Events & Panels

Panels, concerts, autographs, games, and more!

Main Events

Otafest’s main events are the big key events you really don’t want to miss!
Times and locations can be found on our schedule, once it is released!

AMV Contest

One of the most popular events at Otafest is back for another year! Creators select scenes from various anime shows, set them to music, and edit and splice them until an amazing music video is born! Finalists shown on Friday; All entries shown Sunday morning; Awards Sunday evening!


18+ Only. This is the place to come for a chance to pick up bargain deals on anime memorabilia! Come for the deals, stay for the foul mouthed insanity!

Canada Day Fireworks Patio Party

For the first time ever, we’re excited to provide an exclusive rooftop patio for our attendees. Come watch the Canada Day fireworks with Otafest with a special musical guest providing the soundtrack!

Open to all ages, the Marriott Rooftop Patio will be providing food, non-alcoholic drink, and alcoholic beverages (ID required).

The rooftop patio can be accessed through the Sunalta Room in the Marriott. The patio is available to Otafest attendees only! Enjoy a great view of the Canada Day fireworks!

Be warned – if we hit capacity, we may have to turn folks away!

Closing Ceremonies

Otafest is (almost) over!? Not when there are still awards to be handed out! We will re-cap the event, our guests will say a final farewell, we’ll announce how much we raised for charity and, of course, the charity punishment!

The awards portion of the ceremony is where all the winners to all the contests will be announced and awarded their prizes! Who knows, you may hear your name coming out of those speakers! Make sure you stay for our traditional end-of-closing photo, too!

Maid Matsuri

Join in the Matsuri festivities! Play festival games for a chance to win cute prizes!

Hungry? We have specially made Japanese snacks and drinks available that are sure to please your taste buds! If you’re looking for a dose of cute, you can grab some cute merchandise lovingly handmade by our Maid & Butler Cafe members!

Maid & Butler Cafe

Purchase a ticket to the Sunday Otafest Maid & Butler Cafe and join us for an hour of fun! Enjoy playing games and a wonderful dance performance while snacking on exclusive Maid & Butler Cafe-only desserts. Afterwards, you will also receive an exclusive goodie bag as a souvenir to bring home!

Opening Ceremonies

Come join us as we kick off Otafest 2017! See what’s in store this year, get a sneak peek at this year’s guests, find out a bit more about our charity, and get the down-low info about the events you won’t want to miss!

Otafest Idol

It’s one thing to sing along with your favourite theme song sitting at home, but it’s quite another thing to perform it in front of an entire audience of anime fans! Come and watch aspiring singers perform a variety of anime, video game, and J-pop songs.

Who will be crowned the Otafest Idol champion of 2017? See the preliminaries on Friday, or the finals on Sunday!

Register here. Walk-on entries/performances are allowed only if time permits.

Photo Booth

Here is your chance to get a keepsake photo! Otafest’s official Photo Booth has a team of professional photographers who will take photos of you and your friends in costume.

8 x 10 prints of your favorite photos are available for purchase and all of the photos are uploaded to our Facebook page after Otafest!

Rooftop Patio & Beer Garden!

The SunAlta Rooftop Patio is a casual, Otafest-exclusive hangout place on the Marriott’s second floor for you to take a load off in between panels and shopping! The patio is a fantastic place to grab a bite to eat, take a break, and chill with your friends! Come by and enjoy the view or people-watch all of Stephen Ave! We’ll have music! We’ll have food! We’ll have beverages!

Over 18? We’ll also have beer available! (Just do us a favor and enjoy responsibly; if you become intoxicated, we will ask you to leave! Don’t forget your ID!).

All ages welcome!

Cosplay Events

Cosplay Skit Contest & Fashion Show

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!

Cosplay Showcase – Craftsmanship Contest

Otafest proudly presents the Cosplay Showcase! For those cosplayers out there who want to show off their costumes but don’t necessarily want to do so on-stage during the Cosplay Fashion Show, this event is for you! Here, our judges will look at your costume in detail. No prior experience is necessary as we have separate categories for beginners and experts. Winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony!

Hall Cosplay!

If you’re in cosplay but haven’t signed up for any contest, don’t be surprised if you end up coming away with goodies from Otafest just for having a cool costume in the halls! ;)

How It’s Made: Cosplay Edition

Local cosplayers and photographers have set up interactive exhibits for you to see some of their creativity behind the scenes. This is an up-close and personal look at the technical side of cosplay. Our goal is to bring the community together by sharing ideas, and to spread the idea that anyone and everyone can participate in cosplay. Whether you’re new to the community, or a seasoned veteran of the craft, you’re bound to learn something!

Mr and Miss Otafest

Did you see someone with an amazing costume and wished that they could win something? Well now you have the chance to pick your favourite male and female cosplayer! We’ll tally up the votes and present Mr. and Miss Otafest at the Awards Ceremony on Sunday!

Gaming Events

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!

These events are hosted in association with Fallcon! Check out their website at!

Collectible Card Games

We’ll be playing YuGiOh, Cardfight!! Vanguard, Weiss Schwarz, Force of Will, and Dragon Ball Z all weekend long! Tournaments available for new and experienced players alike! Never played before? We’ll teach you! See you in the gaming room!

Competitive Video Gaming Tournaments

In conjunction with Super Smash Bros. University and The Fighting Game Community of Calgary, Otafest is pleased to offer four cash-pot gaming tournaments for Smash Bros. Melee and Smash Bros. Wii U! Please click here for the full rules and registration!

Open 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!
Pro tip: Nearby Otafest staff are always happy to lose to- ahem, play with you, all you need to do is ask!

Pokemon Events

Pokemon events are available all weekend in Glen 206!

The Pokemon League

Do You want to be the best like no one ever was? Is catching them your real test, is training them your cause? Meet fellow trainers, Pokéfans, and players at the Otafest Pokémon League! With more people joining every year, it’s the best time and place to make new friends and test out your team! The league is available all weekend in Glen 206!


Pokemon VGC Tournament

As a separate event from the Pokémon League (but in the same room!), we are happy to present you with a Pokémon Video Game Championship event! Following the official 2017 Pokémon Video Game Championships rules and regulations, this tournament will truly put your trainer skills to the test!

Rules Summary
Full Rules

Berry Picking

Gotta collect ’em all! Race against other trainers to gather more berries then the rest! your Pokemon will change their minds of what berry they want, how fast can you react!? Biggest berry feast wins!

Battle Royale

Have you ever wondered which of our gym leaders were the strongest? Come watch as our gym leaders duke it out in a four way free for all tournament! Laud the victors! Humiliate the defeated! Learn their moves so you make take them down in the Pokemon League.


In far away lands, Pokemon are used for war and conquest. Form a grand alliance that can wage war against other armies of Pokemon! advance and conquer the battlefield to assume dominance!


Who’s that Pokemon? Put your drawing and guessing skills to the test in Poke-pictionary, and see if your knowledge of pokemon appearances can help you win!

Pokemon Snap

Want to make National Pokegraphic? Think you’re the best pokephotographer out there? Come challenge other snappers with Pokemon Snap for the N64! take your best shot and the highest score wins!

Pokemon Smash Bros. Tournament

Come check out our special version of Smash Bros Brawl, retrofitted with all Pokemon (and a few other surprises) Choose your character and brawl it out over several matches, and prove your the best trainer on a new battleground!

Stuffie Stitching

A beginners guide to stuffing, sewing and stitching your own stuffies. Our team provides a small amount of fabric, thread and stuffing and teaches you how to build your first stuffie! Supplies are limited and are on a first come, first serve basis.

Runway Madness

Our smash hit returns! Come put your fashion skills to the test, pick your pokemon partner, give them the greatest fashion designs you can come up with, and walk the runway in front of judgmental, well, judges!

Z move dance off!

Its time to get down and show your moves! Challenge our gym leaders, your friends, or new trainers to a dance off! Bust out your best Z move to get your Pokemon pumped!

Feedback Panel

Enjoyed our league and events this year? Come and let us know what you enjoyed! Didn’t care for some things? I guess we can listen to your complaints. Ideas for next year? We’re always looking for ways to improve and new experiences to share!

Guest Events

We’re working on some great special guest programming! Their events will be listed here. Check our Facebook and Twitter for updates and announcements!

Community Panels

We are creating the community panels schedule for you! Once created, the event descriptions will appear right here!