Convention Rules

Otakuthon aims to provide a fun and safe environment for people of all ages to enjoy and celebrate their appreciation of anime, derived arts and Asian culture in general.  Nonetheless, for reasons ranging from social responsibility through venue and legal requirements, we present the following set of rules and policies that apply to all participants at the convention.


If you aren’t allowed to do it outside of the convention, it isn’t allowed at the convention.

Otakuthon strives to create an environment which caters to the anime/cosplay/gaming community culture, but would like to remind attendees that they are still expected to be law abiding and responsible.  Attendees who violate these rules may be subject to expulsion from the convention without refund, and may be banned from attending again in subsequent years.


All attendees are expected to conduct themselves with proper decorum.

In the interest of respecting the rights of people who want to be left alone, please note the following behaviours are unacceptable without prior consent of the recipient: hugging, glomping, back-slapping, kissing or other unwanted physical contact.

Attendees are expected to behave respectfully towards individuals from other groups attending other events being held at the Palais as well as convention staff and representatives of the Palais. Attendees acting disrespectfully or disruptively towards other events taking place at Palais des congrès may be expelled from convention premises by Palais des congrès security.

Any activities deemed to be nuisances to the convention or the convention premises, including excessive noise or behaviour considered generally disruptive, dangerous, or damaging will result in expulsion from the convention premises by Palais des congrès security and may result in further civil and criminal liability.


Participants must wear their convention badge at all times.  The badge should be positioned forward facing around chest height and must be visible at all times. If, due to costume restrictions or other issues, the badge cannot be displayed at chest height, please make sure to display it as prominently and visibly as possible. Attendees who do not have their badges properly displayed may be refused access to convention activities or be escorted off site.

All participants must carry a picture ID at all times and must produce it when requested by convention staff or Palais des congrès security.

Participants who have lost their badge must report it as soon as possible either to the registration desk or to con-ops.  Any lost badges should be returned to these locations. Attendees who have lost their badges may also recover their badges at these locations if they were returned and ONLY with the appropriate photo identification.  While staff will endeavor to accommodate attendees who have lost their badges, the convention makes NO GUARANTEES that participants who have lost their convention badge will be readmitted free of charge. Further, any special status that was granted by the original badge is not guaranteed on a replacement badge.



The follow areas are designated as sales areas for the following group of individuals:

  • dealers with dealers tables are permitted to sell in the Dealers' Area only,
  • artists with artist tables are permitted to sell in the Artists' Area only,
  • exhibitors with exhibitor tables are permitted to sell in the Exhibitor’s Area only,
  • guests with a guest table are permitted to sell at their guest table in the Exhibition Hall or at designated events where they are host,
  • convention-approved events with permission to sell goods in their designated event room only.

No food or drinks may be sold on convention premises. Capital Traiteur is the exclusive caterer and food provider for Palais des congrès.

No sharp or metal weapons or may be sold on the premises without the express permission of the organizers. All weapons must conform to Otakuthon’s weapons policy and must meet all relevant requirements as per Quebec and Canadian law. Sharp or metal weapons may only be sold if they are immediately sealed in the appropriate carrying container. Any weapons intended to be used as props must be peace-bonded immediately by the convention weapons master. The convention, the organizers and the facility reserve the right to restrict any participant from selling weapons.

The sale of "bootleg" (unauthorized duplications) of media or other related illegal materials is prohibited.

The sale and display of explicit material to minors are strictly forbidden.  Sellers may have a sign indicating adult materials are available, but they must be kept hidden and restricted from minors.

The use of additional lighting and sound equipment is permitted on the condition that it does not interfere with adjacent participants. Any and all devices which generate a large disturbance are not permitted. This includes but is not limited to megaphones, sirens, strobe lights and horns.

Sellers are responsible for paying all taxes and acquiring any government permits and licenses that may be applicable to their operation.

The sale of any items in the Artists' Area is restricted to original material and personal fan works only.  The sale of commercial goods such as video tapes, CDs, DVDs, posters, scrolls, pens, etc., is NOT permitted unless you or the group you represent are the copyright owner or licensors of said works. The advertising of any such restricted goods or services is also forbidden. Non-compliance will lead to expulsion from the Artists’ Area.

All dealers must follow the policies as outlined in the Otakuthon Sponsorship Kit.


The Palais des congrès (or simply the Palais) is a private venue partially rented for use by Otakuthon this year.  Although parts have been reserved for convention use, it is still considered a public space and is subject to general public safety laws and regulations.

  • All exits, stairways, escalators and corridors should be kept open and free to circulation at all times; Otakuthon or Palais staff may request that people blocking free circulation move or otherwise disperse.
  • Stairways, escalators and elevators should also be used only for their intended purpose, and any horseplay or other unsafe activity is not permitted.
  • No live animals (except those with a specific legal status such as guide dogs) are allowed on site.
  • Sale or solicitation of any type is forbidden, be it for a physical object or a service, except in designated areas and by those permitted by the convention (see Sales section), and is limited to those people who have been authorized in advance by Otakuthon.
  • Handling of restricted convention equipment (AV equipment, gaming consoles, etc) is strictly forbidden;
  • Tampering with any official convention signage is strictly forbidden.
  • Displaying posters or otherwise affixing objects on Palais des congrès bulletin boards, walls or doors is strictly forbidden and may result in expulsion from the convention premises by Palais des congrès security in addition to civil liability.
  • If you have special signage or other requirements, please speak to the Otakuthon information desk.

Costuming, Props and Dress Code

Cosplay is highly encouraged, though some restrictions apply:

  • Footwear is required and all apparel must comply with all decency regulations.
  • Costumes that are deemed to be indecently revealing (the "no costume is no costume" principle), as well as costumes or props that are deemed to be offensive or otherwise unacceptable should be avoided. An attendee who is wearing a costume or carrying a prop that does not meet these requirements may be asked to change into either street clothes or another costume.
  • Carrying of signs is only allowed by staff for informational purposes or as an essential part of a costume (e. g. Genma’s panda form from Ranma 1/2).
  • All props which resemble weapons must pass through weapons check and be verified and peacebonded by the Otakuthon Weapons Master to ensure they are safe. Note that props of unusually large size also fall under the restrictions of the Otakuthon Weapons Policy. Failure to have your prop weapon checked may result in expulsion from the convention without refund.

Photography and Video

Before taking pictures or videotaping individuals, please make sure to obtain their permission as well as ensure that the flow of traffic is not being obstructed.  Also, please note the following regulations:

  • Photography and recordings may be permitted during workshops, panels, guest sessions and in the Artists' Area at the discretion of the host(s)/artists involved.  If you are unsure whether photography or videography are allowed during a particular event or in a particular area, please ask the event host or person in charge of that area.
  • Flash photography will not be allowed during the masquerade for safety reasons.
  • The use of cameras in the screening rooms, the Art Gallery, and the Dealers' Area is forbidden except by media and authorized convention personnel and only with permission.
  • The convention reserves the right to prohibit photography and/or videotaping of any event or area.
  • Convention staff may ask to review any possible unauthorized recordings and reserve the right to confiscate or destroy such recordings.
  • Only convention staff or photographers designated in advance by Otakuthon are permitted to use the Otakuthon Photo Studio area.

Alcohol and Smoking

Otakuthon is an alcohol and smoke-free convention, and the Palais des congrès is a smoke-free venue. While we do not restrict what people do outside the convention area, any person found intoxicated on the convention premises will be asked to leave the convention.

Food and Drinks

While bringing your own food and drink is permitted, the consumption of food or drink is forbidden in all screening, workshop, and panel rooms as well as in the theaters and in the Exhibition Hall.  It is strongly suggested that the Cosplay Cafe area be used for your eating and drinking needs.

The sale of food is strictly forbidden in all areas of the convention. Capital Traiteur is the exclusive caterer and food provider for Palais des congrès.

Attendees are also expected to take proper measures to maintain a clean environment and dispose of any food or drink (including packaging) related garbage properly when they are done.  Attendees who cause damage or are otherwise abusive of their food and drink privileges may be expelled from the convention.


A coat and bag check will be provided.  While the bag check will be monitored, the convention will not be held responsible for any lost, stolen or damaged items.

Weapons Policy

All props which resemble weapons must be approved by the Otakuthon Weapons Master prior to being admitted to the convention areas. The Weapons Master will label and/or peace bond the weapons, if necessary.

The following types of props and weapons are NOT permitted and will be confiscated:

  • Projectile weapons of any sort, including but not limited to guns, bows, bolas, shuriken, sling shots, water pistols, and Nerf items, regardless of if they can fire projectiles.
  • Firearms (fake firearms are allowed if they are perceivably fake from a distance of 30 ft).
  • “Live” metal of any type, regardless whether it is blunt or edged, and whether it is sheathed, wrapped or covered.
  • Tazers, brass knuckles, knight sticks, nunchucks, pepper spray, or other items that qualify you as armed under the Criminal Code of Canada.
  • Explosives or chemicals of any kind including, but not limited to, smoke powder, stink bombs, sparklers, and fireworks.
  • Any prop weighing more than 50 pounds (22 kg) or longer than 10 ft (3 m).
  • Any other article deemed as disallowed or unsafe by the Weapons Master.

Any weapons confiscated by the convention staff will be stored at the Weapons Check area and can be picked up when you leave the convention. If your weapon is classified as disallowed but deemed permitted for use during the masquerade, the masquerade staff will be responsible for bringing your weapon, supervising the weapon before and after your stage appearance, and returning your weapon to the Weapons Check area.

By carrying a prop weapon, you are expected to act responsibly and be in control of it at all times. Further, you accept all responsibility for any damages or injury caused by this prop weapon. Convention staff and the Palais des congrès will not be held responsible for any liability incurred caused by an attendee’s prop weapon.


By attending the convention, Otakuthon reserves the right and you hereby grant license to publish, electronically or in print, your name and photograph or likeliness thereof, as well as company, group or circle name and logo in the case of panelists, workshop hosts, contest hosts, artists and dealers; for the purpose of promotion, documentation and/or record-keeping.


By attending the convention, you acknowledge that there are certain risks to participating in such an event, including but not limited to injury and loss, and you will not hold liable any of the guests, panelists, volunteers, staff, organizers, sponsors or their affiliated and parent organizations.  You also accept responsibility for all your actions.

The above does not supersede, limit or indemnify against any responsibility or liability of the participant, be it moral, monetary or legal, that may be imposed by laws, regulations or policies of any reigning body including but not limited to federal, provincial and municipal governments as well as Palais des congrès de Montréal; and does not constitute endorsement of any activities by Otakuthon volunteers, staff, or parent and sponsorship organizations including but not limited to Otakuthon, Quebec Anime Committee and Palais des congrès de Montréal.

Violation of any of the above, as well as laws, regulations or policies of any reigning body, or any other policies or conditions of the convention set by the convention, may result in immediate termination of membership; ineligibility to all events, tournaments, and contests; and expulsion from convention premises, without refund.  Appeals may be addressed in writing to the convention chair.

Policies are subject to change without notice.  Accepting a convention badge of any type indicates full understanding and acceptance of the above terms and conditions.

Otakuthon organizers and Palais des congrès security reserve the right to expel participants from the convention premises without refund for any reason.