The Anime North Masquerade is a staged costume showcase and competition that is a great opportunity to show off that extra-special costume you've been working on.
At Anime North, we have two major stage costume competitions: the Skit Competition and the Masquerade. The Friday Skit Competition is for those who love to perform - lip-synching, dancing, acting, comedy. The Saturday Night Masquerade is meant to focus on the craftsmanship of the costumes. For more information about the Friday Night Skit Competition, please go here. Each event has a different registration instructions, so be sure to follow the correct procedure.
- The Masquerade Office and Registration Desk have moved to the Delta Hotels Toronto Airport (formerly International Plaza) for this year only as the TCC North venue is not available.
For 2017 we have moved back to the Delta Hotels Toronto Airport due to the unavailability of the TCC North Building. This means the Masquerade will require audience members to get a wristband this year. Wristbands are free and can be obtained fro the masquerade office during the masquerade office hours (tentative) Friday 5:00PM-7:00PM, Saturday 10:00AM-2:00PM. If you plan to sit with friends, we recommend you arrive at the main room early to claim your seats.
You are required to have a valid Anime North convention badge for Saturday to watch the Masquerade.
The following times are tentative. Please check the official convention schedule to confirm:
- Friday, May 26:
- Registration - Delta Hotels Toronto Airport - 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM (tentative)
- Saturday, May 27:
- Registration - Delta Hotels Toronto Airport - 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM (tentative)
- Green Room Opens - 4:00 PM
- Stage Show - 7:00 PM
- Sunday, May 28:
- Announcement of Winners: 1:00 PM
The 2017 Anime North Masquerade has a limit of 80. All contestants must register at the Masquerade Registration Desk in the Delta Hotels Toronto Airport on Friday and on Saturday during office hours above. Please note that due to the entry cap, all slots may be filled before registration closes on Saturday. Each day will have a specified number of registration spots, granting those who cannot make it to the convention until Saturday a chance to still register.
NOTE: The Anime North Masquerade does NOT have any form of preregistration. The ONLY way to enter the Masquerade is to submit your signed acceptance of the Masquerade rules during the above listed hours. We do offer an online data collection form to submit your entry details (introduction text, source material, etc). See Entry From section for more details.
Judging Divisions and Information
The Anime North Masquerade uses a 4-class system. A competitor may compete in any division that s/he is eligible to enter. However, if the competitor receives an award in this higher division, they must compete in that division (or higher) in future competitions.
Anime North Masquerade has the honour of being officially recognized by the International Costumers' Guild (ICG) as an international-level competition. This means that those who win Best in Show at Anime North are of the same standing as a winner of Best in Show at Worldcon and Costume-Con.
Here are some terms to consider when determining which division to enter:
- Professional: Anyone who makes 50% or more of their income in a costume-related business.
- Major Award: Any award such as Best ___ or Most ___. It does not include awards for Workmanship, Judges' Choice, Honorable Mentions, Honored for Excellence, and awards won in the Junior Division.
- Purchased Costumes: Any costume that was purchased, commissioned, or rented.
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 competitor under 13 years of age at the time of 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.
A competitor who has won fewer than three (3) major awards in the Novice division of an international-level masquerade. Purchased costumes, professionals, and winners of Best in Show, Best in Class: Novice, or any award from a higher division from an international-level masquerade may not enter this division.
A competitor who has won fewer than three (3) major awards in the Journeyman division of an international-level masquerade. Purchased costumes, professionals, and winners of Best in Show, Best in Class: Journeyman, or any award from the Artisan or Master divisions from an international-level masquerade may not enter this division.
A competitor who has won fewer than three (3) major awards in the Artisan division of an international-level masquerade. Purchased costumes, professionals, and winners of Best in Show, Best in Class: Artisan, or any award from the Master division from an international-level masquerade may not enter this division.
Any competitor, with the exception of those with purchased, commissioned, or rented costumes, may enter this division. If there are not sufficient Masters competing to fill this division, all entries for this division will be judged in the Artisan Division.
The Masquerade is an amateur competition. Purchased, commissioned, or rented costumes may not be entered in competition for awards, but may be shown on stage in the Out-Of-Competition Division. Similarly, costumes made for business purposes, and theatrical and professional events are also ineligible for awards, but may be shown in this division. In addition, anyone who wants to show their costume in this division may do so.
Due to the entry cap, first priority is given to non-purchased and non-commissioned costumes. If space is available at the end of the registration time, we will accept purchased and commissioned costumes. Those wishing to enter a purchased or professional costume should consider the Skit Contest, which has different policies regarding purchased and professional costumes.
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 entire costume, or only on a specific piece or prop. Workmanship judging is optional, so please indicate on your entry form if you wish to be included in this judging. Workmanship applies to entries in any of the Divisions, except the Out-of-Competition Division. Our Workmanship Judge(s) will look for technical skill, finishing, fit, handling of fabric and materials, etc.
Note: Workmanship Judging is optional, but all Artisan and Master costumes must undergo a workmanship inspection so that the judges know what parts of the costume were constructed and what parts (if any) were purchased. Similarly, to qualify for the Best in Show award, your entry must be inspected by our workmanship judges.
Documentation can include any pictorial representation of your costume. Provide copies only. It is strongly recommended that you provide documentation for re-creation costume entries as the Judges may not be familiar with a particular costume source. If you are entering your costume for Workmanship Judging, bring two copies of your documentation. Do not submit documentation with your entry form, but bring your documentation with you when you arrive at the green room for the Masquerade.
Presentation Time Limits
ALL ENTRIES HAVE A TIME LIMIT OF ONE MINUTE (60 SECONDS). If your audio goes over this time limit, it will be turned off once this time has elapsed. Please note that entries that go over the time limit will be disqualified.
Introductions, Music and Sound
If you have any special introduction for the MC to read, please have it typed or printed clearly so it can be easily read. Without an introduction, the MC will announce only your entry number, division, and title at the beginning of your presentation. When your presentation is complete, general credits will be announced.
There will not be any microphones provided for the contestants. Directly addressing the audience is strongly discouraged as most of the audience will not hear you.
If you have an introduction, music, or sound effects to accompany your presentation, please bring it as an MP3 or WAV file on a standard USB device or through the online data collection form. We strongly discourage CDs as this will increase your registration time delaying both yourself and others in line.
If the sound must be cut on cue, please be very specific as to when to cut. It is best, when you want the sound to end at a specific point, to record the material you want to a custom track.
The default lighting for each entry will be dim (half-lit), rising to full lighting when the entry is announced, fading to dim (half-lit) on exit. Entries are able to request additional lighting changes during the presentation, such as slow fade up or down or sudden cuts on cue. We unfortunately cannot do changes in colour at this time — only changes in brightness.
It is highly recommended that your lighting cues be tied to a time on your audio track — for example, "At 35 seconds, dim the lights for 4 seconds, then bring them back up".
It is also important to note that excessive changes in lighting during your presentation may distract the audience and the judges from fully appreciating and evaluating your costume. Please take this into consideration when preparing your presentation.
Note: The stage lights will not be turned off completely for the safety of our competitors and staff.
Junior Division entries will present first. Entries that include children may request to go on next if they do so at the time of registration. Remaining divisions will generally present in order of rank. If there are any special circumstances that would affect your place in line (such catching a ride home that night) please indicate this on your registration form and tell the Masquerade staff this when you turn in your form. While every effort will be made to comply with your requests, we cannot guarantee placement.
- No open flame, fire, flash powder or flash paper is 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. No pointing of laser pens at the audience or tech crew.
- No messy substances on stage. If in doubt, ask the Masquerade Directors. If you are leaving something on stage, it must be able to be easily picked up by the stage crew, or bring your own ninja to clear the stage.
- No flagrant nudity will be permitted. The Masquerade is rated PG-13. There will be children in the audience.
- The weapons policy of the convention must be followed at all times. Any weapons that do not conform to the convention weapons policy but are approved for use on stage must be transported to and from the Masquerade in a bag or closed container. All weapons must be sheathed before leaving the stage. If your costume requires a bow, it must be unstrung when you are not on stage.
- Each person may present only once during the Masquerade. While any individual may enter as many costumes as they like, they can only wear one of them. The other costumes must be on other bodies.
- Competitors must report to the Masquerade Green Room on time. Failure to appear or to be ready to go on stage may result in disqualification. While competitors may be subject to circumstances beyond their control, the Masquerade Directors have final arbitration.
- The Masquerade Directors reserve the right to eliminate anyone from competition on the basis of taste, danger to the audience or other contestants, or for any other reason deemed sufficient. Repeated violations of the rules may result in the contestant being barred from future Masquerades.
- The Judges may choose not to give out any awards in any category or division, including the Best-in-Show Award, if they do not feel any costumes entered in that division are deserving of an award. The decisions of the Judges are final.
- No marriage proposals.
All groups participating in the masquerade must ultimately fill out the online data collection form. Only one form is required per group, however, each member of the group must sign the waiver form. To expedite your on-site registration process, we encourage all groups intending to participate to make use of the online form.
NOTE: This is NOT preregistration. Completing the data collection form does NOT guarantee you a spot in the Masquerade. You are ONLY registered in the Masquerade WHEN your SIGNED agreement to the Masquerade rules is received by the Masquerade Office staff.
The data collection form will be available from mid-April until Masquerade Registration closes. Do not submit your entry details before they are finalized. Because this is NOT preregistration, there is no requirement to submitting your entry details early, other than to expedite your registration.
Data Collection Google Form (including waiver form): http://goo.gl/forms/dGwNYR1Evg
Any queries concerning either the Friday Night Skit Contest or the Saturday Night Masquerade should be directed to the appropriate email address below in advance of the convention.