Clara Cow’s Cosplay Cup

Welcome to the Canadian qualifiers for the Clara Cow Cosplay Cup (C4). C4 is a contest where cosplayers from around the country compete for a free trip to represent Canada at the 2019 finals in the Rotterdam, Netherlands. Grand prize winners of the C4 finals walk away with a trip for two to Japan!


Prizes sponsored by

What is C4?

The most relaxed international cosplay event currently organized in Europe, with a main prize of a trip to Japan for the winning team with all taxes, hotel, and Japan Rail Pass covered!

Countries from all over the world compete including China and the USA, with conventions worldwide sending competitors to the Netherlands to have fun on and off the stage. Unlike many international competitions, C4 focuses on performance, so as long as you put on a great performance then you’ll be fine!

Costumes must be at least 70% made by hand and progress books will be expected for the qualifiers. The contest will take place on Saturday May 18, 2019 and is judged by Cosplayers who have experience in competing at an international level.

This year’s qualifiers will be to select the cosplayers who will represent Canada at Animecon in 2020, so you will have plenty of time to plan and create for the finals!

The Rules

  1. Costumes must be made by the cosplayers entering the contest. Store bought costumes will be scored 0 and the participant will be disqualified. At least 70% of your costume must be made yourself.
  2. The teams will always consist of two cosplayers.
  3. The team must be in costumes from the same property.
  4. The team may use hand held props that were store bought.
  5. Performances must be 150 seconds or less. Performances cannot exceed this time limit.
  6. Maximum number of stage props is 4.
  7. Set up will be by our team and they are NOT allowed to run on stage during the performance.
  8. Teams may not use any items that can spill on the stage (e.g. bubbles, glitter, confetti, etc.)
  9. Teams may not use live fire, dry ice, live steel weapons, or other things that could be a danger to yourself or others.
  10. No airsoft guns or functioning Nerf guns will be allowed on stage.
  11. Weapons on stage must abide by Canadian weapon laws.
  12. Otafest cosplay rules apply.
  13. Competitors may have one handler backstage to help with costumes.
  14. The winner of C4 Canada will be required to create new costumes and a new performance for the finals in 2020.
  15. No live audio will be allowed, all audio must be pre-recorded and sent to the organiser prior to the event.
  16. Set pieces must be able to be carried by one person and cannot exceed 2m x 2m in size.
  17. All performance, audio, and set information must be submitted to the C4 organizer 2 weeks prior to the competition (that is to say, May 4, 2019).
  18. You will be assigned a pre-judging and registration time for May 18th. You must attend pre-judging or you will forfeit your place in C4. If you feel you will be late to pre-judge, please let the organizer know as soon as possible.
  19. All competitors must be 18 years old by May 2020 to compete. You will be required to provide proof of your age and Canadian Citizenship/Residency at registration (a passport or resident card will suffice).
  20. Cosplayers may not enter both C4 and the Otafest skit contest. If you choose to enter another Otafest cosplay contest (other than the skit contest) please inform both the C4 organizer and the Cosplay organizer.

For the official C4 rules please click here

If you have any queries about anything to do with C4 please e-mail Anna at

Costumes and Costume Props

At least 70% of the costumes that are entered must be created by the cosplayers who are entering. Allowances will be made for shoes and other items that are difficult to make from scratch. Wigs will be expected to have been styled by the competitors who are entering.

Any props/weapons that are made for the costume are expected to have been made by the contestant. 3D printing, laser cutting and other modern crafting techniques are allowed. If you think your prop will breach Otafest rules but feel it is important to your performance please let the organizer know as soon as possible so that we can decide whether we can allow it on stage or not.

Progress books containing references, work in progress images, and descriptions of the costume construction are expected from the competitors. Ideally these would be submitted with the rest of your performance information however they will be required on the day of the performance to present to the judges. Progress books can be submitted as a PDF or as a physical book/folder.

Props and wigs that have been commissioned for the the competitors are not allowed. If you have any queries about this please contact the organizer.

Costumes cannot be from a live action movie/TV show, original costumes, or fan art. No alternative designs will be accepted either (e.g. no designs inspired by artists like No Flutter, Hannah Alexander, Zach Fisher, or Gladzy Kei).


The performance aspect of C4 makes up 60% of your final score. The number one piece of advice for any budding performer is to make sure the performance can be understood by anyone who doesn't know the source material. If you are in doubt, perform for your parents or grandparents. If they understood what the performance was about then you're good to go!

If you need inspiration there are plenty of performance examples on YouTube. Search for C4, European Cosplay Gathering, or World Cosplay Summit if you want to see examples of what has been done before for inspiration.

The performance doesn't have fill the entire 150 seconds, it can be a shorter performance if you think it will make for a better story. You don't want people falling asleep or getting bored. Remember, longer performances doesn't mean they're better.


Your audio track is pivotal to keeping your performance on time and to create cues for yourself on stage. The track cannot be longer than 150 seconds.

No live audio is allowed for the contest, this means you'll have to record your own audio track. There are plenty of websites around for stock sounds like rain, footsteps, explosions, etc. You just need to download them and insert them at the right places.

As for actually building the track, a lot of European cosplayers use Audacity to edit their audio but there are loads of other programs you can use.

All audio must be in mp3 or wav format. No other formats will be accepted. If you need help converting files please let the organizers know.


Video is not be allowed at the C4 qualifiers, however if you qualify to represent Canada in the Netherlands there may be the chance to create a video to go with your performance. More information will be given to you once you qualify.

Stage and Performance Props

The size of the stage will be given to you once the C4 organiser is informed of the stage size and you will not be allowed to have custom lighting.

You are allowed a maximum of 4 props as set pieces on stage. These must not exceed 2m x 2m and must be able to be carried on stage by 1 person. You can have collapsible stage pieces however you only have 30 seconds to set up on stage prior to your performance so think carefully about what you want. You are not allowed to have anyone on stage with you so any movable objects must be operated by the cosplayers who are entering the contest.

Otafest stage information and dimensions will be provided to you by the C4 organizer. You will not get a stage rehearsal on the day so make sure you have everything blocked and prepared to make last minute adjustments if you need to.

Handheld props include objects such as swords, shields, weapons, staffs, and other items that are part of the costume. You can have as many of these items as you wish as long as you can carry them on and off stage without any help.

Advice from Veterans

“Enter despite all doubts, don't worry if you don't win and don't get too excited if you do, it's all about the fun” – Cosplay by Minney (UK)

“Start on time and plan ahead, give yourself time to complete a project and spread out your workload” – Idromy's costumes (Belgium)

“Have fun. Above all you want to show your love for cosplay and the character” – YMNA (Portugal)

“Make sure that if you make a new outfit for the finals you don't trash your old ones. That way if the new one doesn't get finished in time you have a backup” – Neils (organiser of Animecon and C4)

“Pick a character you actually like. If you are going to spend that much time and money making something let it be something you will actually want to wear again” – Sketch McDraw Creations (UK)

“Sleep is good, make sure you sleep before the contest” – Nomes Cosplay (UK)

“Make sure you are well rested for the day itself” – Asham Cosplay (Australia)

“Practice your performance at least a month before your competition. When you make your progress book don't fill it with words, fill it with pictures that explain your process” – Amazonian cosplay (UK)

“Finish the costume a month before so you can have plenty of practice time and full costume rehearsals.” – Laura Sindall (UK)

“Make sure you eat and stay hydrated on the day. It will make you feel better and you are less likely to pass out in a big costume” – Anna (C4 Canada organiser)

How to Enter

C4 is a competition that is only open to pairs. If you want to enter C4, fill out the registration form below with the costume you wish to enter with and your partner. Once you have registered you will be sent an information pack about how to plan for your performance along with the rules for C4 Canada. The C4 Canadian organizer will help guide you with any queries you may have regarding the contest, planning the performance etc.

Unfortunately solo entries are not allowed for C4. We also do not allow costumes based on live action entertainment, any costumes based on fan art, or original designs, so unfortunately this means no Zack Fisher, or Hannah Alexander designs. Original designs from artists such as Sakizou may be accepted, please check with the organizer before entering.

This competition will not be open to anyone under the age of 18 or Otafest staff members who are directly involved with C4. You must be a Canadian citizen or resident to compete.

If you have any queries please email us at

C4 Sign Up Form

Applications are closed.

The wait list is now full. Thanks to everyone who applied, and see you at Otafest 2019!