If you love costumes, prizes and to challenge the limits of your craftsmanship Cos & Effect’s costume contest is the event for you! As the largest costume contest in BC with some of the best prizes in Canada we encourage costumers of all skill levels to engage in friendly competition and bring their favourite characters and designs to life in front of an audience.
This contest is geared towards those who craft their own costumes and will be evaluated by an experienced panel of judges based on accuracy, creativity and above all craftsmanship. Contestants will show their costumes onstage in a walk-on format hosted by colourful MC’s who will entertain the audience as well as provide introductions and support for each entry.
Welcome to the Cos & Effect costume contest, and may the odds be ever in your favour!
Cos & Effect is proud to be offering some of the largest and most exciting costume contest prizes in North America. We believe in rewarding serious costumers for their effort with serious prizes, from best in class to judge’s choice!
To add to the anticipation we will be announcing the stakes week by week, so check back often to see what is in store for your class and category!
Grand Prize – Best in Show – Singles and Duos category
The Grand Prize is a trip for 2 to Europe, including:
- Flight and hotel to The Netherlands for 5 days,
- Passes to Anime Con 2014 at the World Forum in The Hague
- A local guide and
- The opportunity to compete in BorderCos and other cosplay related competitions!
Categories and Classes
The costume contest will have three categories applicable for different levels of judging and prizes: Solo, Group and Designer. Please note professionals are not allowed to compete ( professional is a person who is engaged in a certain activity for gain or compensation as means of livelihood; such as a permanent career, not as an amateur or passtime )
This is your own costume made by you, and you are entering by yourself or with a partner. Solo and Duo entries can compete in the Novice, Journeyman or Master classes and will be judged individually. They are applicable for Best in Show, Best in Class and Judge’s Choice awards.
A group entry may be anywhere from three to five costumes with a designated team captain to communicate and register on behalf of the group with the team’s information. Costume construction may be an individual or collaborative effort as long as all group members contribute towards the costumes. Please note any work done by costumers outside of the group will count as commissioned or purchased pieces and will result in a penalty. The costumes must be related to one another by series/universe/canon or if they are original by theme.
Group entries can compete within the Novice, Journeyman or Master classes and will be judged individually and then average to a singular group value. They are applicable for Best Group in Show, Best in Class and Judge’s Choice awards.
So, you have the skills but wearing the costume just isn’t your thing. Not to worry, you can still take part. You can submit up to 3 costumes as a designer. YOU MUST provide your own models and MUST be present with them for both parts of the contest (judging and exhibition). The costumes must be related.
Designer entries can compete within the Novice, Journeyman and Master classes and are applicable for the Best Designer and Best Designer Runner-Up award as well as Judge’s Choice awards.
The costume contest will have three classes applicable to different levels of judging and prizes: Novice, Journeyman and Master.
Novice: This class is for newcomers who are just beginning to hone their costuming skills or for those who have yet to try their hand in costume competition. Judges will show more leniency towards the purchase and modification of bought or found items to this class, and will reward ingenuity and effort where contestants might be lacking in experience.
If you have never entered a costume contest before but feel your skills and experience may be more advanced than the Novice class please feel free to enter a higher category but please mention this in your entry and remember that once you have been registered for a class you can’t request to be changed. Additionally if the judges feel that your skill or experience may be more advanced than the Novice class you may be moved to a higher class.
- Professional costumers may not enter in the Novice division.
- A contestant who has competed and won in any division other than Novice in competition may not enter in the Novice division.
- A contestant who has won “Best in Show” or “Best Novice” in competition may not enter in the Novice division.
- A contestant who has won numerous major awards in the Novice division in competition is strongly encouraged and may be bumped up to enter in the Journeyman division
Journeymen: This class is the most popular and varied. Those who have won prizes in Novice class previously will be in this group, as well as those who have spent multiple years costuming and no longer qualify.
If you have never won at the Journeyman level but feel your skills and experience may be more advanced than the Journeyman class you are free to apply for the Masters category but please make staff aware in your application.
- Professional costumers may not enter in the Journeyman division.
- A contestant who has competed and won in the Master division in competition may not enter in the Journeyman division.
- A contestant who has won “Best in Show” or “Best Journeyman” in competition may not enter in the Journeyman division.
- A contestant who has won more than three major awards in the Journeyman division in competition may not enter in the Journeyman division.
Master: This class is for skilled, experienced costumers that have won multiple awards in the competitive costuming circuit or who have mastered their skills and have a firm understanding of costume creation. As such, no part of your costume should have been purchased or commissioned or you will be penalized. If you have bought anything it must be heavily customized and you must inform the judges of this as it will be reflected on your final mark.
- Anyone may enter the Masters category, but we suggest that costumers have won or ranked at least three times to enter this class. Contestants who do not meet the Masters level requirements may be suggested to compete at a lower class.
How it Works
1. Congratulations, you’re already completing step one which is to read this document and the FAQ to help determine your competition class and answer any questions you may have about the contest. To receive up to date information on the contest and to be notified of any changes, please join our Cos & Effect costume contest facebook group (we will be posting the address shortly and notifying entrants upon confirmation).
2. Submit your application through the online registration form HERE after you have fully read the costume contest information. Please note that group entries must be submitted by their designated leader as a single entry. The exact schedule, map of relevant contest locations and official entry confirmations will be released on July 7th or shortly thereafter.
Online registration will be open as of Saturday, May 11th and close as of July 1st. All entrants will receive confirmation of their successful registration by July 7th.
3. Once you have received confirmation and sent in your music (if you choose) it’s a free for all until the convention date. Cos & Effect 2013 has a ton of great prizes to award your effort and dedication, so pump yourself up and get sewing! If you are competing for the grand prize you will be expected to take photographs of your materials, progress and any items that will be heavily modified for your portfolio at this time.
4. At the convention please sign in at the main events hall in the upstairs ballroom to let us know you’re here and ready to go! After signing in you will attend the orientation and dress rehearsal where all entrants will have an opportunity ask last minute questions and to become familiar with the stage and walk-on choreography.
Please note that both signing in as well as attending the combined orientation and dress rehearsal are MANDATORY. Contestants who do not sign in or attend the preparatory events will be disqualified.
5. Contestants who signed in and attended the orientation will then be directed to our green room for judging, contestant photography and audio submission. You will be called up one by one (groups as a whole) to be examined by our experienced and friendly panel of judges.
Craftsmanship judging is is your moment to shine! Show off your hard work and we encourage you to explain your working process to our judges who are eager to listen and admire your costume. If a judge asks you a question about a specific detail or technique don’t be nervous! This means there is an aspect of your costume they like and want to know more about in order to better appreciate your costume.
Please note that Masters will be asked to show their portfolio during the judging process.
6. After you’ve spoken with the judges you’ll be directed to our professional photo booth where your entry will be captured for reference and documented in Cos & Effect history! Strike a pose and look forward to seeing yourself posted on our website after the convention.
7. The last step in your pre-competition preparation is to speak with our audio specialists about your music and introduction Please ensure your audio was emailed to us in an MP3 format after your entry is confirmed if you wish to have custom audio.
8. Once you have completed the judging, taken photos in our booth and confirmed your audio you are free to leave and wander the convention until you are required back to the green room for organization and a final briefing.
We understand that the idea of going onstage may be intimidating for many contestants and will do our best to ensure that everyone is coached, happy and comfortable to perform. There will be water and chairs in the green room and staff to assist you in any way they can. Backstage before the show is a great moment to make friends with your fellow costumers!
9. Get ready to smile (or glower if it’s more appropriate)! Once the contest has started and the hosts and judges are ready you’ll be called into line, prepare yourself for the spotlight. The costume contest is Cos & Effect’s biggest event of the weekend and the crowd is ready and waiting to see you, so engage the crowd and strut your stuff! Both the judges and the crowd love to see cosplayers in character.
10. After your performance we encourage you to relax backstage until the final entry. All contestants will then be lined up to go onstage for a final ‘victory’ lap and to await the awards ceremony with the audience. We strongly encourage all entrants to stick around until the very end of the awards ceremony for a chance to receive special prizes, and also to show support for your fellow contestants.
If you have any questions or concerns about the contest costume or registration process please Email Us and we will do our best to assist you.
To keep this page from being even longer, we have moved our FAQ: HERE
- No open flame, fire, flash powder, lasers or flash paper is allowed.
- No messy substances on stage. The stage must be in as good a condition when you leave as when you enter.
- No flagrant nudity will be permitted. The costume contest is rated PG-13. There will be children in the audience.
- Competitors must attend all mandatory costume contest preparations. Failure to appear or to be ready to go on stage may result in disqualification. While competitors may be subject to circumstances beyond their control, the costume contest director has final say.
- The costume contest director and staff reserve the right to eliminate anyone from competition on the basis of taste, danger to the audience or other contestants, or for any other reason deemed sufficient. Repeated violations of the rules may result in the contestant being barred from future costume contests.
- All costumes entered MUST be made by hand or heavily modified when applicable, any contest caught cheating with a bought or pre-made costume will face severe consequences.
- You must have purchased a Cos & Effect ticket in order to participate.
- The decisions of the Judges are final.
- This is an amateur contest, professionals are not allowed to enter.
- Attitude is everything. Be kind to your fellow contestants and costume contest staff or you will be disqualified.
This contest is made possible thanks to our generous sponsors! Please show them your thanks and support.
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