|Founding Date:||August 9, 1997|
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Anime North began in 1997 as a one-day mini convention, hosted by a club from the University of Toronto. Over the years it grew to a full weekend event. The con is entirely fan run, and in 2012 required 700 volunteers. As of 2016 it was the fourth largest anime convention in North America.
Panels cover a variety of topics. Panels focus on different anime series, the voice actors and the artists who create anime and manga. A large portion of attendees are cosplayers so there are many panels on costume creation.
Other events include the Anime North Music Video Competition, guest autograph sessions, the All-Star Charity Auction, the Momiji Award (with brunch), Anime Improv, "Super Hardcore Anime Wrestling" (a co-production with GCW) and Yaoi North.
What I found to be better about Anime North’s masquerade was a more spacious green room and more help available to the cosplayers. Like the stage ninjas being available to pick up things you leave/drop onstage, offering to carry off cosplayers who died in their presentations, and giving warnings if people get too close to the edge of the stage. The MC also came around to speak to people and go over entry forms. And they brought in some food for the participants.
Considering that Anime North is the biggest anime convention in Toronto, it’s a little disappointing that there aren’t more industry representatives leading discussion panels
While it’s not unusual to see a lot of cosplayers at any convention, I had never seen so many people in costumes in one concentrated area until I went to Anime North. Costumes are a massive part of the experience, and the grounds near the event were filled with thousands of cosplayers posing for cameras or chatting it up with their similarly-dressed peers.