The biggest Anime conventions in Canada!
We may not be as populous as the United States, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have any awesome conventions! In fact, some of these cons are quite big, especially the ones in the large cities. Whether you’re a Canadian looking to attend the biggest cons, or a tourist looking for a reason to visit Canada, you’ll be happy to know that we have some big Anime conventions in Canada.
But let’s first answer the question…
What is the biggest Anime convention in Canada?
By far the biggest Anime convention in Canada in terms of attendance numbers would have to be Anime North in Toronto, Ontario. With over 30,000 attendees, Anime North takes the top spot for being the biggest one in Canada. Otakuthon in Montreal, Quebec is a close second.
So when I initially made this article, I was planning to do a top 10-15 list. But unfortunately, that won’t be possible. Unlike Anime conventions in the U.S. where you have a big list of cons across the country, this is not the case in Canada. There are only a handful of large conventions in Canada, so sadly I had to change this to only a top 5 list!
But if we were to include comic cons, then this list would be completely different. What can we say; Canada is a huge country with a relatively small population, given its size. Anyways…
In this guide, I’ll go over the 5 biggest anime conventions in Canada that you should definitely consider attending. These are some of the most popular events in the country as of 2023!
Because there are only a handful of large Anime conventions in Canada, this list will start with the largest ones first and work our way down.
Also, keep in mind that this list only is for Anime conventions; other events such as Comic conventions don’t count. So you won’t be seeing comic cons such as Fan Expo or Montreal Comic Con on this list, even though they’re just as big, if not bigger than most of these Anime conventions.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
1. Anime North (Toronto, Ontario)
|Location||Toronto, Ontario (Etobicoke in particular)|
|Venue location||Toronto Congress Centre, Delta Hotels by Marriott Toronto Airport & Conference Centre, Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel & Conference Centre|
|Number of attendees||Over 30,000|
|Next event date||Friday May 26 – Sunday May 28, 2024|
The granddaddy of them all. Anime North is not only arguably the most popular Anime convention in Canada, the event is also the largest in the country. Started way back in 1997, Anime North has grown immensely since then. The event is so big that the organizers usually implement an attendance cap for the 3-day weekend. This means that Anime North is probably larger than the 30,000 that is allowed.
AN is pretty unique to be honest. To start, the various convention activities are happening in 3 main separate buildings, one of which is far away. And the heart and soul of the convention hangs out around the parking lot of the Toronto Congress Center, giving the con an outdoor festival vibe.
There are many things to do at Anime North, such as: taking part in the Masquerade, enjoying yourself at the Maid Cafe and attending the numerous panels available during the convention weekend. There’s a reason why people keep coming back to Anime North; it’s a yearly tradition that can’t be missed!
Everyone has their own take of Anime North, including me. If you’re attending Anime North, click here to check out my guide!
2. Otakuthon (Montreal, Quebec)
|Venue location||Palais des congrès de Montréal|
|Number of attendees||Nearly 30,000 in 2022|
|Next event date||Friday August 11 – Sunday August 13, 2023|
Not far behind from Anime North, we have Otakuthon! Much like Toronto is the largest city in Canada, Montreal comes a close second in terms of size, and Otakuthon is exactly that. Otakuthon has had a rapid rise in my opinion. Started only in 2006, they started to grow dramatically in the 2010s. It’s not surprising; in my experience the convention is well-run, with plenty of activities and programming. The organizers are also able to bring in big-name guests from around the world! And the city of Montreal is awesome too, so a trip to the city for Otakuthon is always a fun time!
If you’re interested in Otakuthon, click here to check out my guide for the event.
3. Anime Revolution (Vancouver, British Columbia)
|Location||Vancouver, British Columbia|
|Venue location||Vancouver Convention Centre|
|Number of attendees||17,000 in 2016|
|Next event date||Friday August 18 – Sunday August 20, 2023|
In 3rd place, we have Anime Revolution. Anime Revolution (or AniRevo for short) is Vancouver’s largest Anime convention. And if you didn’t know, Vancouver is the 3rd largest city in Canada, all the way on the West Coast of the country. The city is so beautiful with gorgeous mountains and the Pacific Ocean; I highly recommend visiting Vancouver if you haven’t done so.
AniRevo has been around for several years, so you can bet the event is the flagship Anime convention in the Vancouver mainland area!
4. Animethon (Edmonton, Alberta)
|Venue location||Edmonton Convention Centre|
|Number of attendees||14,000 attendees in 2022|
|Next event date||Friday July 14 – Sunday July 16, 2023|
Animethon is the annual Anime convention that takes place in Edmonton, the 2nd largest city in the province of Alberta. With over 14,000 attendees in 2022, Animethon has grown over the years. The event also has the distinction of being the longest-running Anime convention in the entire country, starting way back in 1994!
5. Otafest (Calgary, Alberta)
|Venue location||Telus Convention Centre|
|Number of attendees||over 10,000 attendees in 2022|
|Next event date||Friday May 10 – Sunday May 12, 2023|
I feel like Western Canada doesn’t get much love in terms of Anime conventions, as all the big ones tend to happen in Ontario or Quebec. But let’s not forget a convention like Otafest, which is the largest convention in the region, with over 10,000 attendees in 2022.
The convention takes place at the Telus Convention Centre in Calgary, Alberta. The city of Calgary is one of the biggest in Western Canada. I can say that Alberta is a beautiful province that’s partly covered by the Rocky Mountains, so you’ll get to see natural beauty if you decide to visit!
To summarize, here are the 5 biggest Anime conventions in Canada:
- Anime North
- Anime Revolution
And there you have it; the 5 biggest Anime conventions in Canada! I hope you found this list useful.
So yes, compared to the U.S., we really don’t have that many big Anime conventions here in Canada. But the ones that did make it on this list, they are big and they are awesome! So whether you’re Canadian or someone that wants to visit Canada, you should consider attending one of these conventions!
Which one do you plan on attending? Let me know in the comments below!
My name is Roger Senpai. I’m a cosplayer that’s been in the community for well over a decade now. I’ve traveled all over the world to Anime and Comic conventions and hosted my own cosplay events. Now I’m writing articles for new and experienced cosplayers like you to help inspire, save you money and improve your cosplays!