A masquerade is a non-professional costume competition featuring costumes from comic books, movies, Japanese animation or video games.
There are two different entry categories:
1) A Skit is a short sketch done alone or with a group. For a group of 1 to 3 participants, the time limit is forty-five seconds (45 seconds). For a group of four or more, the limit is a minute (60 seconds). If the skit is longer than the allocated time, the lights and the sound will be cut and the contestants will be escorted off the stage.
2) During a Walk-On, the contestant or the group walks on the stage, strikes different poses to show their costumes’ every angle and walks out of the other side of the stage. Background music is permitted and strongly encouraged.
Here’s how to enter the masquerade:
- Please read the Masquerade rules below.
- This year’s edition includes advance registration and onsite registration.
- Starting on August 3rd 2022 , please follow this link to register (note that the number of online registrations is limited).
- A limited number of entries will be available through online registration. This WILL GUARANTEE you a spot in the masquerade and you will not need to line-up for registration on Saturday.
- IMPORTANT: A valid Ottawa Comiccon ticket is required to participate in the masquerade on the day of the event. Please be mindful when registering online and commit to attending. If you use the online registration to reserve a spot and don’t show up, you’re taking away from other participants who would have loved to compete but couldn’t because the show was fully booked.
- If more online applications are received than there are available spots, you must email firstname.lastname@example.org to be placed on a waiting list.
- The remaining spots will be available for onsite registration on Saturday, September 10th, between 10 a.m. and noon in the Cosplay Lounge.
We are introducing Green Room by appointment! Book your timeslot in our calendar during online pre-registration or at the Masquerade Desk (Saturday) at the cosplay lounge and show up at the scheduled time at the Green Room to have your costume judged, speak to the MC, sound technician, ninjas and have your picture taken. You’re then free to enjoy your day until final call time!
Entries who fail to show up to their appointment will be disqualified.
There will only be a total of 50 entry slots, including advance registration, so be sure to arrive early for onsite registration if you weren’t able to secure a spot during pre-registration!
Final call time will be one hour before the show. You must report to the Masquerade Green Room by that time or you will be disqualified. Please note that you will not be able to leave the Green Room after that time. It is therefore strongly recommended that you wrap up anything you needed done prior.
- Microphones will not be provided. Using a pre-recorded soundtrack is highly recommended. You can submit your soundtrack during online pre-registration. On the day of the show, only MP3 files on USB keys will be accepted. No files on cellphones, CDs, YouTube, Dropbox or other file sharing sites will be accepted. There will also be no Wi-Fi available for downloads. The Masquerade team does NOT have a music library to choose your music from. If you do not submit a soundtrack, your entry will be silent. Be prepared to submit your file during your Green Room appointment.
- The maximum number of contestants in a group is twelve (12). No group over twelve people will be accepted.
- Entries with minors (under 18 years of age): The registration form must be signed by a parent or legal guardian. If you apply via online registration, print your form at home and have a parent or legal guardian sign it prior to your Green Room appointment.
- No open flame, liquids, powders, smoke machines of any size or “flash” paper are allowed on stage. If you want to use an electronic flash or any other visual effect, you need to mention it on your application form so the host can warn the audience. No laser pointers are allowed. No loose glitter is allowed either on stage or in the Green Room.
- No slippery or messy substances are allowed on stage. In doubt, ask the masquerade direction when you submit your form. The stage must be in the same condition before and after your number. If you have to leave anything on the stage, the objects need to be easy to pick up by the tech staff. Otherwise, you need to have your own ninja to pick it up.
- No gratuitous nudity. The masquerade is rated PG-13and can be seen only by people ages 13 and up. However, children 12 and under with an adult can watch the masquerade.
- No real firearms, real firearm replicas or throwing weapons are allowed. No cold weapon, no metal blade, be it sharpened or not are allowed. If your costume needs a bow, the bowstring must be removed when not on stage. Any weapon used during the masquerade must follow the Ottawa Comiccon Weapons and Large Props Rules and Regulations. Exceptions are at the direction’s discretion only.
- Every contestant can only go up on stage once during the masquerade. However, anyone can present as many costumes he/she wants, but he/she can only wear one of them. The other costumes must be presented by other contestants (they can be in the same group or not).
- Contestants must be in the Green Room at the required time. Ask the masquerade table for any details. If you are not present on time or you are not ready to go on stage when it is your turn, you will be disqualified. Any exceptions are at the direction’s discretion only.
- The masquerade is a non-professional competition. Costumes bought online or rented are not eligible for any award, same as professional or theatrical costumes. However, these costumes can be presented on stage in the “Out of Competition” category. Please note that priority is given to costumes created by non- professional contestants. The “Out of Competition” applications will be allowed only if available slots remain after registration.
- Commissioned costumes will be allowed IF AND ONLY IF the costumer (the one who made the costume) filled out the application form themselves. He/she doesn’t have to appear on stage, but his or her presence in the Green Room is mandatory. Wigs, little props and jewels are exempted.
- The Masquerade Director reserves the right to remove anyone from competition for any reason deemed sufficient that can include but is not limited to: inappropriate, indecent, rude, racist or sexist behavior. Threats and/or violence of any kind to staff, attendees and volunteers will not be tolerated and can result in immediate expulsion from the convention. The decisions of the judges are final. Awards are selected for workmanship, presentation or a combination of both. The judges may not give out a ‘Best in Show’ or a ‘Best in Division’ award, or any award in a division if they feel none of the costumes entered are deserving of such award.
Standard Judging Division System
The Standard Division System exists to promote fairness and ensures both novices and experienced costumers have reasonably equal chances to win awards in masquerades using divisions based on skill and experience. Any participant can choose to enter a division higher than the one they belong to, if they feel that their experience is greater than that of their current division. For example, a contestant that has made more than a dozen costumes in the past but has never participated in a masquerade may enter at a higher level than novice, depending on the overall level of the competition he/she is looking to compete in. Keep in mind that if the contestant wins in that higher Division, they must compete in that Division in future competitions.
The Standard Division System, in accordance with the International Costumers’ Guild Guidelines, will be used as follows:
(Also known as the Young Fan Division)
Any contestant less than 12 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.
A contestant who has not won a major award at a masquerade other than as a Junior costumer or has some awards but does not feel ready to register in a higher category. A contestant who has won numerous awards in the Novice division is encouraged to enter in the Journeyman division.
A contestant who has won major awards in the Novice division at Masquerades and wishes to challenge themselves or who wishes to enter this division if they do not belong in a higher division in use in the competition. A contestant who has won numerous awards in the Journeyman division is encouraged to enter in the Artisan division.
A contestant who has won major awards in the Journeyman division at Masquerades and wishes to challenge themselves or who wishes to enter this division if they do not belong in a higher division in use in the competition. A contestant who has won numerous awards in the Artisan division is encouraged to enter in the Master division.
A contestant who has won major awards in the Artisan division at Masquerades and wishes to challenge themselves or who wishes to enter this division.
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.
Judging for Workmanship Awards will take place 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 displays, tailoring, execution, finishes, fit, fabric and materials manipulation and much more! The judges need to know what parts of the costume were constructed by you and what parts (if any) were purchased.
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 reference. Documentation can include any pictorial representation of your costume. Provide copies only; do not bring originals.