Biggest Fan Conventions in Canada!
Canada is one of the biggest countries in the world. And while our population of approximately 39 million is pretty small relative to our country size, we still have a lot of big cosplay conventions happening here!
So whether you’re a Canadian looking to try out a new convention in our homeland. Or you’re an American looking to travel up north to our beautiful country for a large Canadian-style convention, this post is for you!
In this post, I’ll give you 10 of the biggest fan Conventions in Canada you should attend. You will have a lot of fun at these cons up in Canada! These are either Anime or Comic conventions, or both.
Keep in mind that although we do have big conventions in Canada, they are nothing compared to the scale of the biggest conventions in the United States (click here to see the list of biggest Anime cons in the US). After all, the population of the U.S. is nearly 10x the size of Canada’s population.
But regardless, you should check this list out.
Alright, let’s get started!
Let’s start this list with the convention that is by far the biggest cosplay convention in Canada (in terms of attendance numbers). Fan Expo is a huge 4-day comic convention in downtown Toronto, Ontario during the summer. There are many Fan Expo conventions across the continent, but Fan Expo Canada is THE flagship convention for the brand.
Each year, nearly 100,000+ attendees make their way to Fan Expo Canada to take part in activities such as celebrity QA, autograph signings, participate in shows, take part in tournaments and buy stuff in the massive dealer’s room!
I’ve been to Fan Expo several times throughout the years the convention is truly massive. The event takes place at the Metro Toronto Convention Center, the biggest venue in the largest city of Canada. If you fancy big comic conventions and want to be part of Canada’s biggest cosplay convention, then you need to attend Fan Expo!
P.S. Click here to read my guide for Fan Expo if you do plan on attending.
I was completely surprised by this, because I didn’t realize how large this convention is!
Calgary Expo is run by the same organizers of Fan Expo and as you can imagine, you can expect a great comic con weekend and turnout every year! Calgary Expo takes place at the BMO Centre, the biggest convention in the Calgary area and near the downtown area of the city.
With over 95,000 attendees in 2017, you can bet this convention gets a ton of people every year. With that many attendees, Calgary Expo is one of the largest cosplay conventions in Canada.
Much like Toronto with Fan Expo, Montreal gets a comic convention in Montreal Comic Con. It does make sense; Montreal is the 2nd largest city in Canada! With over 62,000 attendees in 2022, Montreal Comic Con is definitely one of the largest comic conventions in Canada.
I myself haven’t attended Montreal Comic Con, but my friends in Quebec only have positive things to say about the event. It helps that the convention takes place in the Palais des Congres, the same venue as Otakuthon and one of the biggest convention centres I’ve been to. But I’m sure the variety of activities is a big reason why attendees keep coming back to this great convention!
If you didn’t know, Ottawa is the nation’s capital! It’s a beautiful city located further north, away from the U.S. border. Fortunately, the city has the annual Ottawa Comic Con. I personally haven’t been yet but there are a lot of attendees for this annual convention, with over 42,000 attendees in 2018! That’s a TON of people for the convention, considering the smaller population compared to other American cities.
So if you’re into comic cons and want to see what Ottawa has to offer, then you should hit up Ottawa Comic Con!
If you couldn’t tell, the Fan Expo brand hosts a majority of the big cosplay conventions in Canada. This one had 40,000 attendees in 2022. Edmonton Expo is definitely one of them! Taking place in the wonderful city of Edmonton, this event offers all the things you’d expect from a big comic convention: celebrities, a big dealer’s room, cosplay events and more!
But unlike Fan Expo that’s located downtown, Anime North takes place at the Toronto Congress Center, a venue that’s right next to the airport far away from the city centre. 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!
Otakuthon is another juggernaut of a convention in Canada! The convention takes place at the Palais des Congres in downtown Montreal, Quebec. With nearly 30,000 attendees in 2022, Otakuthon is the 2nd largest Anime convention in Canada and continues to grow each year. I remember when the convention first started and had fewer than 7000 attendees. It’s grown to become one of the flagship Anime cons in Canada.
I don’t even know where to start in terms of listing how wonderful Otakuthon is. Not only is the convention well-run and organized (I talk more about that in my Otakuthon guide); the organizers always bring big name guests for the convention weekend. Considering how far away Montreal is, it’s amazing they are able to bring in guests.
So if you are into big Anime conventions and want to visit Montreal (which I highly recommend because the city is awesome), then you definitely need to attend Otakuthon!
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!
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!
Fan Expo Vancouver is a large comic convention by the organizers of Fan Expo Canada in Toronto! As you can imagine, the convention is huge with lots of attendees. It’s nice that the West Coast of Canada gets a big comic convention too.
Otafest (Calgary, Alberta)
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 just under 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!
Toronto Comicon (Toronto, Ontario)
Isn’t it crazy? Toronto is so big and large that the city gets TWO big comic conventions happening in one calendar year! Toronto Comicon is run by the same organizers who host Fan Expo, so both events have similar vibes, especially since they are both held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
I have been to Toronto Comicon many times and even though the event is supposed to feel like a “mini Fan Expo”, it certainly not the case! While there are fewer activities than Fan Expo, Toronto Comicon still attracts thousands of attendees every year during the weekend. And this is in March, where the Toronto can still be freezing cold! Just goes to show how much demand there is for cosplay conventions in Toronto. The city is fortunate to have several conventions like Toronto Comicon happening throughout the year.
To summarize, here are the 10 of the biggest fan conventions in Canada:
- Fan Expo Canada (Toronto, Ontario)
- Calgary Expo (Calgary, Alberta)
- Montreal Comic Con (Montreal, Quebec)
- Ottawa Comic Con (Ottawa, Ontario)
- Edmonton Expo (Edmonton, Alberta)
- Anime North (Toronto, Ontario)
- Otakuthon (Montreal, Quebec)
- Anime Revolution (Vancouver, British Columbia)
- Animethon (Edmonton, Alberta)
- Fan Expo Vancouver (Vancouver, British Columbia)
And there you have it; 10 of the biggest fan conventions in Canada! I hope you found this post interesting. Maybe you’ll take a trip to Canada sometime. 🙂
Which of these conventions interest you the most? 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!