A masquerade is a non-professional costume competition featuring costumes from comic books, television series, movies, Japanese animation or video games.
You can register for the masquerade on-site at the Masquerade table (in the Cosplay Lounge) on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. There are a limited number of entry spots available, so the table may close early.
There are a limited number of entry filled on a first-come, first-register basis. No exceptions.
There are two different entry categories:
- A Skit is a short sketch done alone or with a group. The time limit is one minute (60 seconds). For a group of four or more, the limit is a minute and a half (90 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.
- During a Walk-On, the contestant or the group walks on the stage, strikes different poses in the middle of the stage to show their costumes on every angle and walks out of the other side of the stage. A background music on a USB drive is permitted and strongly encouraged.
- Microphones are not permitted, nor will any be provided to the entrants. Using a pre-recorded soundtrack is highly encouraged. Audio must be supplied at registration on a USB key, preferably in mp3 (or MP4) format. We cannot pull the track from Youtube, your phone, iPod, or other electronic device.
To avoid any confusion, please have only one file on the USB drive and double-check that it is working properly before handing it over to the masquerade booth team. If possible, please write the entry title and the music file name on the USB drive. Ottawa Comiccon is not responsible for the loss or damage of your USB drive; if the music you want to use is on a rare USB drive it might be better to include it in a generic USB drive.
- The maximum number of contestants in a group is twelve (12). No group over twelve people will be accepted.
- No open flame, powder 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 messy substance allowed on stage. In any doubt, ask the masquerade direction as you submit your form. The stage must be the same 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-13 and 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 replica or throwing weapons are allowed. No cold weapon, with a 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 during the masquerade must follow the Comiccon weapon rules. Exceptions are at the direction’s discretion only.
- Every contestant can only get on stage once during the masquerade. However, anyone can present as many costumes he wants; 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 waiting room (Green Room) at the required time. Ask the masquerade booth 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 the costumes created by the non professional contestants. The “Out of Competition” applications will be allowed only if not all the slots are taken.
- Commissioned costumes will be allowed IF and ONLY IF the costumer (the one who made the costume) filled out the application form himself. He or she doesn’t have to appear on stage, but his or her presence in the waiting room is mandatory. Wigs, little props and jewels are exempted.
- Judges decisions are final. Categories, award type and mentions are at the judges’ and masquerade direction’s discretion only.
- Workmanship judging is mandatory only for novices doing Walk On, Artisans and Masters.
The direction and the judges have the right to disqualify anyone who doesn’t follow the rules.
Standard judging divisions system
The Standard Division System, in accordance with the International Costumers' Guild Guidelines, will be used as follows:
Any contestant under the age of 13 the day of the Comiccon.
Any contestant who didn’t win any award other than the Junior division.
Any contestant who won less than three (3) award at any masquerade when in the Journeyman division.
Any contestant who won three (3) or more awards or any contestant who wishes to be in this division and is not in any higher division.
Any contestant who won more than three (3) awards in any masquerade in the Artisan division or any contestant who won an award in the Master division in a national masquerade. Also, any contestant known as a professional in the costuming industry must enter in this division. For this competition, a professional is someone who 50% of his revenue comes from the costuming industry.
Out of competition division
The masquerade is a non professional competition. Costumes bought or rented cannot be entered in the award divisions, but they can be showcased in the Out of competition division. Costumes created for professional purposes are not eligible for the award division but can also be showcased in the Out of competition division. Also, anybody who wants to enter in this division is welcome.
Note: Any contestant can enter in a higher division than his or own division. However, if he/she wins in this division, he/she will have to compete in this division in future masquerades.
Workmanship judging happens in the green room, before the Masquerade. These awards, for the excellence in construction, will be given in addition to the Masquerade awards. You can be judged for your costume as a whole or for a specific part of your costume. The evaluation of a costume’s worksmanship is only mandatory for the Novices doing a Walk On, Artisans and Masters, but it is strongly advised for any divisions (Except Out of Competition). A great construction deserves to be awarded no matter the division. Judges must know which part have been made by the contestant and which parts have been bought, if any.
It is strongly advised to bring documentation to the judges showing source material for your costume if it comes from an existing medium, especially if it is something the judges may not know. It needs any images where your costume is shown. Please give only copies of these images, no originals.