Was nervous going to this con since it was my first Canadian convention (I live in the US). I also became extra nervous since the person I was supposed to be sharing my hotel + table cancelled on me last minute, so I was going to be burdened by a lot of expenses, but I'm happy to report that my first international con is a success! Otafest tickets were sold out online and the people here were very nice. It's probably my best con this year (so far). However, since I'm a US citizen, my square reader didn't work so I couldn't accept cards. Even my VPN didn't work to trick my card reader into thinking I was in the states, so I ended up losing a few sales, since I was cash-only. Many people here also don't have Paypal. I recommend buying an international card reader if you're someone from the states that plans to sell in Canada. I would love to return!
June 15, 2022, 7:55 pm
great con for prairie/west coast Canadian artists
I went to this con for the first time in 2022 and I really liked it!
The venue was spacious with lots of walking space between aisles, space between ALL artist tables and had natural light filtering in from one side. The staff were lovely and some of the kindest I've met in my 10 years of doing Artist Alley.
There are a lot of restaurants near the area but I had my car with me and was able to go to the further reaches of town to get groceries and such. Calgary is also cold so beware! It was snowing there one of the days even though it was late May!
It never got to the same amount of "busy" I've seen at other cons (where people are literally ass cheek to ass cheek, and it took forever to get through an aisle). Despite this, I had a profitable weekend with good sales and chatted to many fantastic people who were artists themselves or fellow fans of fanmerch I was selling. My original merch did very well as well.
For the record, I drove over from another province and stayed at an airbnb with a friend so I was able to keep costs low. I would not recommend doing this con if you had to travel from the States, take more than 2 days off work, or spend more than $500 on a flight.
PS: We were really tired on the last day and as we were waiting in line to check out from T&T, I think our zombie/dead inside gazes scared off some Otafest staff who also happened to be there, whoops
June 15, 2022, 6:22 pm
Not bad if you're a local.
This con is a short 3 hour drive for me so I usually go. I wouldn't recommend it if you have to fly in or have to drive for more than one day. Venue has water dispensers and cups provided which actually saves you a lot of money if you don't bring a water bottle. Staff checks on you every few hours and check in is a breeze.
In 2016 they moved the date of the con to the same weekend as Anime Expo and Canada Day and attendance has taken a hit as people are out of town or just busy with their families. 2018 they will be moving back to their original date so we shall see if that will improve attendance or not.