Otafest is a Calgary based non-profit organization expressing the values of charity, quality, and transparency. The body of our activity pertains to the promotion of Japanese art, culture, and media in the Canadian community, and our organization rests firmly on the spirit of community collaboration and volunteerism.

April 1 Programming Update

Happy April 1st, everyone! No foolin', but we've got a whole ton of Programming updates! The panel submission period is over, and we have over 80 different fan panels happening at otafest this year, wholly molely!

We're also going to have an open PC & Console gaming room, a Collectible Card Gaming Tournament room, a competitive video gaming room, AND a photoshoot schedule! Check out the programming tab if you haven't already!

Presenting - George Trombley!

Otafest is very pleased to announce our first Japanese Technical/Industry Guest & Web Personality: George Trombley!

George Trombley is a professional Japanese interpreter and web-personality, and the creator and founder of the Japanese from Zero brand of language-learning materials, as well as of the www.YesJapan.com web portal! With over 20 years of interpreting experience working with Japanese musicians, business-men and medical professionals, and over 400 web videos to his credit, he will be sure to edumacate all those who are interested in gaining more knowledge of the country that brings us not just anime but pocky too!

More details can be found on the Special Guest page, and following is an example of one of his fun and informative web videos! (Did you know what a Chikan was? Because we didn't! O_o;; Hey, Aurora, maybe you should stop calling Persephone that!)

Additional videos of George will be posted on our Facebook Page over the next coming weeks!

Our next Guest Announcement will be next week! Stay tuned!

March 24 - Panels update

Panels submissions have been approved up to March 24! Please check the panels page for details! Only 1 week left to get your panel submission in!

Programming Update

Have you been checking out our Special Guests Page (under Programming)? Otafest is very pleased to present our Special Guests for 2013! We've got more Special Guests this year than ever before, with a couple more to come!

For music guests, we have Umbrella, from Osaka, Japan (with J-Rock North Promotions), and Kieran Strange from the UK via Vancouver! DJ Arnell will be spinning at our Saturday night dance, and Midnight Taiko will be performing on Saturday afternoon!

Synaptic Chaos Theatre has more improv related programming happening all weekend than we can shake a stick at, and Otafest is very pleased to present Carol-Anne Day, Lucas Gilberson and Brendan Hunter, voice actors home grown right here in Calgary. Did you know that Cardfight Vanguard was dubbed right here in Calgary, featuring Carol-Anne, Lucas and Brendan? Make sure you check out their panels this year!

Approved panels have also been updated to March 16 - panelists please take note, deadline to apply to host a panel is coming up on March 31!

Main Events Programming and Themed Rooms have also been updated!

Have you heard about Echkardt Gramatte Recital Hall? It's one of the finest recital halls in Western Canada, and we've got it for the Sunday of Otafest for Otafest Idol, Kieran Strange's Accoustic Performance, and a musical performance by Umbrella! It's a little further away from the rest of Otafest (closer to Hotel Alma), so do make sure you know where it is!

Stay tuned for our next special guest, who will be announced next week!

Remembering the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake

On behalf of everyone involved with Otafest, I would like to take a moment to reflect on the 2nd anniversary of the Tohoku Earthquake of 2011.

The Tohoku Earthquake was an immense human tragedy that the people of Japan are still working to overcome. Over 15,000 people lost their lives in the earthquake and following tsunami. The humanitarian response to this disaster was immediate with governments and NGOs donating millions towards the recovery efforts.

Otafest is a celebration of the culture and art of Japan. I would not know any of the friends I have met through Otafest without our shared love of Japanese culture. The Otafest team felt it was very important to help the recovery effort in any way we could. With your generosity, Otafest was able to donate $10,398 to the Japanese Red Cross in 2011. This amazing response from the Otafest community was stunning and we are immensely proud of this accomplishment. Thank you once again for your support.

There is still much to be done to fully recover from this disaster but with your help, we have helped Japan move forward.

Gareth Lypka
Public Relations