the field of battle? Come and see or join in and test your mettle!

Otafest Cosplay Showcase (Sunday)Formerly known as the Hall Masquerade, Otafest proudly presents its fifth annual Cosplay Showcase! For those cosplayers out there who want to show off their costumes but don?t necessarily want to do so on-stage during the Cosplay contest, this event is for you! Here, our judges will look at your costume in detail. No prior experience is necessary as we have separate categories for beginners and experts. Winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony!

Mr and Miss Otafest (Sunday)
Did you see someone with an amazing costume and wished that they could win something? Well now you have the chance to pick your favourite male and female cosplayer! We?ll tally up the votes and present Mr. and Miss Otafest at the Awards Ceremony on Sunday!


Music Events



Much Music Video Dance Party! (Friday)
Back by popular demand, it's the Much Music Video Dance Party! Dance the night to your favorite North American Top 40 hits played on the big screen! Requests taken!

Dance with DJ Arnel (Saturday)
After the concerts, make sure you stick around and dance the evening away at the dance with award winning DJ Arnel! Be prepared for an eclectic mix of anime and other dance music that will make your heart jump with the intense rhythm of your body!

UMBRELLA Concerts (Saturday Main Concert, Sunday Performance)
Are you ready for J-Rock so fresh, it’s straight from Japan!? UMBRELLA is one of Otafest 2013's headlining guests, so make sure you attend their massive concert Saturday night in the upstairs ballroom and then make sure you follow them to Erkhardt Gramatte Recital Hall on Sunday for a more intimate experience on Sunday!

You’ll also be able to catch Umbrella during the following times outside of their Saturday Night Main Concert and Sunday performance:
- Friday night Meet & Greet & Q&A
- Saturday – Meet & Greet, Q&A and Autographs
- Sunday – Autographs & Q&A

KIERAN STRANGE Concerts (Saturday Main Concert, Sunday Performance)
Are you a Stranger yet? If not, you soon will be! Hailed as an arist to watch both online and off by media outlets worldwide, Otafest is pleased to present Keiran Strange, live in concert on Saturday night, with a special intimate, accoustic performance in Erkhardt Gramatte Recital Hall on Sunday! Kieran's a big geek like the rest of us, too, so don't forget to check out her Harry Potter Fan Panel on Friday night!

You’ll also be able to catch Kieran during the following times outside of her Saturday Night Main Concert and Sunday performance:
- Friday night – Harry Potter Fan Panel
- Saturday – Meet & Greet & Autographs
- Sunday – Autographs & Q&A

Otafest Idol (Sunday)
It?s one thing to sing along with your favourite theme song sitting at home, but it?s quite another to perform it in front of an entire audience of anime fans! Come and watch some aspiring singers perform a variety of anime, video game and J-pop songs. Who will be crowned the Otafest Idol champion of 2013? Otafest is very pleased to announce that Otafest Idol's Finale's will be taking place at Erkhardt Gramatte Recital Hall on Sunday, one of the premiere musical halls in Western Canada!

Rules & Pre-reg sign up for Otafest Idol can be found here!


Special Guest Events

Voice Acting Guests Events

MEN (and woman) OF VOICE ACTING! Join all of Otafest’s voice acting guests as they all get together and share some of their funnest and coolest stories from the other side of the microphone!

TYPE CAST IS CAST – A VOICE ACTING Q&A PANEL! Have you ever wanted to break into voice acting? Did you know that Calgary has its own voice acting community, and produces some of the finest dubs right here in town? Join our voice acting guests as they answer your most burning questions about the industry!

CARDFIGHT!! VANGUARD – Q&A and Meet & Greet! Did you know that the popular Japanese franchise, Cardfight!! Vanguard, which includes an official trading card game, a manga, a spinoff comedy manga, and three seasons of anime, was dubbed right here in Calgary?? Well, it was! And we are very pleased to have Carol-Anne Day, Lucas Gilberson and Brendan Hunter with us, voices of Masaki, Morikawa and Doctor O! They will be appearing during the CARDFIGHT!! VANGUARD tournament we will be hosting in the CCG gaming room on Saturday afternoon, so be sure not to miss it!

AUTOGRAPHS & PHOTO OPS! Now that you’ve had a chance to meet your favorite voice actors, and listen to them speak during their panels, make sure you get their autographs during the autograph sessions on Saturday and Sunday! Make sure you get there early, as we are only able to accommodate those who fit into the room!

Improv Events with Synaptic Chaos Theatre

SYNAPTIC CHAOS THEATRE – Perennially popular improve troupe, SCT returns with more improv related programming than you can shake a stick act! Make sure you check out their following performances, and make sure you reinforce your sides, ‘cause you just might bust your gut laughing!
- Friday Night All Ages Improv Show – Kick off a weekend of improve with SCT’s Friday night improve show!
- Acting for Cosplayers – For all cosplayers and actors alike! SCT will teach you how to improve your acting skills so you can shine on stage!
- How to Improv – Join SCT for lessons on developing your own improve skills. Get a look at how these talented funnymen (and women) have honed their craft for over a decade!
- Doki-Doki Kyuu-Kyuu Challenge – In the mood for something less physical? Come see Doki-Doki Kyuu-Kyuu Challenge, a panel game where two opposing teams are given silly things to do! A co-production of tiltyhouse.com and SCT!
- Anime Match Game – Has anime warped your mind? Can it stand up to the panel form SCT? Join SCT and compete to win fantastic przies in this great twist on the classic game show!
- Late Night Dub Fight – A SMASH SCT HIT! Watch SCT flex their improve skills as they redub a bizarre selection of anime, TV and movies you’ve probably never heard of! No prizes! No limits! No way to leave after we lock the doors!
- Saturday Night 18+ ONLY Improv Show – It’s improv with jokes soooo delightfully wicked you’ll want to make sure the kiddies are away for this one!
- Improv for Roleplayers – Every RPG has one – the rules lawyer, the min/maxer, the game destroy. SCT has the cure for your RPG woes – IMPROV! Join SCT for a tal/demo on how improve rules can turn your campaing from party-loss into legend!
- Kabuki Theatre in Anime – Wow! I really don’t even know where to given with this one, other than IT PROMISES TO BE HILARIOUS!
- Sunday Afternoon All Ages Improv Show – it’s SCT’s Flagship show on Sunday afternoon! What’s a better way to wind down Otafest than to bust a gut laughing?!

Japanese Cultural Events

GEORGE TROMBLEY - As a professional Japanese interpreter and web-personality, George Trombley has got a LOT of knowledge to impart! Please check back as we finalize George's programming with Otafest!

DAVE RATHNOW - Dave 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. Don’t miss his demonstrations with the live sword – always a hit!

MIDNIGHT TAIKO – There is nothing quite like the sound of Taiko drums! Midnight Taiko will be performing outdoors (weather pending only) on Saturday afternoon! Just follow the sound of the vibrations in your feet!


Other Big Things Not To Be Missed

AMV Contest (Friday; All Entries showing Sunday)
One of the most popular events at Otafest is back for another year! Creators select scenes from various anime shows, set them to music, and edit and splice them until an amazing music video is born!

Rules for the AMV Contest can be found here!

Opening Ceremonies (Friday)
Come join us as we kick off Otafest 2013! Come and see what's in store this year!

Awards Ceremonies (Sunday)
Otafest is (almost) over!? Not when there are still awards to be handed out! Come to the awards ceremony, where all the winners to all the contests will be announced and prizes are given. It might be your name coming out of those speakers!

Auction (Sunday)
This is the place to come for a chance to pick up bargain deals on anime memorabilia! Come for the deals, but stay for the insanity!