Sat: 10:00AM - 7:00PM, Sun: 10:00AM - 5:00PM, Mon: 10:00AM - 5:00PM


Contestants must have a valid FAN EXPO Vancouver entry pass for the day of their pre-judging and the contest.


The FAN EXPO Vancouver Costume Contest participation is restricted to contestants who complete the online registration. Online registration is on a first come - first serve basis and is limited to 40 entries, individual or group. Once the cap has been reached, the remaining entrants will be placed on a Standby list and notified only if and when a spot opens up.

Registration reserves a spot in the contest; contestants are still required to check-in at the Costume Contest registration booth on the day of the event.

Online registration will require the following information for each participant:.

  • Legal Name
  • Cosplay Name (optional)
  • Age
  • Division
  • Character
  • Universe/Genre
  • Each additional name, age, character of group numbers

  • Additional Information:

  • Introduction: 100 words or less to be read by the emcee as contestants approach the stage
  • Reference Material: photos, written descriptor if a literary or original character, other relevant information including variant or mash up
  • Music: Individual music will not be permitted.
  • Posing only. Skits will NOT be permitted

    The following criteria must be met to avoid disqualification:

  • Entrants must have constructed or significantly altered at least 50% of their costume themselves. It is at the discretion of the judges to determine if costumes meet this requirement. The judge’s decision is final and may not be appealed.

  • Costumes must not have won an award at a previous FAN EXPO Vancouver.

  • The costume theme is to be consistent with the Expo celebration – e.g. fantasy/sci-fi, pop culture, books, television, comic, animation, games, etc.

  • FAN EXPO Vancouver reserves the right to disallow any contestants on basis of appropriateness of costume – please remember that FAN EXPO Vancouver is a family friendly convention. FAN EXPO staff has the final say on all entries.

  • All special effects and props must be pre-approved by FAN EXPO staff prior to the day of the contest. Please surprise the audience, not the staff. All information supplied to FAN EXPO will be held in the strictest of confidence. Any electrical effects must be self-powered. FAN EXPO retains the right to disallow any prop for any reason.

  • Any prop or weapon must have passed inspection and be approved by the Weapons and Prop Compliance Team prior to the contest. Exceptions for items which don’t comply can be granted for the duration of the Costume Contest appearance ONLY. Those items will be escorted to the contest staging area by a Weapons and Prop Compliance Team member.

  • Contestants are allowed to bring props within reason. Entrants must leave the stage as clean as it was when they first walked on it. Glitter, confetti, silly string, etc. will not be allowed on stage

  • Absolutely no flame or pyrotechnical props are permitted due to fire regulations. FAN EXPO's primary concern is public safety.

  • FAN EXPO cannot accept lighting requests e.g. turning the lights off or down.


    The following prizes will be awarded to category winners:


    To ensure fairness to all contestants, entrants will be split into skill divisions* Please ensure that you select the appropriate category to compete in. Group entries must enter the skill division that their most experienced member meets the criteria for. The costume contest director and the judges retain the right to bump a contestant into a higher category if they feel a costume deserves to be recognized at a higher skill level.

    professional costumers** may not enter the Novice division

    1. Entrants 13 years of age or older

    2. Costumer who has never entered a contest

    3. Costumer who has NOT won an award in any costume competition at the adult level

    professional costumers** may not enter the Journeyman division

    1. Entrants 13 years of age or older

    2. Costumer who has won one (1) but less than three (3) awards in adult competition such as: Best Costume, Best Workmanship, First Place, etc.

    3. Costumer who has NOT won a "Best in Show" or "Best in Class" award at the Journeyman level

    4. Costumer who has NOT won any kind of award at the Master level, including Runner Up or Honorable Mention prizes

    5. Any Novice who wishes to compete as a Journeyman

    for advanced costumers and professionals** in the costuming field

    1. Entrants 13 years of age or older

    2. Costumers who have won three (3) or more awards in adult competition

    3. Costumers who have won a "Best in Show" or "Best in Class" award at the Journeyman Level

    4. Costumers who have won ANY kind of award at the Master level

    5. Any costumer regardless of experience or past awards who wishes to compete as a Master

    * The Expo reserves the right to combine or split skill divisions as required for any reason and without notice to meet the needs of the competition.

    ** A Professional Costumer is defined as any individual who is hired for pay on a part-time or fulltime basis to create costumes for any kind of studio or theatrical organization, OR who obtains more than 25% of their yearly income through commissioned costumes for other individuals.


    Check-in at FAN EXPO Vancouver is mandatory to confirm your participation. Check-in times and location will be emailed to all registered participants prior to the contest.

  • Check-in must be concluded within the assigned time frame

  • You have to be in costume in order to check-in

  • Contestant appearance orders will be confirmed at this time

  • Contestant will appear in front of the panel of judges at check in.

  • Contestants are encouraged to arrive 10 minutes before their scheduled check in time.

    Entrants must email their progress photos, journals, fabrication lists, reference photos, etc. two weeks prior to the first day of the Expo. This will allow time for our judges to review prior to your appearance in front of them. Email your progress to


    Each contestant will have a 5 minute time limit with the judges, please prepare accordingly.


    Competitors must be in full costume at the time of judging. All entrants are required to provide a build book for the judges, as well as reference photos of the character and costume you are cosplaying. PLEASE BE SURE TO BRING THESE WITH YOU. Points will be subtracted from your final judging score if this is not provided for the judges.


    Please note: the judges may ask if they can touch certain parts of entrant’s costumes to see detail work. FAN EXPO Vancouver strives to provide every cosplayer with a safe environment. Contestants will not be penalized for refusing to allow a judge to touch their person. Please inform the judges at the beginning of the judging period if you would prefer not to be touched.


    Judging is based on the following criteria:


    Fabrication: Clean edges, paint job, seam work, construction and durability, attention to detail, innovative construction methods. Props and accessories included.

    Materials: Fabrics, leathers, etc. are believable to the costume, innovative use of unconventional materials, functionality of the design, and execution of simulated materials.

    Fit and Presentation: Tailored and scaled to the cosplayer, complete character (makeup, wigs, and prosthetics), and overall presentation of the character.

    Adaptation:Accuracy to the reference material (photos, drawings, or literary descriptors, references to variants, mash ups, etc.), original designs will be judged on the believability of the costume based on the character described in the reference material.

    On Stage Presentation: appearing in character, stage presence, overall preparation and presentation.

    Audience Impact:fun factor, audience response (we understand that not everyone is an actor, often a good pose is sometimes enough to “sell” the character)


    All contestants are required to appear on stage. Contestants will be lined up as per their assigned order determined at check in. Each individual or group will have a maximum of 30 seconds of stage time. Should entrants go over the time limit, they will be disqualified from the contest.


    Only registered entrants are allowed in the staging area. Please be aware that this means friends, children not participating in the contest, and animals (with the exception of certified service animals) are not to accompany entrants. Costumes must allow freedom of movement to navigate stairs. Please notify the costume contest director when you register if you require an assistant for larger costumes.


    There are no change areas available for entrants. Contestants are to arrive at the staging area in costume. Please, no sewing, gluing, spray painting, soldering, or welding in the staging area.


    What to expect on stage:

  • The emcee will read the submitted introduction as each contestant approaches the stage. FAN EXPO Vancouver reserves the right to edit submitted introductions for any reason.
  • The Expo will provide a soundtrack for the walk on performances.
  • Microphones will NOT be available for use by contestants.
  • Contestants will walk from their entrance on one side across the stage to the opposite side exit.

  • The Fine Print:

    The Costume Contest director and representatives of FAN EXPO Vancouver Expo have full authority to eliminate anyone from the competition on the grounds of unsportsmanlike conduct witnessed backstage, violation of the rules, or any other reason deemed sufficient. There is no appeal. Arguing with the director or representative may result in further action taken, such as a lifetime ban on participating in any future Expo Costume Contests.

    Contestants are expected to obey all local, provincial and federal laws and bylaws governing FAN EXPO Vancouver and the venue location. Those who do not comply will be removed from the premises and their badge will be revoked without prior warning. If the nature of the infraction is severe, the proper authorities will be contacted.