Otafest 2021

A Live-Streamed Event

May 22, 2021

Calgary’s non-profit, all-ages Japanese anime and pop culture festival has gone digital for 2021! Join us on Twitch on May 22!


Otafest brings in celebrities from around the world for spotlights and Q&A! Keep your eyes peeled for updates!



Otafest’s Craftsmanship is going digital. Get that final polish on your portfolio and enter to win a cash prize!

Exhibitor Hall

Support local artists and vendors by visiting our virtual hall, check out their booths for links to stores!

Gunpla Building

If you’re local, pick up your very own tool-free Goku or Pikachu kit and build along with our Gunpla team on stream day!


Our guests will be doing Q&A and interacting with the stream chat. Hop in on stream day and ask away!

Animal Crossing

Explore the Otafest island on Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Dream code available on stream day.

More to Come

Keep up with our social media to be the first to know what else we have in store!


Make sure to follow @Otafest on Twitch to be notified when we go live!

Times are in Mountain Time on Saturday, May 22 2021.

10:15 AM

Opening Words

Welcome to Otafest 2021: A Live-Streamed Event! Kicking things off with a few words from our Seph, our own Chair-chan Jenny, and a message from the Consulate General of Japan.

10:30 AM

Rocky Mountain Taiko

Yama no Oto

Let’s get the ball rolling with an amazing performance from Rocky Mountain Taiko!

10:45 AM

Gunpla Build-Along #1

Meet Otafest’s Gundam team and build Pikachu along with them live on stream! Experience first hand the fun of building plastic models!

11:15 AM

Maid Performance

The Maid Café team is here to entertain you with a speed round of Otaku Q&A and a dazzling performance.

11:30 AM

Virtual Idolfest
The Idol Festival is a musical experience where local idol groups bring you some of the best and favourite idol performances. Cheer on some of your favourite groups from across Alberta, from their stage to your home; wotagei highly encouraged!

12:00 PM

Coming Out in Cosplay

Fighting Dreamers Productions

The cosplay community makes space for a lot of us who may find ourselves exploring gender and sexuality. Cosplay may be a place where we’ve found our identities, felt affirmed in our identities, and found connection with other LGBTQ+ folks. In this panel we explore the intersections of cosplay and the LGBTQ+ community and shire stories about how cosplay has impacted our LGBTQ+ identities (and vice versa!).

1:00 PM

Spotlight on Erica Lindbeck and Billy Kametz

Erica Lindbeck & Billy Kametz

Otafest is pleased to present our voice acting guests: Erica Lindbeck & Billy Kametz! Here is your chance to ask Erica & Billy your questions!

2:00 PM

Otafest vs. Animethon Family Feud

Brendan Hunter

The Staff of Otafest & Animethon (Otafest’s sister convention in Edmonton) play some anime-themed Family Feud, hosted by Brendan Hunter! Come cheer on your team!!

3:00 PM

Smash vs. Billy Kametz

Billy Kametz

Not only is Billy Kametz a well known voice actor in the anime community, he’s also an avid Smash Brothers fan! Here’s your chance to face off directly against Billy, have your Nintendo Switch ready!

4:00 PM

Craftmanship Contest

Our traditional Cosplay Craftsmanship Contest but in an all new, all digital format! Cosplayers from around the world have submitted their creative works to be judged by our amazing Cosplay guests and are looking to win prizes donated by our incredible sponsor The Costume Shoppe! 

See what fantastic Cosplay costumes our participants have been working on this past year and cheer on your favourites!

5:00 PM

Notice Me Senpai


Do you have what it takes to catch Crunchyroll-Senpai’s attention? Five lucky contestants get a chance to duke it out for glory & prizes!

6:00 PM

Sew Along with Sonia Blade

Sonia Blade

Learn tips and tricks to get that perfect shape to help elevate your future cosplays.

The following pattern and materials are needed for those who want to follow along at home:

  • Pattern: TVE01 – 1903 Edwardian Corset.
  • 1 Yard – all sizes – Coutil, canvas, drill, etc.
  • 1/2 yard – all sizes – Muslin, broadcloth, linen, etc.
  • Corset Busk.
  • 6 yard corset string.
  • 1 package extra wide double fold bias tape to match fabric (very large sizes may need 2 packages).
  • Minimum of 3 yards of 3/4″ bone casing.
  • Grommets (00 size works best).
  • 32-40 white spring steel ¼” wide stays, depending on size. Do not use spiral stays.
  • Fiber fill for padding.
  • 2 -3 yards tie string for hip pad.

7:00 PM

404s Improv

The 404s

Catch the 404s with their unique “geekprov” brand of improv comedy incorporating wit, charm, pop culture knowledge, and a great deal of audience participation, The 404s make sure every show is memorable, interactive, and hilarious.

8:00 PM

Anime Wheel of Fortune

Aaron & Michael

Remember that time at Otafest you had the experience of watching someone spin a giant wheel in imitation of a popular gameshow? Well, that experience is now an isekai – it’s been reincarnated in the digital world!

9:00 PM

Pokémon Snap!

The new Pokémon Snap! It’s like the old Pokémon Snap, except newer. Showing off new features and taking suggestions and input from viewers. A let’s play style feature you won’t want to miss.

10:00 PM

Gunpla Build-Along #2

The Gundam team is back! This time they’ll be walking you through building the Goku model.

10:15 PM

Among Us

I swear I saw you vent. When locked in a spaceship for more than 30 seconds, tempers are sure to flare and friendships will be destroyed. Why are you standing so close to me anyway?

11:00 PM

OtaDrag Spectacular

Local YYC drag performers showcasing their best to your favourite anime and gaming tracks.

Including Dann Gleebitz, Ofelia Vidal, Tangerine Dreams, Nyx Knightly, and Sativa Divine!

11:45 PM

Closing Ceremonies
You made it! Welcome to Closing Ceremonies for Otafest 2021! We’ll recap the highlights of the day, then have a couple of announcements and surprises to share!


We would like to thank all of our sponsors for their generous contributions to our event ♥


Get your Otafix! Check out our online merchandise store!

About Otafest

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 has grown to become a large three day festival, with 9,500 attendees in 2018. The festival is run exclusively by unpaid volunteers as part of a registered 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.

Our Mission

Otafest creates inclusive events which build a community of fans of Japanese anime, popular culture and related arts.


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.

Commitment to Anti-Racism Improvements

May 31, 2021

Hi folks, thank you so much for your patience!

This time last year, Otafest made a commitment to be better allies. We’ve done a lot of work and study on anti-racism work this year, and will continue to do so. After elections last year, the incoming leadership team collectively put in over 300+ hours of both anti-racism and inclusivity & diversity training. We held a total of 6 sessions over half a year so that all staff could have a chance to share in our learnings, and contribute their learnings too. All staff members in a decision-making capacity completed the training.

Procedurally, we took some time to dive through our internal policies for procedures that could contribute to systemic racism. We identified a key barrier in our internal progression policies that could contribute to difficulties for POC to climb the ranks, and eliminated that. We continue to be mindful that systemic racism can be unintentional in nature, and the only way to address that is to actively view our decision making from an anti-racism lens. We’ve learned from our training that to be better allies, we should focus on doing the work, rather than talking about doing it, so we hope our actions were felt by the community in our programming this year, and will continue to be felt in the future. This summer, our plan is to continue with more advanced anti-racism training surrounding restorative justice practices.

At the Board level, we created a dedicated anti-racism committee, to make sure these initiatives don’t get forgotten. Late last year, our membership elected the most diverse leadership team Otafest has had. On the Board, 6 out of 7 of us are visible minorities, and on the wider leadership team, 7 out of 9 of us are visible minorities. This specifically includes individuals who are Asian, Black and Persian. 3 out of 9 of us identify as queer. Each of us bring our lived experiences to try to continue to make Otafest as inclusive as possible, bring diverse viewpoints to our most critical decision making, and to be better allies.

And to do so, we know that anti-racism work must be ongoing and evolving. We will continue to provide annual updates on our progress.

Thank you for your time,

Jenny Chan
Otafest 2021 – Chair