Otafest 25th Anniversary

Otafest 2023

May 19 - 21, 2023
Calgary Telus Convention Centre

Otafest 2023

Otafest is Calgary’s volunteer-run, 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!

May 19

8:00 – 19:00

Festival Hours
10:00 – 24:00

May 20

8:00 – 19:00

Festival Hours
10:00 – 24:00

May 21

8:00 – 19:00

Festival Hours
10:00 – 21:00

Special Guests

Each of our special guests adds their own unique flavor to the festival ♥
Check back often and keep an eye on our social media for updates.


The Marriott Hotel

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.

Get Involved

We need your help. Otafest relies on the creative contributions of the community to make each festival one to remember. Whether you’re a cosplayer, an artist, wanting to host a panel, or willing to lend a hand, we offer various opportunities to involve yourself in the festival beyond simply attending!


Otafest would be impossible without the help of our wonderful volunteers. We offer a wide range of positions across all departments, food, and scheduling that accommodates you as best as possible.

Our volunteers also usually leave with some newly formed friendships! Join the Otafam and we’ll do our best to keep you smiling throughout the whole weekend.

A group of volunteers sit around a table, playing the card game Hanabi
Two panelists stand in front of a room full of people


The best way to embrace your passion is to share it. Most of Otafest’s programming is provided by community members like you who have creative ideas to present to their peers.

Whether you’re looking to host a presentation, workshop, tutorial, game show, forum, or anything else, we’ll be your platform.

With admission discounts available for successful candidates, we’d love to see your creativity in action!


Otafest is home to a healthy variety of contests!

Whether you want to compete vocally, showcase your AMV skills, or take part in one of our many varieties of cosplay events, one of our events is sure to suit you!

Three cosplayers stand, showing off their awards certificates and ribbons.


Are you are an artist or hobbyist looking for an outlet to sell your fan-made work? Maybe you’re an established business wanting to expand your customer base. Whatever the case may be, our Exhibitor Hall brings thousands of patrons right to you for easy and effective exposure to your products.

Also, if you’re an emerging or experienced artist and want to join our mission to give back to the community, Sketch Drive offers a unique opportunity to hone your talents for a good cause.


Otafest hosts a live charity auction each year and we’re always looking for items to sell. We’re always looking for donated items to build up our sale inventory. Proceeds go directly to charity, so you can clear out your closet and storage while supporting a great cause.

If you’ve got some extra manga laying around, consider donating to our manga library! An open, calm space at Otafest where you can sit down with a good novel and take a break from the hustle and bustle.

A giant Bulbasaur plush among other books and model kits on a table.

Charitable Initiatives

Otafest welcomes MEOW Foundation as our 2023 Charity Partner!

MEOW Foundation is a cageless rescue with a no-kill mandate. MEOW has assisted over 40,000 feline lives and counting since their inception. MEOW’s core programs include rescue and adoption, trap neuter return, spay neuter assistance, and a cat food assistance program. MEOW also offers cat care information and spay/neuter education to the public to promote responsible pet ownership and reduce the pet overpopulation problem. MEOW helps over 2,500 cats and kittens each year.

The rescue is well known for its expertise in cat behavior and evidence-based humane programs to reduce cat overpopulation. MEOW was also the first Calgary-based animal welfare organization to promote the adoption instead of euthanization of cats with special needs.

Many Otafest staff members are cat owners and MEOW’s guiding principles of Respect, Standard of Care, Cats & People, and Collaboration strongly align with our own core values. We support the MEOW Foundation in its mission of championing the well-being of cats through humane programs, advocacy, and education.

Support MEOW Foundation by participating in our fundraising initiatives such as:

  • 2023 Angel Passes
  • Otafest Charity Auction
  • Maid & Butler Café Polaroid Prints
  • Gunpla Hangar Events
  • Sketch Drive Commissions
  • Donation boxes around the festival.

Remember that if we reach our goal of $10,000, our staff will participate in fun (and sometimes embarrassing) games at the closing ceremonies. Please help us reach this fundraising goal in support of the MEOW Foundation, and remember to stop by the closing ceremonies!

Meow Foundation


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

Event Partners

Calgary Telus Convention Centre
Calgary Marriott Downtown Hotel
Wi-Com Solutions
Our Official Radio Provider

Funding Partners

Alberta Foundation for the Arts