About

Costume-Con 35 is a celebration of costuming in all of its forms, from adaptive and fandom cosplays to original and historical creations. The conference is always held in spring; in 2017 it will be held April 20-24.

Costume-Con is for everyone, from the youngest novice to the most wizened veteran, for every skill level, for teaching and for learning. It’s a chance to see some of the coolest creations in costuming around, an opportunity to showcase your latest projects, to pick up new tricks, or share in your knowledge. Most of all, it’s a chance to come together as a community and be part of a celebration.

Costume-Con® is a registered service mark of Karen Schnaubelt (Dick), used by permission.

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Our Theme

Our theme this year is “Heroes & Villains”. Intended as a broadly encompassing theme, the idea is to choose from amongst your favourite protagonists or antagonists and dress accordingly.

This dichotomy can be from any field of fact or fiction (within certain sensitivities), be it superheroes and supervillains of the Marvel and DC universes, Disney heroes/heroines and their adversaries, famous figures of myth, pantheon, and legend, like Perseus and Medusa or Amaterasu and Susa-no-o.

Keep in mind, the theme is only a suggestion, and you do not have to create costumes firmly aligned (or even mildly inclusive of) the theme. All costumes are welcome.

Quick FAQ

What is Costume-Con?

Costume-Con is a travelling conference for costumers and cosplayers which moves from city to city each year. Over its (as of 2017) 35-year history, it’s travelled across North America, serving local communities from one coast to the other, North and South.

Costume-Con is organized by local committees who bid on the opportunity to host the conference. CC35 is organized by a committee from the GTA and will be held in Mississauga. You can find out more about Costume-Con at its central website.

Is Costume-Con always in the Toronto area?

No, as mentioned prior, Costume-Con travels from city to city. Regional committees bid to host Costume-Con and the CC membership votes on which locale will be the winner. Anyone who purchases a membership to any Costume-Con is considered a member and may cast a vote. For more information, please visit the central Costume-Con website.

Will Costume-Con come to my city?

For Costume-Con to be held in any city, there must be a local organizing committee willing to be responsible for arranging the event. Typically, you must have a Chairperson and a Treasurer as the bare minimum of a committee. Bids are done three years in advance of the hosting date and must be done via the central Costume-Con website. Karen Schnaubelt, the service mark holder of Costume-Con, administers the bidding process. Once a bid is submitted, a vote will be held at the next Costume-Con and the results decided from there.

What’s the difference between Costuming and Cosplay?

The committee of CC35 feels that the difference is very fuzzy and works on a gradient, but for the sake of argument, “costuming” leans more towards direct craft, while “cosplay” leans more towards characterization. A costumer can be a cosplayer, a cosplayer can be a costumer, but they are not required to be either inclusively, nor exclusively.

Do I have to cosplay/be in costume to attend?

Absolutely not. We encourage dressing up, but fans, observers, and non-costumers of all stripes are welcome. Costuming is the theme and focus of the conference, but it is in no way a requirement to be in costume in order to attend. Many members of Costume-Con are not costumers themselves, but journalists, event organizers, writers, artists, and so forth, who enjoy costuming as a topic or interest, but not an active hobby or occupation. All are welcome.

What is a “Membership” versus just purchasing a ticket?

Costume-Con considers anyone with a ticket a member. This does not obligate you to any membership duties nor fees, it merely means you are recognized as having attended a Costume-Con. If you wish to be a more active participant in the community, the resources available in the attendee package and discussed during the show are excellent ways to get involved.

I heard there’s more than one costume contest. How do I enter the competitions, and can I enter all of them?

It will depend on the final schedule, but theoretically the schedule should make it possible for you to participate in all the shows if you so choose. Please check out the Competition FAQ for information on the multiple competitions available.

Do I have to be a costume expert to attend?

Absolutely not. Costume-Con is all about learning and sharing ideas, and all of us can learn something new and fun regardless of skill levels.

How long does the con run?

The conference programming starts first thing Friday morning and runs until Monday afternoon.   There is a competition Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday night, as well as Sunday during the day. There are also optional tours and activities on the Thursday preceding and the Tuesday following. As a result we strongly recommend that people reserve their hotel rooms from Thursday night until at least Monday.

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