The annual Otafest celebration is even bigger and better than last year. From cosplay, to speaker panels, to gaming there is something for every anime fanatic at Otafest. The three day festival over the Canada Day weekend, has become the optimal place for fans and enthusiasts to gather and share their passion for all things anime related.
The convention has something to offer to all those who attend, whether or not you are an anime fan. Starting from the vendors that are not only selling amazing paraphernalia but also bringing unique experience such as VR and meet and greet experiences with the Cast of Sailor Moon.
When talking to some of the attendees they could not contain their excitement for the festivities of the weekend. The panels had to be the most talked about event. People looking forward to increasing their knowledge or skill set but also wanting to experience the engaging, interactive panels such as the ‘Disney Sing Along’ and ‘Cards Against Otafest’.
Along side the numerous activities that you can participate in at the festival, another great aspect is the costumes and cosplayers.
“Otafest is a great place for cosplayers because unlike ComicCon where they are more focused on paraphernalia, Otafest creates a culture and environment where you can have fun creating your costumes and dressing up with your friends” says Mckenna who was fully costumed up and ready to attend the event.
Some of the costumes take the attendees 4 – 6 weeks to make, which was the case for Glen and Brycen who went full force with their costumes.
So whether you are going because you get the chance to experience anime culture or to game with your friends in full costume, Otafest is the place to be this weekend. Make sure to check out their schedule because they plan to be in operation till 6am and start again three hours later at 9. Be sure you don’t miss any of it!
Why Valentine’s Day is Actually Designed for Singles
The holiday that we have all either come to love or hate, unsurprisingly, didn’t always revolve around cards and chocolates. The customs that we have all fallen into since we were kids, actually had very different origins than one would think.
Breaking down the holiday, there are actually many different facets that bring it all together. Various martyrdom stories are associated with different Valentine’s of the past. For the most part, the Catholic Church chose to honour them during the month of February, which then led to the naming of the annual celebration. Afterwards, it was all tied together with an ancient ritual celebrated by the Romans.
Lupercalia, the fertility festival, was a yearly celebration for the Romans in honour of the god of agriculture. According to myth, it was also a time to celebrate the Roman founders Romulus and Remus, who were both raised by a she-wolf. There were various aspects to the celebration, most of which, did not make the cut into the 21st century. One such practice involved cutting up animal hides into strips and dipping them into sacrificial blood. They were then slapped against the bodies of women, believing it would allow them to become more fertile for the year. Women would actually line the streets to have their turn as the progression passed through.
The fun part came towards the end, when singles throughout the city would pair off in honour of the festival through random selection via draw. Many times this resulted in successful marriages.
Today, the day is obviously celebrated a little differently, with no bloody whippings of animal hide required. People get to partake in the exchange of tokens of affections with their loved ones, and a plethora of money is spent trying to make that special someone in your life happy. After Christmas, Valentine’s Day is the second most popular holiday for sending cards to other people. Approximately 150 million cards are exchanged, and a total spending of $18.6 billion takes place every year!
So for those of you that will be single for this Valentine’s Day, don’t fret. In fact, relish in the fact that you’re not about to drop some mad cash on someone, just to say that you love them. Valentine’s Day can be a very exciting holiday when you have that significant other in your life, but remember, the day was originally for all the single people to hook up! So really, instead of being sad, what you should really spend the day doing is stripping apart goat hide and finding someone to smack it with…kidding.
Local Love for Local Laundry
As a stylist, a student, and super tired individual, I needed something simple. December is in full-swing. The holiday season has just begun. The weather is arguably way warmer in Calgary than I have ever witnessed in my lifetime; I have no complaints. It’s safe to say that this season I’ve fully embraced my city.
From the weather to the clothing, I’ve come full circle. More importantly, during this fine December I’ve taken it upon myself to shop locally.
I couldn’t be more ecstatic to have this opportunity to collaborate with HYPR Magazine and The Salt Co., to showcase Local Laundry’s new collection. With the brand being 100% established in Canada and that they also support a good cause, this season couldn’t get any better. With their goal to raise over $1 million for local Canadian charities, it’s something you can’t turn your back on.
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