Otafest is Calgary’s non-profit, all-ages Japanese anime and pop culture festival featuring anime screenings, an exhibitor hall, community panels, cosplay contests, voice actors, concerts, and so much more!
8:00 AM – 7:00 PM
10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Otafest brings in celebrities from around the world for Q&A and autographs!
Meet your favorite stars, take photos and get their autographs!
Masks are mandatory at Otafest 2022.
Proof of vaccination is required at Otafest 2022.
Please see Otafest’s policies for details and exceptions.
Make the most of your weekend with our all-inclusive pass full of additional benefits! Full details available on the purchase page.
Early-bird price! Get access to everything Otafest, including the exhibitor hall, concerts, panels, events, autographs, and more for the whole weekend! The best value pass for an all-encompassing experience.
If you prefer just a taste, a Single Day Pass affords you access to Otafest for only one day! Just show up on the day you wish to attend with your ticket and we will check you in! Note: Early pickup is not available for single-day passes.
Valid only for ages 6-12. Valid for the entire weekend. Must be accompanied by a responsible person with valid admission at all times.
Valid only for ages 0-5. Valid for the entire weekend. Must be accompanied by a responsible person with valid admission at all times.
Complementary admission for licensed caregivers accompanying a patron who requires assistance. Caregivers must visit Otafest's Box Office with valid proof of profession to redeem their pass.
Just an elevator ride away from Otafest, you can book your stay at the Calgary Marriott Downtown Hotel with special rates for Otafest attendees!
Connected directly to the Telus Convention Centre and boasting Calgary’s largest standard guestroom available with a single king or two double beds and large windows, the Marriott’s rooms feature beautifully appointed furniture and hypoallergenic Duvets, fitness center, pool access, and wireless internet.
We have a variety of ways you can get involved with Otafest beyond simply attending, and we can’t wait to see what you have to offer!
Otafest’s AMV Contest is open to everyone who wants to submit an AMV video into competition provided that it’s their own work and conforms to all the contest’s rules.
You do not need to be present at the event to enter, but attendance is always encouraged when possible.
Artist Alley provides an outlet for artists and creative designers ranging from hobbyists to professionals to showcase and sell their work. Pieces are inspired by anime, manga, video games, and other popular cultural themes and topics.
Only original works may be sold in Otafest’s Artist Alley, no commercial merchandise.
Submit your stuff to be sold at the Otafest Auction!
Otafest will retain 10% of proceeds, owners will receive all else generated from the auction unless otherwise indicated (e.g. if you indicate that you want the proceeds donated to charity).
The café is a unique and fun experience for patrons and volunteers alike. Participate in food service, dances, and photos while making a bunch of friends in the process! You’ll be a part of one of Otafest’s most tight-knit and welcoming volunteer groups!
Cosplay is an incredibly important part of our festival and we love seeing cosplayers turn out in style to showcase your latest creations.
Otafest runs a variety of cosplay contests to include as much diversity as possible!
Otafest’s Exhibitor Hall brings local stores, industry, and travelling vendors into one convenient location to sell official figures, manga, plushies, art, games, media, posters, and other wares.
The majority of Otafest’s programming is provided by community members like you who have creative ideas to present to their peers.
Whether you’re hosting a game show, an educational talk, or anything else, we’d love to see your unique creativity and we’re excited to see what you have in store this year!
Otafest’s best vocalists fight for the top position in the spotlight! Formerly known as “Otafest Idol”, contestants dazzle the audience and judges with their best voice to discover if they truly have that Ota Factor.
Come on in and sing your heart out!
Otafest would be literally impossible without our wonderful volunteer base, and we make it as fun as possible to volunteer with us!
Whether you’re volunteering alone or with friends, we’ll do our best to keep you smiling throughout the whole weekend.
Each year, Otafest selects a local charitable cause to support. Please help us reach our $5,000 goal to support the local community and remember to attend closing ceremonies for our traditional fun (and often embarrassing) games for our planning team! You can help by participating in Otafest's Charity Auction, Angel Passes, Sketch Drive, Cards Against Otafest, & more!
Otafest’s 2022 charity initiative supports the Skipping Stone Foundation.
Skipping Stone connects trans and gender diverse youth, adults, and families with comprehensive and low barrier access to the support they need and deserve.
Founded in 2016 with the goal of providing trans and gender diverse youth positive and affirming opportunities surrounding their gender identity and expression, Skipping Stone grew to act as a system and services guide, assisting the youth and families in accessing supports and navigating the system, including health care, education and social services. By 2019 Skipping Stone had provided life-changing services to thousands of trans and gender diverse youth, families and adults across the province.
Skipping Stone provides a variety of services, including:
At Otafest, we want to ensure that you have a positive and inclusive experience, and this is why we take harassment very seriously. We are committed to our community.
If you have a harassment concern, the first step is to report it. You can speak with any of our staff members or volunteers to begin the process. The staff member or volunteer will contact the Chair, or designate, and we’ll take it from there.
Volunteers per Year
Raised for Charity
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 decades, Otafest grew into a larger festival 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 are a creative outlet for fans, where you can show your passion and appreciation of the hobby. We are a space for you to show off the costumes you have made, the music videos you have created, and the art you have painted and drawn. Otafest is a forum for discussion and education. We host educational panels introducing you 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 guests 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 acknowledges that the land we gather on is the traditional territory of the people of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta, which includes the Blackfoot Confederacy (comprising the Siksika, Piikani and Kainai First Nations), as well as the Tsuut’ina First Nation, and the Stoney Nakoda (including the Chiniki, Bearspaw, and Wesley First Nations). The City of Calgary is also the home of the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region III.
Calgary is home to many First Nations peoples from across Turtle Island. We acknowledge that settlers on the land occupy and directly benefit from the process of colonization.
Each year, Otafest selects a charity to give back to those in our community and beyond. In 2019, our charity of choice was Miskanawah (formerly Pathways) and we encourage you to consider making a donation if you are able. We aspire to continue supporting local Indigenous communities in the future.