Otafest creates inclusive events which build a community of fans of Japanese anime, popular culture and related arts.
Otafest was born in 1999 when the University of Calgary’s Dedicated Otaku Anime Club decided to have a 1 day film festival showing Japanese Animation (anime) to the public.
Over the next decade, Otafest has grown to become a three day festival with approximately 8,000 attendees annually. The festival is run by a non-profit organization (The Otafest Film and Cultural Festival Planning Committee), and while we still showcase anime, it’s just a part of the festival experience.
Otafest is an annual conference for anime enthusiasts. We act as a creative outlet for fans, an occasion where they can show their passion and appreciation of the hobby. We are an event where fans can show off the costumes they have made, the music videos they have created, and the art they have painted and drawn. Otafest is a forum for discussion and education. We host educational panels introducing others to the basics of the Japanese language and tips on how to use computer programs to enhance music videos and CG art. In the past, we have hosted guests who explained the process of donning a kimono, demonstrated the intricacies of tea ceremonies, and Iaido (the art of drawing a sword from a scabbard). We have also invited individuals involved in the voice acting and animation industries to speak of their experiences.
Otafest is a marketplace. We gather dozens of vendors together from all over Western Canada to facilitate the best bargain hunting in town. And, of course, we haven’t forgotten our roots: Otafest is an anime festival.
Each year, we host charity events and fundraisers during the festival to be donated to that year’s selected charity. Dedicated rooms such as the Maid Cafe donate their proceeds to the charity as well.
We hope to see you this year!
Otafest Attendees have made charitable donations to various causes through various fundraising drives and activities. These have included the great “head-shaving” initiative of 2010, and the infamous “let’s-put-the-chairman-in-a-dress” fundraising drive of 2011. We are very proud of our community for coming together and donating to great causes!
|Otafest 2018||May 18 – 20, 2018|
|Otafest 2017||Jun 30 – Jul 2, 2017||7,724||$11,180||Tom Baker Cancer Centre|
|Otafest Aurora 2016||Nov 4-5, 2016||1,824||$2,670||Between Friends|
|Otafest 2016||Jul 1 – 3, 2016||7,995||$10,000||United Way of Calgary|
|Otafest Aurora 2015||Nov 13 – 14, 2015||2,542||$1,500||Children’s Cottage Society|
|Otafest 2015||May 15 – 17, 2015||8,144||$10,100||Distress Centre Calgary|
|Otafest Aurora 2014||Nov 29, 2014||2,040||$1,500||Boys & Girls Clubs of Calgary|
|Otafest 2014||May 16 – 18, 2014||7,787||$13,500||Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society|
|Otafest Aurora 2013||Nov 30, 2013||1,716||$2,300||Seniors Secret Service|
|Otafest 2013||May 17 – 19, 2013||4,947||$12,474||Canadian Mental Health Association – Calgary Branch|
|Otafest Aurora 2012||Dec 15, 2012||843||–||–|
|Otafest 2012||May 18 – 20, 2012||4,938||$11,000||Calgary Humane Society|
|Otafest Lite 2011||Nov 12, 2011||700||$1,000||Autism Aspergers Friendship Society of Calgary|
|Otafest 2011||May 20 – 22, 2011||4,135||$10,398||Japan Red Cross|
|Otafest Lite 2010||Nov 13, 2010||800||$2,000||Children’s Cottage Society|
|Otafest 2010||May 21 – 23, 2010||3,697||$5,300||Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation|
|Otafest Lite 2009||Nov 14, 2009||900||$5,000||Mustard Seed|
|Otafest 2009||May 15 – 17, 2009||4,361||$1,735||Alberta Children’s Hospital|
|Otafest 2008||May 16 – 18, 2008||4,278||–||–|
|Otafest 2007||May 19 – 20, 2007||2,709||–||–|
|Otafest 2006||May 21 – 22, 2006||Not Tracked||–||–|
|Otafest 2005||May 21 – 22, 2005||Not Tracked||–||–|
|Otafest 2004||May 15 – 16, 2004||Not Tracked||–||–|
|Otafest 2003||May 24 – 25, 2003||Not Tracked||–||–|
|Otafest 2002||May 24 – 26, 2002||Not Tracked||–||–|
|Otafest 2001||Sep 15 – 16, 2001||700||–||–|
|Otafest 2000||June 17 – 18, 2000||900||–||–|
|Otafest 1999||July 3 – 4, 1999||700||–||–|