Panels & Events

At Otafest, we know that we are only as awesome as our community, and we like to think that you guys are pretty awesome! Panelists are the reason Otafest can provide amazing, innovative programming each and every year. These individuals who volunteer their time and knowledge to Otafest are as diverse as they are informative and fun.

It is easy to say that there are panels for everyone, from informative panels about convention etiquette to creating your own cardboard gundam, there won't be any dull moments!

The majority of panels at Otafest are hosted by volunteers and attendees; we feel this is a great opportunity for patrons to get involved with Otafest in a very important way. Every otaku loves anime, manga, video games, or simply just loves Japan for different reasons. Taking this passion and turning it into a demonstrative, informative or competitive panel idea is something that Otafest embraces and welcomes from our patrons.

Here is the list of panels we've got confirmed for Otafest 2014 as of March 16, 2014! Thank you to all our panelists for offering to host a panel!

Cosplay Related Panels

Battle Chess (by Adam K)
Otafest Battle Chess returns again, come out in your best costumes and do battle across a chess board, each player become a piece and each captured piece makes for a cosplay mock duel! Come down and watch or play!

Con Photography: A Panel (by Christopher T)
A panel that will discuss all the issues related to con photography. This panel will cover both the process of taking pictures at a con. We will present on topics from equipment selection, etiquette, to posting to social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc...). This panel is for everyone from con snap-shooter to photography professional.

Cosplay by Dummies (by Dakota L & David A)
Have you wanted to cosplay? Have you wanted to see how a dummy does it? The basics of construction with all the necessary skills to achieve a fantastic costumes just like a pro! With fantastic tips like "Make sure you're up all night the night before still finishing it off" and many others!

Cosplay Photography 101 (by Dakota L & David A)
Learn how to take awesome pictures with the camera you own! We will cover the basics, starting with the controls you need to know on your camera, how to frame the shot, and common mistakes to avoid. We will also cover proper etiquette when photographing a cosplayer including getting permission, and getting that iconic pose. We will finish with a roughly 10 minute practical session where you can practice your new skills and ask questions.

Costume Making 101: A Beginner's Guide (by Robin F)
Tired of commissioning and ordering from China? Want to make your own costume but have no idea where to start? We're here to help!

Feeling Awesome in Cosplay (by Linda Y)
So you've finally finished that costume you've been slaving over all year! What else can you do to make sure you feel as amazing as possible in it? Exercise and makeup can make a world of difference to your costume, so come join us and learn the basics and discuss these aspects!

From Good to Great: A guide to Skits (by Ashley J)
You can have a solid idea but what makes a cosplay skit great? Come join us as we explore the difference between 'good' performances and 'great' ones.

Posing with Weapons (by Harley J)
Feel like your photos lack a little lustre? Unsure how to properly wield the awesome weapon you made? This panel is designed specifically for you! A trained instructor will help teach how to hold a variety of weapons for posing and cosplay related purposes, as well as safety with props.

So You Think You Dance! (by Trevor O)
From the panelist that brought you "SYTYCD 2013" and "Life For Rent: Waters of Time" comes the second ever So You Think You Can Dance! Get ready to move, dance and perform in this one day only workshop!

Stage Makeup Info (by Kalyn E)
An introduction panel to stage makeup and things you can do at home to make yourself look wonderfully frightening and possibly dead. Panel will go over panelist's favourite makeup and techniques to get the perfect wounded look.

Fandom Related Panels

(Ask Dramatical Murder) Ask Dramatical Murder (by Kristina L)
An 18+ ask panel based off the popular yaoi game, Dramatical Murder. Ask your favourite characters any questions you wish! Near the end of the panel we will also be doing a dramatical murder trivia game! There will be prizes!

(Assassin's Creed) History vs. Assassin's Creed (by Alfred L)
Nothing is true, everything is permitted. Join us for a quick trip through the ages as we discuss everything Assassin and everything world history. Did da Vinci actually make a flying machine? Or how about a tank? Who exactly is Charles Lee? We'll try to answer all these questions and more!

(Bioware) Bioware: How to Cope (by Robin F)
Still can't get over the ending of Mass Effect? Can't wait for Dragon Age: Inquisiton? Have no fear! We'll help you cope!

(Dangan Ronpa) SHSL Panel of DesBear (by Hyun-jo P)
Come meet the students from the hit series Dangan Ronpa as well as the sequel Dangan Ronpa 2! Find out everything you wanted to know about your favourite characters!

(Dangan Ronpa) Super Dangan and Hella Ronpa: A Trivia (by Natasha S)
Do you think you know Dangan Ronpa? Hosted by Sonia Nevermind and Teruteru Hanamura, come test your skills out now and earn the pride of winning a trivia panel!

(Doctor Who) Questions and Relative Answers In Space (QARAIS) (by Helen T)
Ask the Doctor and his companions all of the questions you've always wanted to! In this question and answer panel, you'll be able to finally clear up whether or not the Doctor likes fezzes better than bow ties. Learn about what the companies fear in the dark, and what they think of Doctors other than the one/ones they know. They will answer almost anything you ask. Mind the spoilers.

(Hetalia) Hetalia in reality (by Rachael Y)
Are you a history fan? Are a a hetalia fan? Are someone who get pissed by the inaccurate history presented by some part of the fandom? If you answer yes to one of them, welcome to hetalia in reality. We are hetalia who are going to prove Hetalia can present historical events in a fun, interactive and accurately. Two teams of audience will be given question during presentation and award candy or scorn depend on your answer.

(Homestuck) Cool kids times two (by Ashley J)
"I'll take sburb for 100!" Come join the epic showdown between Dave and Terezi as they compete for the ultimate jeopardy title: Cool-Tier.

(Homestuck) Do You Wanna Date Dave Strider? (by Hannah L)
This panel will be a dating game show hosted by Nepeta and Karkat where they try to find a husband/wife for Dave Strider! The audience will ask the contestants (other homestuck characters) questions and Dave will eliminate them one by one to find the love of his life!

(Homestuck) Homestuck: Not Even Once (by Sam H)
There are good fans, there are bad fans, and there are the ones that make you never want to associate with Homestuck again. We're going to tackle all of these and more, with heartwarming stories, vented frustrations and an open discussion about the Homestuck fandom.

(Homestuck) PANELSTUCK: A Homestuck Ask Panel (by Destiny G)
Ever wondered how long it takes Gamzee to do his makeup in the morning? Or how John styles his hair? Find out at PANELSTUCK!

(Homestuck) Writing with Calliope - Homestuck Choose Your Own Adventure (by Ashley J)
Calliope is writing a fanfiction and needs your help! It's a choose your own adventure Homestuck edition. Come help Calliope make all the important decisions. From characters to locations, the story will develop at the audience's command.

(Kantai Collection) Kantai Collection Panel (by Peter C)
What if all the WWII Japanese navel warships became moe anthropomorphisms? Join us to learn about the immensely popular Japanese browser game Kantai Collection!

(Madoka) Ask a Magical Girl (by Sydney P)
Ask a Magical Girl is a Madoka Puella Magica Q&A Panel where you can ask Madoka, Homoura, Mami, Sayaka, Kyoko, Nagisa, and even Kyuubey all of the questions that you could ever wish for!

(Night Vale) Welcome... to Night Vale (by Sarah W)
Ever wonder why the night sky is so vast, terrifying, and empty? Concerned about the hooded figures you’ve seen lurking in the corners of your vision? Or even just wanting to know… why is it so important to think about Meadows? Sponsored by no one – and no thing – this panel will give an introductory overview of the podcast series that’s exploded onto the pop culture scene. A reminder that note-taking isn’t permitted as all writing utensils are still banned by the City Council. Assuming we even exist… see you there!

(Pokemon) Pokemon 101 (by Ashley L)
Pokemon and all its well loved fan bases, from the cardgame and anime to Fanart!

(Sherlock) A Study In Sherlock (by Mackenzie H)
Ever wonder what Sherlock thinks of Anime? What Mycroft does in his spare time? What John would like to do if he wasn't helping sSherlock? Well now's your chance to ask them! Come out and ask questions to your favorite characters from BBC Sherlock and join in on some hilarious shenanigans with your favorite detective.

(Starcraft) Starcraft 2 Panel (by Peter C)
Meet up panel for Starcraft 2 players. Discuss strategies/builds as well as your favorite pro-gamers! Newer/lower league players will be able to learn some basics and easy builds. Players of all skill levels are welcome! Bring your laptop if you have the game installed so we can play 1v1s or Aracde games.

(Steampunk) Steampunk 101 (by Mike J)
What is Steampunk? A quick guide to the genre, costume styles and their associated props for the Steampunk novice.

(Steampunk) Steampunk Prop Design (by Mike J)
A quick introduction to creating your own Steampunk props. How to modify existing items or create them from scratch.

(Touhou) Touhou Fanworks Showcase (by Jonathan F)
An all-ages presentation of the various creations the fans of the Touhou series have created, such as remixes of the games' music, fan-made comics, games and animated shorts.

(Touhou) Touhou Hisoutensoku Tournament (by Jeremie C)
Come test your Touhou skills on Touhou Hisoutensoku 12.3! Beginners and experts are welcome to try!

(Touhou) Touhou Panel (by Dennis L)
Touhou Project is a series of bullet hell shmups (shoot-em-ups) featuring a cast primarily consisting of magical girls! Find out what's great about it here!

(Touhou) Touhou Sports Festival Tournament (by Jonathan F)
Think your favorite Touhou character is the best? Come prove it in this videogame tournament!

(Vocaloid) The Never-ending Summer (by Kaitlin L)
An introduction to the popular VOCALOID series Kagerou Project. Join us as we walk through each PV and introduce you to the characters, the plots, and the music itself. No HikiNEETs were harmed in the making of this panel.

Fun Shows

Force Start Presents: An EPIC READING of Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone (by Force Start Comedy)
Thomas Legros Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone...Rewritten! Come see the movie narrated in a way only we can!

Force Start Presents: Themed Torture Tag (by Force Start Comedy)
Force Start returns with THEMED TORTURE TAG, the most intense Batsu Game ever held at Otafest! The theme will be announced at the show according to YOUR votes on the Otafest Forums! (Weather pending only!)

Lawlzy FanFics Read By Lawlzy Guys (18+ ONLY) (by Vern T)
Is it still bestiality if they're both ponies? We've all read fan fictions that were so horrible they made us laugh and die a little inside. Join our host as he reads out loud horrible fan fictions submitted by you! Laugh hysterically at his reactions to reading your fan fictions for the first time. We encourage audience participation, so bring those fan fics or submit links to our thread on the otafest forum!

Mystery Science Fanfiction (18+ ONLY) (by Heather S)
In the style of Mystery Science Theatre, our panelists read some of the worst fanfiction the Internet has to offer for their pain and your pleasure.

Games & Contests

Anime Board Games - Featuring Takenoko (by Aaron S)
Come in and play some Anime inspired board games with us. Featuring - King of Tokyo - A Giga-monster Battle Royale!

Anime Board Games - Featuring Takenoko (by Aaron S)
Featuring - Takenoko - A game about growing bamboo gardens and chasing a hungry panda.

Anime Board Games - Featuring Tanto Cuore (by Aaron S)
Featuring - Tanto Cuore - A deck-building game filled with maids.

Anime Board Games - Featuring Tokaido (by Mindy S)
Featuring - Tokaido - A scenic trip down the Historical Tokaido Road.

Anime EDGE (by Francis C)
Anime EDGE returns for another year with more insanity, hilarity and everything in between. Watch as we mash together different games and game-shows to create one of the maddest and wildest game-shows you will ever see. Leave your sanity at the door, strap yourself in and be prepared to fly off the Anime EDGE.

Anime Name That Tune (by Daniel D'A)
A classic Name That Anime Tune gameshow panel with the staff of Kita-Kon! Show off your knowledge of anime music and compete for bragging rights! The winner of the contest will have the opportunity to play against one of our staff members for some unique prizes!

Anime Things (by Shawn Mac)
Humorous, delightful, and witty describes Anime Things. What would you answer when given an anime based statement starting with the word "Things..."? Would you come up with something unusual, or ordinary, or witty, or silly, or humorous? Come and try to outdo your fellow contestants on Anime Things!

Anime Wits and Wagers (by Aaron S)
Think you know EVERYTHING about Anime? Wanna bet on it? Anime Wits and Wagers is a game-show where you can guess the answer and then bet on the right answer. Bring your poker face and try your luck!

Batsumaru the Gameshow (by Dan R)
Prepare yourself for deadly game show combat in BATSUMARU, a brand new comedy quiz game show from Synaptic Chaos Theatre's Dan Ross. Contestants, selected from the audience, will choose dragon tiles, answer bizarre quiz questions and attempt to defeat their opponents and the Evil Oni for the chance to win some prizes and become the Supreme QuizMeister!

Beyblade Tournment (by Ashley M)
Bladers will battle one on one until a champion is chosen. Prizes will be awarded to those who place in 4th, 3rd, 2nd and 1st. It will run as a single-elimination tournament. Once you lose you're out. A min of 12 people are needed for it to run smoothly. *Please note: No large metal beys are allowed, no illegal beys, and the Phantom Orion bey is not allowed in the tourney. It holds an unfair advantage.*

Cards Against Otafest (by Dan R)
What happens when you cram a group of Otafest patrons in a room and ask them to think of horrible things? Well, if you're doing it with a game you get Cards Against Otafest. A modified edition of Cards against Humanity with an Otafest twist.

Channel A! Otafest Edition (by Adam K)
Can You make the next big anime for this fall, our panel of faux producers will give crazy premises, and its up to you to assemble a title and invent a new show on the spot, come try your hand at creation or just watch and laugh at the next hit show!

Channel H! Otafest Edition (18+ Adults only) (by Adam K)
The Channel A game but with an adult spin! Come down and test your ability to create the most interesting adult shows possible! must be 18 years or older to play

Foul Bachelor Frog Bingo: The Last One (by Alfred L)
This is the end. Relate to terrible reddit meme. Win prizes.

Iron Cosplay (by Sara McG)
How fast can you and your friends put together a costume? Your group has one hour, some duct tape, plastic bags and other odd materials. May the best man win.

Japanese Product Identification quiz (working title) (by Dan R)
We've all seen the funny and weird commercials that come out of Japan at times, but the question is; Can you figure out what they are for without a product splash. Find out how well you know Japanese products

Magical Battle Arena (by Francis C)
Time to do battle, Mahou Shoujo Style. Come out for some fun times as players battle their way to magical girl supremacy in this fan made video game challenge. Are you the next Magical Girl King/Queen? Come down and find out!

Otafest 1vs100 (by Adam K)
Based off the show 1 vs 100, people come on down to win prizes and compete at trivia, the player who eliminates the whole mob is the winner!

Otafest Tactical Challenge (by Dan R)
The top secret plans for Otafest's latest weapon of mass entertainment Project FOXHOUND have been stolen. It is your task to retrieve them. Pick up your supplies and proceed to the enemy camp. upon retrieval of the plans return to base. Don't get caught by the guards or else you will have to start the mission over.

The Animu Gameshow (by Chelsea B)
Ever wanted to compete to be the best Game Show team this side of Otafest has ever seen? Want free doughnuts for competing? Well if you think you've got what it takes to go for gold, come on down!

Video Game Name That Tune (by Alfred L)
How did that one song on that one level go again? Test your might at Video Game Name That Tune!

Visual Battle Royale (by Lamia Z)
If you love competitions or are interested in Japanese music, then check out Visual Battle Royale. In this panel contestants will be put into teams, each representing a different Visual Kei band. The teams will then compete in mini games and challenges in order to see who is the ultimate band! Don't miss the opportunity to win prizes and meet new people in this interactive game show.

Info / Discussion / How To

An Introduction to Kenji Miyazawa (by Cory G)
Though he died young, poor, and nearly unpublished, the short life of Japanese author Kenji Miyazawa produced works of enduring beauty. Explore the poems and fairy tales of this writer, mystic, and tireless seeker of justice who is most famous for his story "A Night on the Galactic Railroad." We will also see clips from anime based on his work and perform a dramatic reading of one of his stories.

Convention Etiquette 101 (by Sarah K)
Don't know how to ask for a picture? Unsure of how cosplayers like to be treated? Feeling rebellious to garbage cans? Stop by for a quick lesson in the rights and wrongs of convention etiquette, and how to make sure everyone at the convention, including yourself, feel happy and safe.

Doujinshi 101 (18+ ONLY) (by Daniel D'A)
Doujinshi is such an important part of the anime community, it deserves its own panel! Without doujinshi, we wouldn't have some of the most popular series out today! Our goal is to inform you about doujinshi's origins, non-hentai doujinshi, hentai doujinshi, and where to find it. We'll also go over some of the funnier title's we've found over the years. This is an 18+ panel.

How to start your own anime/manga club (by Dustyanne E)
Did you ever think your school would be better with a anime club? Or a manga group? Do you think that there is enough interest in one? How do you even go about starting one up? Well this is just the panel for you then!!

Indepth Hentai (by Alana M)
A look at some of the most popular hentai's and what makes them all unique and the same. What goes into a great hentai and why are they great.

Intro to Hentai (by Alana M)
What draws us to hentai. What makes it unique and beautiful. A look at hentai and why it is an important part of anime culture.

Japanese Tea Tasting (by Liza K)
Are you interested in Japanese tea culture? Have you ever wondered what kind of tea is shown in your favourite anime? Do you want to learn what goes into a Japanese Tea Ceremony? In this panel we will explore the history, the culture and the significance of tea in Japan. Come over to learn more about tea and try out some samples!

Japanese Warfare and History (by Nathan VR)
A hobbyist's panel of Japanese history, culture and warfare though to the beginning of the 20th century.

Kimono and Yukata Fashion Show (by Jessica R)
The Japanese kimono and yukata are both traditional garments of Japan. Let's come together to celebrate the art of these beautiful garments. This fashion show is going to expand your world on the wonderful clothes that have made their way into the world of anime.

Learn about Ball Jointed Dolls (by Janet L)
Modern Ball Jointed Dolls (BJD) have been popular since Volks first released their line in 1999. Come meet our Calgary BJD group, where we will show our Dolls and give you information on where to get them, how to care for them, and much more.

Nyaa Figurines: Collecting 101 (by Dani P)
Learn the basics to collecting anime figures! Nyaa Figurines will give you tips on where to buy your figures, what types of figures are out there, and how to tell if a figure is bootleg or not!

Otafest 101 (by Otafest Staff)
First time at Otafest? Check out the Otafest 101 panel put on by Otafest staff, which highlights some of the things we thing you should definitely try to check out this weekend!

Public Speaking for Otaku (by Cory G)
For many otaku, the idea of speaking in front of a group of people is incredibly intimidating. Let a professional public speaker and past Otafest panelist guide you through the process of turning your expertise into an entertaining, engaging convention panel. We'll discuss how to drop bad habits, plan your panel, and deliver it with panache!

Self-Studying Japanese (by Valma J)
A guide to self-studying Japanese - including tips, books/materials, tricks, good FYI regarding the language and writing/script

Speedrunning 101: Video Games Done Quick (by Lauren)
How fast can you beat a game? A few weeks? A few days? How about just a few hours? This panel is an introduction to the grand world of speedruns in video games. There will be a special focus on Ocarina of Time. Watch how this huge game can be finished in less than half an hour.

The Art of Storytelling - Part Deux (by Brendan H)
Want to leave the room in stitches, but don't know how to sew? Learn the Art of Storytelling. While telling stories of heroic exploits, far off lands (Saskatchewan is far, right?) and epic convention mishaps, Brendan will teach you how to captivate your audience, light up a room and carry on the ancient tradition of storytelling.

The History of Manga (by Chad N)
Learn about the origins of modern Japanese visual culture! This is a lecture on the history of manga, beginning a very long time ago and ending with Osamu Tezuka and the birth of the modern manga industry.

The Survival Guide to Convention Road Trips (by Dustyanne E)
A survival guide to anyone and everyone who wishes to have a stress free and relaxing convention road trip! This will be useful for anyone from a novice to a intermediate trip planner! Get some new ideas and maybe some new resources for your own use for next time!

Yaoi panel (18+ ONLY) (by Rei R)
Tons of improv games similar to those seen on "Whose line is it anyway?"! Of course they will all be yaoi themed! Be ready to laugh and join in! There will also be a chance to discuss the impact of readers' preception of gay couples and individuals.


BENTO BANZAI (by Behfar L & Jei W)
Prepare yourself to enjoy (suffer) the greater pleasures of food in all its deliciousness. This nutritious contest is not for the faint of heart or the weak of stomach, which makes it all the better when you convince your unknowing, faint-hearted, weak-stomached friends to compete, so come participate in Otafest's one and only food challenge!

Ca$h & Gun$ We're back baby (by Dan R)
CA$H 'N GUN$ LIVE returns. Prop guns may be banned from Otafest, but finger guns aint. So show your mob style by taking out your opponents and collecting loot to please the Godfather. Run, shoot, hide and survive.

Convention Horror Stories (by Chelsea B)
What could be worse than reading about horror stories on 4chan? Having real life experience, that's what. So come on down to hear the worst from the best!

Cross-Play Pageant (by Landon D)
A beauty pageant where 10 of the most talented and beautiful/ handsome Crossplayers from across Otafest compete!

Feedback Panel (by Otafest Staff)
Otafest Feedback Panel! Please come by and give us your thoughts to help us improve Otafest! Tell us what you liked, what we need to improv on, and what you want to see!

Force Start Presents: Table Flip for Charity! (by Force Start Comedy)
We all know you spent too much in the vendor hall, so come on down and flip a table for charity and let out some of that pent up rage! (Weather pending only!)

Mario Cart for Charity (by Otafest Staff)
One of Otafest's Charity Events! To participate, a donation of your choice is requited - how ever much you want to donate! Donate, and have a chance to race against 5 other carts in Live Action Mario Cart! (Weather pending only!)

Otafest Mix & Mingle! (by Michael P)
Come on in and socialize! A relaxed-yet-organised way to meet new people at OtaFest; you'll be mixing it up with a different person to mingle with every few minutes - we'll even provide the drinks, prepared by a professional bartender! (Virgin drinks only.)

Otafest Pin Trading (by Otafest Staff)
Have you heard about Otafest's special Pin Trading? Are you missing just one to complete the set? O_o Then come to Otafest's Pin Trading Meetups and see if you can't trade for the one that's getting away! For more information about Otafest's collectible pins, please check out the merchandise page!

The Mario Kart Gauntlet (by Ian S)
How good are you at Mario Kart? Good enough to go through 3 games and 50+ tracks against 3 other people? If you think you're good enough, come to the panel and compete for some sweet prizes. Or, come and cheer on a contestant!