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.

Otafest Cosplay Showcase (Sunday)
Formerly known as the Hall Masquerade, Otafest proudly presents its sixth 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

HITBOX - Kieran Strange & Sarah Adams (Friday Main Concert)
Hitbox consists of quirky pink-haired British nerd rocker Kieran Strange, and blonde bombshell pop artist Sarah Adams. Kieran first performed at Otafest , last year, and we're really excited to have her back, and welcome Sarah for her first time at Otafest too! You can catch them at the following events:

  • Friday night - Concert!
  • Saturday - Who are Hitbox panel & Harry Potter and the Panel of Brilliance
  • Sunday - Judges for Otafest Idol

Outside of their formal programming, you will also be able to meet Kieran & Sarah in the 'Special Guests' area, just by the vendors' hall where they will be selling merch, signing autographs, and meeting fans!

Chii Sakurabi Concerts (Friday Main Concert, Sunday Performance)
Specializing in J-POP, Chii Sakurabi is an international recording artist from Tokyo, Japan who now calls Los Angeles home! Her concerts are known for their high energy as well as Chii's passionate voice, kawaii danes and Lolita fashion! Chii is performing her main concert on Friday night, and will follow up with another performance on Sunday! You'll also be able to catch her during the following times outside of her Friday Night Main Concert and Sunday performance:

  • Friday night - Concert!
  • Saturday - J Rock Meet & Greet - Chii Sakurabi & Rose Noire
  • Sunday - JROCK Q&A - Chii Sakurabi & Roise Noire, and Sunday Performance

Outside of her formal programming, you will also be able to Chii in the 'Special Guests' area, just by the vendors' hall!

THWOMP (Saturday Main Concert)
Come cheer on Calgary's own home grown video game rock stars as they crank out video game music at 115 decibels! Always a fan favorite! THWOMP will also have a 'hang with THWOMP' panel, where they will interact with fans in a more casual setting!

Rose Noire Concerts (Saturday Main Concert, Sunday Performance)
Are you ready for J-Rock so fresh, it's straight from Japan!? Rose Noire is one of Otafest 2014's headlining guests, so make sure you attend their massive concert Saturday night in the upstairs ballroom and then make sure you follow for a more intimate experience on Sunday! You'll also be able to catch Rose Noire during the following times outside of their Saturday Night Main Concert and Sunday performance:

  • Saturday - J Rock Meet & Greet - Chii Sakurabi & Rose Noire
  • Saturday - Main Concert
  • Sunday - JROCK Q&A - Chii Sakurabi & Roise Noire, and Sunday Performance

Outside of formal programming, you will also be able to catch Rose Noire in the 'Special Guests' area, just by the vendors' hall!

Dance with Lightning Knights (Saturday)
After the concerts, make sure you stick around and dance the evening away at the dance with Calgary's own Lightning Knights! 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!

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 2014?

More Special Guest Events

Voice Acting Guest Events

Voice Acting Q&A!
Join all of Otafest's voice acting guests - Yuu Asakawa, Chris Cason & Brad Swaile as they answer your burning questions! There is a session on Saturday, as well as on Sunday!

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!

Yaya Han - Cosplay Guest

Otafest is very pleased to present Yaya Han, our first formal Cosplay Guest, in her first time in Calgary! Yaya is participating in a meet & greet, a Q&A session, and will also be a judge in our Cosplay Showcase contest:

  • Friday - Yaya's Meet & Greet
  • Saturday - Q&A with Yaya Han
  • Sunday - Participating as a judge in the Cosplay Showcase

Outside of formal programming, you will also be able to catch Yaya at her table in the 'Special Guests' area, just by the vendors' hall! Yaya will be selling merchandise, signing autographs, and meeting fans!

Improv Events

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!
  • Kabuki Theatre in Anime - Kabuki is a living art form over 300 years old, and the foundation of Japan's pop culture. Join Ryan Caron to learn about this beautiful and bombastic theatre tradition, and how its influence is everywhere in the Anime you love.
  • 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 and SCT!
  • 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!
  • Roll Your Own Con - Want to do more than just attend a con? Join Brendan "Beej" Dery for a seminar on how to roll your own convention! Learn from his years of experience as an Animethon executive and guest of many other cons!
  • 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!
  • 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

DAVE RATHNOW - Dave has studied Iaido for over 19 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!

Opening Ceremonies (Friday)
Come join us as we kick off Otafest 2014! 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!