Otafest 2021

Digital Cosplay Craftsmanship Contest

We may be going digital this year but we still want to see your amazing cosplays! This is a contest specifically for craftsmanship, so you are expected to include progress pictures and information about the creation of your piece. There is no performance aspect. Please read the rules below before submitting your entry at the bottom of this page.

Prize pool: $200.00


  1. All costumes submitted must be minimum 80% handmade. No commercially purchased costumes may be entered. Costumes crafted of purchased pieces (such as base garments, shoes, etc.) must have been modified at minimum by 80% to be counted as hand made. This rule does not apply to undergarments or wigs, which may be purchased.

  2. Costumes must be based off of a real created character from a commercially available source, including but not limited to anime, manga, video game, movie, book series, and television. Original characters may be considered by the event organizers depending on the nature of the original character (e.g. an original character from a Critical Role D&D campaign created by a popular figure) but must be approved by the event organizers (via email to cosplay@otafest.com) in advance of the submission.

  3. Costumes must be submitted under the name of the person who created the costume. Photos and supporting material for the costume may feature another person/persons wearing the costume (in other words, you may have someone else model your cosplay) but only the creator will be credited if the costume is chosen as a finalist or prize winner. Commissioned costumes may not be entered unless the entry is by the person who created it.

  4. Participation is open to anyone wanting to enter, however all prizes will be awarded at the same value in Canadian dollars regardless of the winner's location.

  5. All entries must include a Cosplay portfolio containing the following:

    1. 4 photos of the finished costume (front view, back view, left and right side views) with the costume being worn either by the creator or by a human model.

    2. 4 photos of individual pieces of the costume, laid flat on a plain background. This can include clothing pieces, props, styled wigs (which may be presented on a wig form or stand), accessories, etc.

    3. Minimum of 2 photos taken of the costume during construction, or of the materials/tools used to create the costume.

    4. Minimum of 2 examples of patterns, layouts, notes, or sketches of the costume used in its creation.

    5. At least one photo of the character being cosplayed, wearing the costume being entered in the contest (aka a reference photo). This should also include the name of the character and the source material (TV show, anime, manga, video game, etc.). 
  6. All materials received in the contest may be used in promotional documents, media, and contest related matters by Otafest. Please ensure all photos and media are suitable for viewing by all ages and understand that these materials will be used as part of our live stream event and as such may be seen by a large audience of viewers.

  7. Incomplete submissions or late entries will not be accepted for judging. Entries and all supporting documentation must be received prior to or on the deadline date provided.

  8. All costumes entered in the contest must be appropriate for viewing by all ages. Costumes must not be sexually revealing, may not include sexually explicit imagery, pornographic content, or anything that implies any sexual acts, including but not limited to ahegao. If a costume is submitted that violates this rule, the entrant will be contacted and may be given a chance to modify the costume and re-submit it if time allows, otherwise it will be disqualified.

  9. Otafest reserves the right to disqualify any entry for any reason, including but not limited to: if it is deemed to be in violation of any of the contest rules, is found to be in poor taste, is not a genuine entry, or would be harmful to the integrity of the event, its organizers, and/or the other contestants.

  10. Entries will be judged by a panel of 3 judges composed of experienced cosplayers. If a submission is deemed to not meet the criteria of the contest or is in violation of any of these rules, the entry will be disqualified, and depending on the severity of the infraction future entries to other Otafest contests may be subject to rejection.

  11. The panel of judges will select the top 5 entries to be presented in the live stream event on Saturday May 22, 2021. These 5 entrants will be contacted in advance of the event so that they can be present during the live stream via video call, audio call, or if not available on the day of, to submit a statement if they are chosen as a winner. Please try to be available during the Cosplay portion of the live stream so we can include you in the presentation.

  12. Anyone not selected as a finalist may have photos of their costume presented during the live stream as part of a slideshow showcasing all of the entries.

  13. Prizes will be awarded to the winner(s) and the number and value of the prizes will be determined by the number of entries. All prizes will have a cash value equivalent and winners will be asked what form they would prefer to receive their prize in (Interac E-Transfer, PayPal, gift cards, etc.). Prizes will be sent to the winner(s) after the contest concludes.

  14. These rules are subject to change at any time, please contact the event organizers at cosplay@otafest.com if you have any questions or concerns.


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