Otafest logo, Calgary Marriott Downtown Hotel logo


CALGARY, Canada, March 2, 2020 – for immediate release

Calgary’s anime & Japanese pop culture festival, Otafest, has announced a major expansion for its 2020 festival year in partnership with the Calgary Marriott Downtown Hotel. In addition to the current festival space in the Calgary Telus Convention Centre, the expansion adds nearly 10,000 square feet of event space in the Marriott hotel, plus a seasonal rooftop patio, and has the capacity to facilitate up to an additional 140 hours of entertainment in the festival’s programming schedule.

Key features of the expanded festival include a new performance stage (the “Aurora Stage”), rooms for educational events and late night programming, evening bar service, a repair station for costumers and cosplayers sponsored by The Costume Shoppe, and a casual lounge for meetups, photography, and other social programming.

“Expanding Otafest’s programming offerings through this expansion has been a huge effort from our team, and a key part of our programming goals,” says Vern Townsend, Otafest Vice-Chair of Experiences. “We’re really excited to finally be able to share our growth and development with our attendees and the community.”

“Building community is an important part of Otafest’s mandate, and the new expansion will provide informal social spaces for people to meet and connect over shared interests,” says Amy Pratt, Otafest Board of Directors. “We’re especially excited to be able to highlight local artists and dance groups through showcase events with our new Aurora Stage.”

A full schedule of all festival events, including programming in the new Marriott event space, will be available April 15, 2020 through the official Otafest app at otafest.com/app, sponsored by FAN GURU.

Otafest takes place May 15th – 17th, 2020, at the Calgary Telus Convention Centre. Purchase tickets at otafest.com.


Otafest is a three day festival in Calgary, Alberta, dedicated to building a local community of fandoms, nerdism, and a celebration of Japanese pop culture. Established in 1999, it is a fully volunteer run and organized non-profit event, and has raised over $135,000 for the benefit of charities since 2009. Learn more at otafest.com.

David Ly, Vice Chair, Marketing

Photo credits: Elyse Bouvier, Paul Kiemele

© 2020 The Otafest Film and Cultural Festival Planning Committee. All third-party product and company names are for identification purposes only and may be the trademarks of their respective owners.