Written by Cheryl Cottrell-Smith
It can be a long stretch between the end of con season (September/October) and the beginning of the next (March/April). Thankfully, Edmontonians refuse to let a little thing like the weather get in the way of celebrating fandoms.
Edmonton’s main winter convention, A Taste of Animethon (ATOA), will be holding it’s seventh annual event on January 22 and 23 at a new location this year: the Shaw Conference Centre. A miniature version of the Alberta Society for Asian Popular Arts’ main summer event, Animethon, ATOA began in 2010 as a way to tide anime fans over until the bigger convention. From 2010 to 2015, the con has grown from an initial 600 attendees to more than 2,300 at last year’s con—hence the need for more space.
ATOA features the usual convention programming, including a cosplay contest, fan panels, a gaming area, guest events, shopping, and the maid café. Also on the program is Misako Aoki’s Lolita Tea Party with Lolita Kawaii Ambassador Misako Aoki (January 22, 7pm-8:30pm; $15 pp).
Guests this year include:
– Reika (Cosplayer)
– Colleen Clinkenbeard (Voice Actor/Director – Fullmetal Alchemist, Borderlands, One Piece)
– Misako Aoki (Model/Nurse/Kawaii Ambassador/Author)
– The 404s (Improv Group)
– TheIshter (YouTube Star)
The convention is also introducing a new interactive element this year with Club Nishi/Misaki. Each attendee is randomly assigned to either Club Nishi or Club Misaki—they can then earn tokens and turn them in at the Club Table to gain points and help their club win (similar to a House Points/Harry Potter concept).
And, as if that wasn’t enough, attendees can close out the con on Saturday night with a dance hosted by DJ AvereoX.
More information on A Taste of Animethon can be found on their website.
A Taste of Animethon
January 22-23, 2016
Shaw Conference Centre
Friday, January 22: 5:00pm – 12:00am
Saturday, January 23: 10:00am – 12:00am
Cover image: Misako Aoki