Festival Policies

1. Definitions

  1. In these policies,
    1. “Artist Alley” refers to the designated location for the sale of personal artwork;
    2. “Cosplay” refers to the special event known as Cosplay;
    3. “O.P.E” refers to the Otafest Policy Enforcement department;
    4. “Otafest” refers to the Otafest Festival, it’s staff, volunteers, and representatives;
    5. “Patron” refers to any person attending the Otafest Festival with valid proof of admission;
    6. “Exhibitor Hall” refers to the designated location for the sale of merchandise. Some events call this room the Merchant Hall, the Vendors’ Hall, or the Dealers’ room;
    7. “Viewing room” refers the designated viewing areas for video programming;
    8. “Wristband” refers to the proof of admission used by Otafest.

2. General Policies

  1. The following activities are not permitted during Otafest:
    1. Engaging in any activity prohibited by law;
    2. Any act which could result in substantial risk or harm to people or property;
    3. Engaging in disruptive and unsafe behavior that disturbs other patrons, staff, or the public;
    4. Sexual misconduct, such as indecent exposure, offensive touching, or sexual harassment;
    5. Physical or verbal harassment of the public or staff;
    6. Loitering.
  2. All patrons must abide by all TELUS Convention Centre procedures, policies, and bylaws, as well as all local, provincial, and federal laws and bylaws.
  3. Seating for events or in viewing rooms is first-come, first-served. Due to fire regulations, sitting in aisles and seating beyond the room’s capacity are not allowed, and Otafest is bound to strictly enforce this.
  4. Alcohol is only permitted in designated areas within the Otafest festival space. No outside alcohol is permitted.
  5. Disruptive behaviours caused by intoxicating substances may lead to removal from the festival areas or revocation of wristbands. Patrons displaying outward signs of intoxication may be asked to leave festival areas until such time that they are no longer intoxicated.
  6. Food and drinks are normally permitted during events and inside viewing rooms, but please clean up after yourself. Please use available garbage bins to dispose of waste. Patrons will be informed if food or drinks are prohibited.
  7. Talking out of turn during events or in viewing rooms is disruptive to other patrons. Please save your comments for outside the event or viewing room.
  8. In the event that Earth faces imminent peril by an attacker (Saiyan or otherwise), all patrons must willingly lend their energy to any life-force powered attack used by an appointed defender of the planet for the purposes of protecting the Earth.
  9. Otafest has the right to modify, add, remove, supplement, amend, update, or revise any of its policies, without advanced notification to patrons by posting such revisions on the website, otafest.com. Revisions shall become effective immediately and apply to all patrons regardless of the date their admission was purchased.
  10. With respect to some Otafest events (such as cosplay contests) these policies may be temporarily overridden for participants of that event. The only persons that may authorize this override are:
    1. Otafest Chair,
    2. O.P.E Manager, and/or
    3. Cosplay & Contests Manager or delegate.

3. COVID-19 Safety Protocols

  1. Proof of vaccination is not required to attend Otafest, as per recent government regulations.
  2. Otafest participants are encouraged to wear a mask covering their nose, mouth, and chin.
  3. COVID-19 safety protocols may be revised without notice pending government policy or at Otafest’s discretion.

4. Wristbands and Admission

  1. Admission to Otafest is a revocable license; it may be withdrawn, admission refused, or the holder expelled from the premises at any time for any reason.
  2. Wristbands must be worn and be visible at all times. Individuals without wristbands will not be granted access to Otafest.
  3. Any patron who has their admission revoked will not receive reimbursement or refund of any part of their admission.
  4. A fee will be charged for replacing a lost wristband. Replacement wristbands must be authorized by the Admissions manager.
  5. Please return any wristbands found to Otafest staff immediately.
  6. Admission is non-transferable.
  7. Refunds to admission may be requested up to 1 day before the event starts. Admission is nonrefundable after this date.
    1. The ticket processor’s fees are non-refundable in all cases.
  8. By purchasing admission, the patron agrees to follow all policies herein.

5. Attire and Costumes

  1. All patrons are required to dress in accordance with public decency laws while at Otafest.
  2. All patrons are required to wear footwear. Socks or bare feet are not acceptable.
  3. Otafest reserves the right to deem any attire or costume unacceptable and request the wearer to either change or make modifications as necessary.
  4. Patrons should be aware that they may be asked to remove all or part of any costume that is bulky, difficult to maneuver, or otherwise presents possible safety issues for the wearer or other patrons.

6. Harassment and Assault

  1. Otafest has a zero tolerance policy for any type of harassment and/or assault towards staff, volunteers, patrons and/or the public at large.
    1. Harassment is defined as any intentional behavior that alarms or threatens another person. This includes but is not limited to, any unwanted physical contact, following someone without reason, or threatening to harm someone.
  2. Sexual misconduct is unacceptable at Otafest, and will result in the revocation of the patron’s wristband and involvement of local police.

7. Liability

  1. Although Otafest strives for the safest possible environment, Otafest, its staff, volunteers, and affiliated parties are not responsible for any loss, damage, theft, or injury while attending Otafest.
  2. Patrons are responsible for their individual actions and any repercussion that may result.
  3. Civil or medical emergencies are to be handled directly by the proper authorities.

8. Merchandise and Theft

  1. All merchandise from Otafest itself, the Exhibitor Hall, or Artist Alley, must be paid for.
  2. Any patron caught shoplifting will be handed over to the proper authorities, have their wristband revoked, and refused service into all future Otafest events. There will be no exceptions.

9. Photography and Video Recording

  1. Photography/Video Recording is restricted in the viewing rooms and may also be restricted in other specific events. Patrons will be informed via signage or verbal instruction if photography or video recording is prohibited.
  2. No photographer, videographer, or journalist shall make use of any implement that rests wholly or partially upon a supporting device that is anchored to, tethered to, or in any other way deriving strength or stability from any source other than their person (e.g. a tripod) without express written permission from authorized Otafest staff.
  3. No photographer, videographer, or journalist shall make use of any implement that exceeds 24 inches in its largest dimension (e.g. large reflectors or light boxes) without express written permission from authorized Otafest staff. Body mounted stabilizers and harnesses are exempt from this policy.
  4. Photography, videography, and verbal interviewing is prohibited on or from any staircase, stairwell or landing within a staircase or stairwell, or within 1m of any venue entrance or emergency exit (marked by signs), elevator door, escalator entrance/exit, or bathroom entrance/exit.
  5. Additional areas of congestion may be designated as “no photography” zones without prior notice by posting visible material including, but not limited to floor markings and/or signage.
  6. Photography of artwork in Artist Alley is not allowed without express permission of the artist.
  7. Photography, videography, and verbal interviewing is prohibited within the Exhibitor Hall (Exhibition Hall C, D, E) except in designated areas or with written permission from authorized Otafest staff.
  8. Usage of the venue’s power outlets is prohibited.
  9. Permission must be obtained from the subject(s) before taking pictures of guests, other patrons, or the general public.
  10. Patrons consent to being photographed and/or video recorded by Otafest staff and/or volunteers, and having those images used for Otafest’s promotional and commercial purposes.

10. Weapons & Props

  1. Otafest has the following definitions:
    1. A “weapon” is defined to be any item that: is designed to cause injury or death, or anything a person actually uses or intends to use to cause injury or death. Also includes any item which is designed, used, or intended for use to threaten or intimidate.
    2. A “prop” is defined as any item used by an attendee to enhance their costume.
    3. A “prop resembling a realistic weapon” is defined as any prop that can be mistaken for a weapon by a casual observer at any distance.
    4. A “prop resembling a non-realistic weapon” is defined as a prop resembling or intended to resemble a weapon, but that would not be mistaken for a dangerous item by a casual observer at any distance. This would include props that resemble fantasy weapons, futuristic weapons, or stylized weapons.
    5. A “general prop” is defined as any other prop not resembling or intended to resemble a weapon.
  2. All props brought to Otafest MUST BE INSPECTED by O.P.E immediately upon arrival to the festival. Failure to adhere to this regulation may result in the prop being confiscated or revocation of admission.
    1. O.P.E Staff have the final say on whether a prop will be allowed at the venue.
    2. General props will be marked in a highly visible way such that staff and patrons can tell from a distance that the prop is allowed for general use at the festival.
    3. Props that resemble a realistic weapon or is otherwise inappropriate must be removed from the venue immediately.
    4. All props are subject to continued assessment throughout the event by the O.P.E or Event Staff.
  3. Prohibited items
    1. Any prop designed to be visually or functionally indistinguishable from items classified as “illegal” or “restricted” under City, Provincial, or Federal mandate, is categorically barred from any Otafest event.
    2. Any props that may be mistaken to be a public danger by a reasonable observer at any distance are categorically barred from any Otafest event.
    3. Projectile Weaponry
      1. No props, toys, weaponry, or props that are able to fire a projectile will be allowed at any Otafest event at any time regardless of the material of which the projectile is composed. This includes but is not limited to: Airsoft, BB, Paintball, Nerf, or any similar guns, thrown weaponry such as shuriken, and throwing darts.
      2. There shall be no throwing of any kind of prop at any time.
      3. All other firearms/projectile weapons, props, or toys must have orange safety tips at all times on the venue grounds.
    4. Bladed Weaponry
      1. Absolutely no metal bladed weaponry or props are allowed at Otafest regardless of sharpness or hardness of the blade. This includes but is not limited to swords, knives, axes, pole arms, or any other weapon or prop composed of metal.
    5. Practice Swords
      1. Bokken, kendo, and other wooden practice swords shall be deemed as bladed weapons under this policy and similarly barred from Otafest.
  4. Generally Acceptable Materials. The following is a list of generally acceptable materials for the construction of homemade props. All items will still be assessed on a case by case basis by O.P.E staff.
    1. Cardboard
    2. Foam
    3. Wood
    4. PVC and Plastic High Density Foam
  5. Forbidden Materials. The following is a non-exhaustive list of forbidden materials for the construction of homemade props. There are certain exceptions that may be made on a case by case basis.
    1. Metal
    2. Glass or Ceramics
    3. Plastics or Composite Materials that has been fashioned to, or that can hold an edge or sharp point.
  6. Patrons who wish to ask any prop-related questions prior to attending Otafest may do so by sending an email to props@otafest.com.

11. Autographs

  1. Otafest does not guarantee autographs from a particular guest.
  2. Otafest reserves the right to limit or otherwise cut any autograph line at any time.
  3. Unless otherwise stated, up to two (2) acceptable items per person may be autographed per line.
  4. Autographs on unlicensed or inappropriate materials may be declined.
  5. Patrons shall not exhibit rude and/or inappropriate behaviour.
  6. Guests reserve the right to accept gifts.
  7. Guest-specific changes may apply and will be communicated through official means including but not limited to: website, program guide, social media, and signage at the event.

12. Violation of Otafest Policies

  1. Otafest reserves the right to enforce punishment against any patron who violates these policies. Such punishment can include, but is not limited to:
    1. Asking a patron to leave a particular event, viewing room, or the venue;
    2. Revoking a patron’s admission without refund;
    3. Barring a patron from future Otafest events.

Harassment Complaint Procedure

At Otafest, we want to ensure that you have a positive and inclusive experience, and this is why we take harassment very seriously. We are committed to our community.

If you have a harassment concern, the first step is to report it. You can speak with any of our staff members or volunteers to begin the process. The staff member or volunteer will contact the Chair, or designate, and we’ll take it from there.