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 costume contest

Cosplayers get your costumes ready cause we’re running a costume contest on Friday March 27th and Saturday March 28th at the Ottawa Geek Market.

It’s being held in the back of the Curling Rink at the Nepean Sportsplex (same location as last event)!

Our awesome judges this year are Lasiral Cosplay, Mahogany Severia, and Mythic Props.


We are running 3 different categories for our costume contests this year, in honour of our ‘Old School vs New School’ theme.

Individual Cosplay Contest

We’ll be running an International Costumers’ Guild (ICG)-rated workmanship costume contest, which is like a regular masquerade competition, just without the stage and with a formal 5 minute interview with our judges. 

All contestants will receive a free professional photograph taken by Michelle Stewart Photography.  All photos will be posted to our Facebook page by Wednesday April 1st.

For more information on the costuming criteria and different divisions, please see below.

Best ‘Old School Cosplay’ and Best ‘New School Cosplay’ Contest

We thought it’d be fun to have a contest that celebrate costumes from fandoms that came out before 2000 as well as newer fandoms. For example, an Aquaman’s costume in the 1960s is very different than how it was portrayed in the recent movies. Here’s how  it’ll work: each competing group will sign up (on site) and be judged based on their costumes’ overall aesthetic , cohesiveness and craftmanship. 

Unlike the individual category, these cosplays will not be judged within ICG guidelines, but all costumes must be handmade.


Winners will be announced on site on Sunday March 29th, and on Facebook by April 1st. Here are the prizes that are up for grabs:

Best in Show

  • $50 in Geek Market gift cards
  • Pair of weekend passes to our 2021 event

Best in Class for each division

  • $10 in Geek Market gift cards
  • Pair of weekend passes to our 2021 event

Best ‘Old School’ and Best ‘New School’ Cosplay

The two winners will get:

Best Eco Cosplay (new this year!)

The winner will get:

  • $10 in Geek Market gift cards
  • A pair of weekend passes to our 2021 event
  • Bragging rights

We’ll also be handing out a number of other awards.

What costumes are eligible?

Our workmanship competition is a division-based amateur costuming competition for all geek-related costumes as well as costumes inspired by such works. This includes anime/manga, gaming, movies/TV shows, comics and more! It is an opportunity to see cosplayers show off their superb costumes, craftsmanship and creativity.

Please note that other than in the Junior Division,  purchased or rented costumes may not be entered in competition for awards.

How Do I Participate?

To participate in our workmanship competition, please:

  1. Read the competition rules (which can be found below).
  2. Fill out the online Workmanship Competition Registration Form before March 25th, or register onsite at the costume contest booth in the Curling Rink.

Note: there are a limited number of spaces available in the competition, so it would be best to register as soon as possible.

  • All contestants must report to the workmanship booth 10 minutes BEFORE their scheduled time to register and fill out our photo release form.
  • All contestants must be ready for their scheduled time. Given how popular we expect the competition to be, we will not accept late registrations unless there is an available time slot to reschedule to.

What are the different costume levels we’ll be judging against?

We will be using a classification system known as the Standard Division System (as established by the International Costumers’ Guild Guidelines) to differentiate between different levels of costuming abilities.

Please note: These are guidelines. 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. Judges and/or the Costume Contest Director may choose to suggest certain a Division for certain contestants if they deem the skill level of said contestants worthy.

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/workmanship competition other than as a Junior costumer.

Journeyman Division
A contestant who has won fewer than three awards at masquerades/workmanship competitions while competing in the Journeyman Division.

Artisan Division
Any contestant who has won three awards in the Journeyman Division OR any contestant 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 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.

Workmanship Contest Rules

  1. Use of open flame, fire, flash powder or flash paper is not allowed.
  2. No nudity. Your presentation must be PG.
  3. No real firearms, realistic copies, or projectile weapons are allowed. All weapons must follow the event’s Weapons Policy.
  4. Each contestant may compete with a different costume each day.
  5. We will not be accepting any group cosplays.
  6. Feel free to bring reference photos. If your costume is a recreation it will help our judges if you bring images of the design it’s based on.
  7. Failure to appear on time or to be ready when it is your turn may result in disqualification.
  8. Commissioned costumes are allowed if (and only if) the designer of the costume has filled out and signed the registration form. The designer must be present for the interview portion of the competition. Costumes bought online will NOT be accepted. Wigs and small accessories/jewellery are exempt of this rule.
  9. 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.

If you have any questions, please email Kudrel at [email protected] or by contacting her via her Facebook page.

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