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Date: Saturday August 6, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Location: Main Events Room - Room 210

Think you have a great costume and want to show it off? The Masquerade gives you a chance to do it on stage in a really big way! Come show off your costumes to the rest of the world and to our panel of experienced cosplayer judges who will decide the winners and present awards based on the quality of their costumes and presentations.

Don’t have a costume? Come anyway and cheer on the labor of dozens of cosplayers as they show off their hard work.

Masquerade Rules

What is a Masquerade?

The Otakuthon Masquerade is an amateur costuming competition for anime, manga and gaming-related costumes as well as costumes inspired by such works. It is an opportunity to see cosplayers show off their superb costumes, craftsmanship and creativity.

Two types of entries are presented: skits and walk-ons.

  • Skits are short theatrical performances of up to one minute in length in which participants wear costumes and perform a skit based on their favorite anime or manga. These presentations may be funny or serious, parody or action and may use characters from one or many shows, but they are always creative and entertaining.

  • Walk-ons do not perform skits but come out on stage to show their superb costumes like in a fashion show. These presentations allow fans to see the work of cosplayers who are great craftsmen but are less interested in writing and acting.

To recognize the work of these cosplayers, awards will be given out to the best performances and costumes.

How Do I Participate?

To participate in the Masquerade:

  1. Please read the Masquerade rules.
  2. Fill out the Masquerade registration form, and submit it along with your MP3 audio file (optional) to the Masquerade Registration Desk on the following dates: 
    • Friday, August 5, 2016 from 3:00pm to 4:45pm (only 40 entries will be available), and 
    • Saturday, August 6, 2016, between 10:30am to 12:30pm or until the total maximum of 80 entries has been reached
    • The Registration Desk will be in room 513AB.
  3. There will only be a total of 80 entry slots, so be sure to arrive early!
  4. Only MP3 files on USB key will be accepted. See the Masquerade rules for details.
  5. Registration forms are available in an online printable format and at the Masquerade registration desk. Please note that we will only take completed registration forms at the registration desk (do not submit the registration form by e-mail). Also, note that printing the registration form in advance does not guarantee acceptance in the Masquerade.
  6. You must report to the Masquerade Green Room by 3:00 pm on Saturday, August 6 in room 230A. Please note that you will not be able to leave the Green Room after this time. It is therefore strongly recommended that you get something to eat beforehand.
  7. You must be ready to go on stage when you arrive at the Green Room, as your costume will be judged before going on stage.

Note: Very large costumes that cannot pass through a standard door frame will be refused, unfortunately, as they will not be able to reach the theater backstage and therefore the area used for the competition.

Awards Ceremony

The Masquerade Awards Ceremony will take place on Sunday, August 7, 2016, starting from 12:30 pm during the WCS Event in Main Events room 210.

Award Pickup

The Masquerade Desk will be open from 4:00 pm until 5:30 pm on Sunday, August 7, 2016 after the ceremony.

Masquerade Rules

Entry types:

  1. Sketch/Skit: A short scripted performance of maximum ONE (1) minute. May be performed alone or as part of a group, however larger groups will NOT be given more time. If the skit should run over the time limit, the entry will be disqualified, sound and lighting will be cut and the participant(s) will be escorted off the stage.
  2. Parade/Walk-On: A presentation of the costumer's workmanship. The participant walks onto the stage, poses at center stage showing various angles of their costume and character portrayal, and then exits the opposite side of stage. Background music is permitted and should be supplied by the contestant.

Microphones will not be provided for the entrants. It is strongly recommended that participants provide pre-recorded material in a MP3 format on a USB key. No other audio playback means will be provided. To avoid confusion, it is highly recommended to clearly identify the file (title of the entry) and to make sure it plays well before handing it over at the registration table.

The maximum of participants per entry is limited to twelve (12). We will not accept groups larger than this size.

There is a LIMIT of 80 entry slots TOTAL for the Masquerade. No EXCEPTIONS will be made, so register early!

  1. Use of open flame, fire, flash powder or flash paper is not allowed. No laser pointers allowed. Sealed electronic flashes are permitted. If you are using a strobe effect, please note it on your form so the MC may warn the audience.
  2. No messy substances on stage. If in doubt, ask the Masquerade Director. The stage must be in as good a condition when you leave as when you entered. If you are leaving something on stage, it must be easily retrievable by the stage crew, or you will be expected to bring your own ninja for that purpose.
  3. No flagrant nudity. This presentation follows PG movie rating guidelines: "Parental Guidance Suggested". Some material may not be suitable for children. This signifies that the film rated may contain some material parents might not like to expose to their young children - material that will clearly need to be examined or inquired about before children are allowed to attend the film. Explicit sex scenes and scenes of drug use are absent; horror and violence do not exceed moderate levels. (
  4. No real firearms, no realistic copies, and no projectile weapons are allowed. No metal blades are allowed, regardless if they are dull or live. If your costume requires a bow, it must be unstrung when you are not on stage. All weapons must follow the Convention's Weapons Policy. NO EXCEPTIONS WILL BE MADE.
  5. Each person may participate in only ONE entry during the Masquerade. Individuals may enter several costumes into competition, but they can only wear one of them and the others must be worn by other Masquerade contestants in the same entry.
  6. Contestants must report to the Masquerade Green Room on time. Report times will be supplied at the convention at the Masquerade Registration Desk. Failure to appear or to be ready to go on stage may result in disqualification. Note that Acts of God may, to an extent, mitigate this.
  7. The Masquerade Directors reserve the right to remove anyone from competition based on taste, danger to the audience or other contestants, or for any other reason deemed sufficient.
  8. This is an amateur competition. Professional costumers are ineligible for awards, but may still present their work during the show in the "Out-of-Competition" category. However, due to the limited number of entries and the popularity of the event, the Masquerade Direction may decide to pull back "Out-of-Competition" entries in favour of judged entries.
  9. Commissioned costumes are allowed only if (and only if) the designer of the costume has filled out and signed the registration sheet. While the designer does not have to walk on stage, his/her presence in the Green Room is obligatory. Costumes bought online will NOT be accepted. Wigs and small accessories/jewelery are exempt of this rule.
  10. The decisions of the judges are final. The judges may choose to not give out a “Best in Show” or a “Best in Division” award, or any award in a division if they feel that none of the costumes entered are deserving of such award.

The Standard Division System

The Standard Division System, in accordance with the International Costumers' Guild Guidelines, will be used as follows:

Junior Division

(Also known as the Young Fan Division)

Any contestant less than 13 years of age at the time of this competition may compete in the Junior Division. The Junior Division is divided into two subdivisions:

  • Junior Self-Made: A Junior contestant who has largely or wholly constructed his/her own costume.
  • Junior Adult-Made: A Junior contestant whose costume has been largely or wholly constructed by an adult.

Novice Division

A contestant who has not won a major award at a Masquerade other than as a Junior costumer.

Journeyman Division

A contestant who has won fewer than three awards at Masquerades while competing in the Journeyman Division.

Artisan Division

A contestant who has won three awards or less in the Journeyman Division; or who wishes to enter this division, provided that they do not belong in a higher division in use in the competition.

Master Division

A contestant who has won three times or less in the Artisan Division, or has won a Master award at a nationally recognized regional anime convention. Also, anyone who is a professional in a costume-related business must compete as a Master. For the purpose of this competition, a professional is defined as making 50% or more of their income in the costuming-related business.

Out-Of-Competition Division

The Masquerade is an amateur competition. Purchased or rented costumes may not be entered in competition for awards, but may be shown on stage in the Out-Of-Competition Division. Costumes made for business purposes, theatrical and professional events are not eligible for awards but may also be shown in this Division. In addition, anyone who wants to show their costume in this Division may do so.  Note: Due to the popularity of the masquerade, entries will no longer be accepted in this division.

Note: A contestant may compete in a Division higher than the one they are eligible to enter. Keep in mind that if the contestant wins in this higher Division, they must compete in that Division in future competitions.

Workmanship Judging

Judging for Workmanship Awards will take place backstage prior to the start of the Masquerade. These awards, for excellence in construction, will be given out in addition to the Masquerade awards. You can be judged on your costume or on a specific piece or prop. Workmanship judging is mandatory for Artisan and Masters only. It is optional for all other divisions (except for the Out of Competition Division), but highly recommended. Quality is quality, no matter the Division, and a beautiful job deserves recognition. Our Workmanship Judge(s) will look for technical skill, finishing, fit, handling of fabric and materials, etc. The judges need to know what parts of the costume were constructed and what parts (if any) were purchased.


Documentation can include any pictorial representation of your costume. Provide copies only; do not bring originals. It is strongly recommended that you provide documentation for re-creation costume entries if you feel the judges may not be familiar with a particular anime/manga.

Questions? Send an email to

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