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.

Otafest is a three-day festival held at the University of Calgary.

Rose Noire at Otafest 2014!

23 Feb

We are pleased to announce this year's first musical guests!

Rose Noire was formed by members Louie (Vocalist) and Jill (Violin) when they were the students of the Tokyo National University of Fine arts and Music.

They will be performing at Otafest 2014. Admission to their concert is free for convention attendees so buy your tickets now! Click the poster below for more details.

Feb 16 - 22 Recap: Sketch Drive, Quilt, Seph/Aurora Contest!

23 Feb

Otafest is only 82 days away, and the staff are shifting into high gear to get everything ready for you!

Here's what has been going on:

Sketch Drive Applications
Sketch Drive is one of the many events at Otafest that raises funds for charity. It also allows artists of all levels to showcase their unique talent while engaging with our patrons. Situated in the Artist Alley area, Otafest patrons can get a unique caricature of themselves drawn by Sketch Drive Volunteers for a fee. Artists have the choice of donating 50%, 75%, or 100% of their earnings to charity.

If you're good at drawing caricatures, want to make some money, and want to help us support our charity, consider joining the Sketch Drive!

Community Quilt
Inspired by Naguri’s pixel pins released at Otafest Aurora 2013, Christina Windley has decided to recreate these designs in fabric form. Each square was lovingly cut and and sewn together by hand. The quilt is made out of 100% quilting cotton and has a natural quilt batting inside that will keep you cozy on cold days. It is approximately 5’ x 6’. Check it out here.

Seph & Aurora Cosplay Contest
Win $100 for being the best Seph or Aurora Cosplayer! The contest will be judged similarly to the Cosplay Showcase. There will be a $100 Visa gift card awarded to the best Seph cosplayer, and a $100 Visa gift card awarded to the best Aurora cosplayer! Details forthcoming.

Pin Trading
We've released one pin ahead of schedule already, and the pin trading blog will be back in full force on March 3rd.

Artist Alley
Unfortunately, there has been yet another delay in the finalization process of Artist Alley's layout. The Application date has been pushed back to March 15. We're sorry for the inconvenience this has caused artists.

Special Guests
Our next special guest will be announced on February 24th! We hope you're looking forward to it!

Get involved with Otafest
If you want to get more involved with Otafest, there are a ton of ways to do so, check out all of the ways you can contribute to the convention

Bringing your Children to Otafest
Our Emergency Management Chief, Brendan Hood, has posted a fantastic guide on keeping your kids safe at Otafest on our forums. Be sure to give it a read through if you plan on bringing your kids to Otafest!

Props
Make sure your props fall within our convention policies, otherwise you will not be allowed to bring them! If you're unsure, our head of Policy Enforcement has created a forum topic in which you can ask!

Cosplay Photo Booth
The Cosplay Photo Booth was a huge success at Otafest Aurora 2013 and the team is bringing it back for Otafest 2014! There may more than one set to choose from this time around as well! Keep your eyes peeled for updates.

Otafest Idol
Otafest Idol pre-registrations are still open! Keep in mind that the contest this year is pre-registration only. No contestants will be accepted at the door! You can also read the official forum thread for more details.

V.I.P Passes
We're selling out of VIP passes much faster than anticipated. If you are thinking of getting one you should act fast! Buy tickets here.

Sketch Drive Applications open Feb 20

18 Feb

Sketch Drive applications open this week!

On February 20, 2014 at 10:00am you will be able to apply to be one of our Sketch Drive volunteers!

Sketch Drive is one of the many events at Otafest that raises funds for charity. It also allows artists of all levels to showcase their unique talent while engaging with our patrons. Situated in the Artist Alley area, Otafest patrons can get a unique caricature of themselves drawn by Sketch Drive Volunteers for a fee of $10 per person. Artists have a choice of donating 50%, 75%, or 100% of their earnings to charity.

Before applying, make sure you read both the Sketch Drive Information Package and the Volunteer Information Package.

Seph and Aurora Cosplay Contest

17 Feb

Love to cosplay? Love our mascots? Otafest 2014 is your opportunity to cosplay as them for a chance to win fantastic prizes! Create your own Seph or Aurora costume and wear it to Otafest 2014. If your costume is the best, you can win a $100 prepaid Visa card!*

Our theme for this year is school girl, but you are welcome to cosplay any theme you wish as long as you are Seph or Aurora, and guys, you're free to compete as well ;) To see our current mascot designs, check out our mascot page. There will be one $100 prize for the best Seph and another $100 prize for the best Aurora.

You do not have to perform a skit, this contest will be judged similarly to the Cosplay Showcase.

Otafest Community Quilt Auction

16 Feb

Since 2009, the Otafest community has donated over $50,000 to charitable organizations in Calgary, Alberta, and around the world. This would not have been possible without your love of Japanese culture and your generosity. We are excited to add to our charity efforts with our first ever Otafest Community Quilt!

Inspired by Naguri’s pixel pins that were released at Otafest Aurora 2013, Christina Windley has decided to recreate these designs in fabric form. Each square was lovingly cut and and sewed together by hand. This quilt is made out of 100% quilting cotton and has a natural quilt batting inside that will keep you cozy on cold days. It is approximately 5’ x 6’.

This quilt is a one of a kind Otafest item that will be available at our charity auction on Sunday, May 18th. You are bidding on a exclusive and rare piece of Otafest history that you will be able to display in your home forever!

We will be adding pictures as our quilt comes closer to completion!

The quilt will be displayed at our information booth throughout the weekend for your viewing.

The auction includes:

  • A digital photo of you holding the quilt with Seph & Aurora,
  • A digital photo of you holding the quilt with our quilt designer, and
  • Your name on our website thanking you for your donation

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