Main Events & Guest Events

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

Cosplay Events

Cosplay Skit Contest (Friday)
We've split up the Cosplay contest! The Friday Night Cosplay Skit Contest is for those of you who thrive on performing! Here, cosplayers are busting their butts preparing performances (short skits, dancing, lip-syncing, etc) for your entertainment!
Entrants: Meet in ST 141 at 5:45pm on Friday for check in and final instructions. Show begins at 6:30pm in ST 148. Awards immediately after show.

Cosplay Fashion Show (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. This is a highlight for many festival attendees!
Entrants: Walk up registration in ST 140 on Saturday from 10:00am until 1:00pm. Check in ST 140 at 1:30pm. Show begins at 2:30pm in ST 140/148. Awards given out during the show.

Otafest Cosplay Showcase - Craftsmanship Contest (Saturday)
Otafest proudly presents the 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 Fashion Show, 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!
Entrants: Judging takes place in ST 140 on Saturday from 10:00am until 1:00pm. Walk up registration is allowed. Awards in ST 140 at 1:30pm.

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!
Entrants: Registration at Info Booth in ICT on Sunday from 10:00am until 12:00pm. Voting at Info Booth in ICT on Sunday from 12:00pm until 4:00pm. Awards at Closing Ceremonies.

Cosplay Music Video Contest (Sunday)
Cosplay Music Videos are the newest trend in capturing cosplay and convention culture. CMV makers from Alberta and around the world submitted their CMVs to be judged and for your viewing pleasure. Winners will be announced at the end of this block. You don't want to miss it!

How It's Made: Cosplay Edition (Sunday)
A new event for Otafest 2015! Local cosplayers and photographers have set up interactive exhibits for you to see some of their creativity behind the scenes. This is an up-close and personal look at the technical side of cosplay and cosplay photography. Our goal is to bring the community together by sharing ideas, and to spread the idea that anyone and everyone can participate in cosplay. Whether you're new to the community, or a seasoned veteran of the craft, you're bound to learn something!

Music Events

UCHUSENTAI:NOIZ Concerts (Saturday Main Concert; Sunday Performance)
Otafest is very pleased to present UCHUSENTAI:NOIZ, Otafest 2015's headlining J-Rock guest! 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 UCHUSENTAI:NOIZ during the following times outside of their Saturday Night Main Concert and Sunday performance:

  • Saturday - Main Concert
  • Sunday - Q&A and Sunday Performance
  • Though out the weekend - At their merchandise table by Artist Alley!

Dance with Lightning Knights (Saturday)
After the concert, 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 2015?

More Special Guest Events

Funimation Industrial Panels

  • FUNimation Previews - Come see extended clips and trailers for some of the hottest anime series from FUNimation!
  • FUNimation Industry - From Akira to Dragon Ball Z, hear the latest news and information from North America's largest anime distributor--FUNimation.

Nabeshin Introduction Panel!
This panel will introduce Nabeshin and his works! Come meet the man behind your favorite cult classic anime!

Live-Action Filmmaking Panel with Nabeshin!
While Nabeshin is an anime director, he has always wanted to try making live-action films too! Come share your ideas and we will select a cast from the audience and shoot an improv movie together!

BONDAGE with Nabeshin! 18+ ONLY!
Ropes. Knots. With Nabeshin. Need we say more? (18+ only!)

Autographs with Nabeshin!
Get an autograph with Nabeshin! Please note that while autographs are free, we would really appreciate it if you also picked up a copy of his latest Doujinshi for the low low price of $5.00! There will be a limit on the number of autographs per person, and please be careful to make sure the items you want him to sign aren't bootlegs or knock offs! He can't sign those!

Voice Acting Guest Events

Spotlights, Q&As & Autographs! Throughout the weekend, Otafest's voice acting guests – Yui Makino and Quinton Flynn are available for individual and group Q&As, autograph sessions and spotlight sessions! Make sure you get there early, as we are only able to accommodate those who fit into the room!
Please note! Yui Makino will only be appearing at Otafest on Friday May 15 and Saturday May 16!

Voice Acting Roundtable!
Here's your chance to ask Otafest's voice acting guests your burning questions about the industry!

Sailor Moon Script Reading with Sailor Moon & Tuxedo Mask!
Let's face it. Once upon a time, you too wished you were a sailor scout, fighting evil by moonlight, winning love by daylight. And now's our chance to re-inact some classic Sailor Moon scenes with Tuxedo Mask and Sailor Moon themselves! Join Toby & Linda as they bring their old Sailor Moon scripts to life with audience participation highly encouraged!

Autographs with Toby & Linda!
Get an autograph with Toby Proctor and Linda Ballantyne! Please note that while autographs are free, Toby and Linda will also have posters available for purchase!

Cosplay Guest Events

Otafest is very pleased to present Jessica Merizan and Meg Turney as this year's Cosplay Guests! Both veteran cosplayers have appeared on Syfy channel's Heros of Cosplay, and are well known at conventions across North America and the world!

Both Jessica and Meg will be participating in Otafest's cosplay related programming and you'll also have opportunity to interact one-on-one in a variety of Q&As, Autographs and spotlight sessions! Check the schedule for more details! Make sure you get there early, as we are only able to accommodate those who fit into the room.

Improv Events

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 - Get warmed up for the con with anime improv starring Synaptic Chaos Theatre! SCT presents their unique style of anime-themed comedy where you help create the scenes!
  • Saturday Night 18+ ONLY Late Night Show - Synaptic Chaos Theatre goes BLUE! SCT lets loose with no-holds-barred improv, where good taste is thrown to the curb and no topic is too taboo! 18+ - bring ID - you will be carded!
  • Sunday Afternoon All Ages Improv Show - Get set for the BIG SHOW! Synaptic Chaos Theatre takes the stage to blow you away with razor-sharp, rapid-fire improv comedy, with the anime twist that you, the audience, provides!
  • Late Night Dub Fight - Relive moments from your favourite cartoons, video games, movies, TV shows, and anime, in a new and hilarious light. The Late-Night Dub-Fight pits members of Synaptic Chaos Theatre and Guests against each other to find out who can "improve" classic clips by redubbing them live with their imposing improv skills. No one knows what show host Ian Horner has up his sleeves, or what the cast members will say in this all-out assault on your funny bone.
  • Doki-Doki Kyuu-Kyuu Challenge - In the mood for something less physical? Yeah, that's not this. Synaptic Chaos Theatre members play games and suffer bad things doled out by the Wheel of Funishment! A co-production of and Synaptic Chaos Theatre.
  • Acting for Cosplayers - For cosplayers and actors from beginner to advanced. Synaptic Chaos Theatre shares acting technique tailored to the needs of cosplayers onstage and off. Learn character development, physical acting technique and how use them to take your cosplay to the next level.
  • How to Improv - Join Synaptic Chaos Theatre for lessons on developing your own improv skills. Get a look at how these talented funnymen (and women) have honed their craft for over a decade!
  • Improv for Roleplayers - Every RPG has one - the rules lawyer, the minmaxer, the game-destroyer. Synaptic Chaos Theatre has the cure for your RPG woes - IMPROV! Join SCT for a talk on how improv rules can turn your campaign from party-loss into legend!
  • BATSUMARU the Game Show! - 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!

Japanese Cultural Events

Dave Rathnow - Dave has studied Iaido for over 23 years and has 6th 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 Sunday afternoon! Just follow the sound of the vibrations in your feet!

Other Big Things

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 2015! 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!

Games and Contests

Wheel of Anime
The classic TV gameshow finally comes to Otafest, Anime Style. Spin the wheel, guess a letter, maybe buy a vowel, and solve the puzzle on Wheel of Anime!

Fake Artist comes to Otafest
Based on a popular Japanese board game, players take turns collectively drawing a picture but one doesn't know what the drawing is supposed to be. Can the fake artist hide the fact or will he get caught? And who will figure it out?

Anime Wits & Wagers
Based on the hit family game, Anime Wits & Wagers is the ultimate combination of trivia knowledge and gambling. Guess the answer and bet on which one you think is right.

Channel A
At the fictional Channel A studios, new shows are being pitched all the time. Players get the chance to pitch crazy anime show ideas for different genres and time slots that the studios are looking for. See what shows will become hits on "Channel A"!

Anime Things
Things you don't want to hear a magical girl shout for an attack. Things you wouldn't expect a monster to use to destroy Tokyo. Which player said what answer? Find out the hilarious answers at Anime Things!

Otafest @ Night
An all new show, based on the hit Comedy Central show @Midnight, brings Anime and social media together for a hilarious show of unsuspected surprises, funny pictures and crazy videos. Laugh and have lots fun @Night.

Anime EDGE
Back again for another wild year, Anime EDGE takes all the insanity and fun from various games, game shows, etc. and creates a randomly fun and crazy time for contestants and viewers alike. Can you survive on the Anime EDGE?

The game of werewolf with an Otafest twist.