From cosplay to video gaming to live music, make the most of your weekend at Otafest 2017. Here’s our top picks for must-see events.

7. Enjoy Live Performances

Want to be in a live comedy improv show? Fall in love with the the beautiful voices of our Otafest Idol competitors, watch live head-to-head eSports matches, or dance the night away to video game remixes? Our variety of live performances is bound to amaze you!

Round out your weekend with the dozens of community curated educational panels on everything from digital illustration to Japanese language. See full programming schedule


6. Take your picture with a Cosplayer

Cosplayers are everywhere. Snap some photos of the hundreds of beautifully costumed attendees in the hall, on Stephen Avenue, or in Olympic plaza, or attend one of our popular cosplay events.

Cosplay Skit Contest & Fashion Show | Saturday July 1, 2017 12:30 – 14:30, Main Events
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!

How it’s made: Cosplay Edition | Sunday July 2, 2017 11:00 – 13:00 Macleod Lobby
This is an up-close and personal look at the technical side of cosplay, with interactive exhibits by local cosplayers and photographers. Whether you’re new to the community, or a seasoned veteran of the craft, learn how anyone and everyone can have a great time doing cosplay!


5. Visit the Maid Cafe & Matsuri Festival

On Saturday, join in the Matsuri festivities and play festival games with our volunteer maid & butler hosts for a chance to win cute prizes! We have specially made Japanese snacks from Oguraya Bakery, and drinks available that are sure to please your taste buds! If you’re looking for a dose of kawaii, you can grab some cute merchandise lovingly handmade by our adorable cafe volunteers!

On Sunday, Otafest’s popular Maid & Butler Cafe returns. Our hour-long cafe sessions provide an exclusive cafe dessert, prize bag, access to the festival games, and a dance performance by our hard-working Maids & Butlers!


4. Get your Game on

Anime Board Games with Fallcon: Open all weekend long, the Anime Board Game Room is designed to let you to take a break from the hustle of cosplay, vendors, panels, and showings! There are a lot of anime and Asian inspired board games out in the market today, and this is a chance for you to sit down and learn some of these games! Hosted by Fallcon!

Overnight Board Games: As part of Otafest’s 24-hour experience, night owls looking to play board games can visit the Pips 24-Hour Lounge on the Marriott’s second floor between 12:00 am – 6:00 am for board gaming provided by Pips Board Game Cafe!

Open Video Gaming: A gaming room staple! Otafest’s open console gaming will be available for you to play all weekend! With a variety of games to choose from and no sign-up required, just drop in whenever you want and have some fun!
Need someone to challenge? Nearby Otafest staff are always happy to lose to- ahem, play with you.

Pokemon: Come to Otafest and catch ‘em all! From the infamous Pokemon League (Nintendo DS), Smash Bros and Sun & Moon Tournaments, to dance offs and pokemon fashion, a plethora of Pokemon events run for the entire weekend!
browse Friday events | browse Saturday & Sunday events

Pokemon League Gym Leader Battles: | Saturday 10:00 – 17:00 | Sunday 10:00 – 18:00 Glen 206
All attendees welcome, just walk in! Bring your DS and your Pokemon Sun & Moon arsenal to Otafest’s famous Pokemon league! Challenge gym leaders to fights and win gym badges from our sponsors at Chinook Crafts!


3. Celebrate Canada150 on the Patio

The Marriott Rooftop Patio is a casual hangout place on the Marriott’s second floor for you to take a load off in between panels and shopping. Exclusive to Otafest attendees all weekend, the patio is a fantastic place to grab a bite to eat, take a break, and chill with your friends to some cool music.

The patio is fully licensed! Grab a cold brew or catch the #Canada150 Saturday Night fireworks!


2. Get Charitable with Closing Ceremonies Charity Punishment

Otafest’s charity of choice in 2017 is Calgary’s Tom Baker Cancer. Raise funds through participation in our various charity initiatives such as the Charity Auction, Maid & Butler Café, and good old fashioned donation boxes!

The more you donate, the more our executive suffer! See the Otafest Executive undergo their anticpated yearly charity punishment at Otafest’s closing ceremonies. Will it be pies, silly string, water balloons, a whipped cream cannon… or something completely new?

Since 2009, Otafest has raised over $90,000 at our events for various charity initiatives.
Learn more about our 2017 charity.


1. Watch an Episode of Anime

Or two. Or five. Catch a classic like Studio Ghibli’s Princess Mononoke, or a hot new hits like the competitive figure skating anime Yuri!!On Ice.  Short on time? Stop by the Short Form Anime session for bite sized stories!

See full programming schedule

What are your plans for Otafest? Share this story on your Social Media using the floating links to the left!

Buy your weekend pass online to Otafest 2017 at

Amy Pratt | Otafest Social Media Manager

Otafest is honored to be the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre‘s FIRST feature partner for Conventioneer Diaries. This video series “documents those who come to the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre to do business, be part of a community and to share ideas.”

Featuring local cosplay Kathryn Grant, the video is a wonderful showcase of some of the exciting things you can expect from Otafest in our beautiful new venue at the CTCC in 2017!

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Thank you so much to the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre, Kathryn Grant, and everyone who helped with the making of this video!

Excited about Otafest? Share this story on your Social Media using the floating links to the left!

Buy your weekend pass online to Otafest 2017 at