Anime North

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This article is about the Canadian anime convention with the initials "AN". For the American "AN", see AnimeNEXT.

Anime North
An title.jpg
Anime North's logo
Status Active
Venue Toronto Congress Centre
International Plaza Hotel
Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel
Marriott Toronto Airport
Crowne Plaza Hotel
Radisson Suites Hotel
Location(s) Toronto, Ontario
Country Canada
Inaugurated 1997
Attendance 28,509 in 2014[1]
Filing status Non-profit
Website
http://www.animenorth.com

Anime North (AN) is a non-profit, fan-run anime convention, held every year in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The convention is the 4th largest North American anime convention as of 2013.[2] Its major attractions, activities and events include a Masquerade, a Dealers Room, an Artists Alley, Guest of Honor presentations, Gaming (Video and RPG), Panel Discussions, Video Presentations, Contests, and Dances. The largest anime convention in the Greater Toronto Area, the province of Ontario and the country of Canada by attendance numbers and located near Toronto Pearson International Airport, AN is hosted in 6 venues: at the Toronto Congress Centre, the Doubletree International Plaza Hotel, the Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel (formerly called the Renaissance Toronto Airport Hotel and Conference Centre), the Marriott Toronto Airport (for the Friday Moonlight Ball), the Crowne Plaza Hotel and the Radisson Suites Hotel, all of which are within walking distance of one another. Convention-run shuttle buses are available during daytime and the evening to connect the venues and run at regular intervals.

Programming[edit]

Anime North in 2006 featured Kotoko, a J-pop singer, who performed songs from her newest album. Also in 2006, a ballroom dance, the "Moonlight Masquerade Ball", was newly scheduled.[3] The most popular events at AN include the Masquerade and the J-Idol competition. Other events include the AMV contest, guest autograph sessions, the All-Star Charity Auction, the Momiji Award (with brunch), Anime Improv, "Super Hardcore Anime Wrestling" (a co-production with GCW) and Yaoi North. Common staples at Anime North include guest speeches, gaming tournaments, dances, art-related workshops, discussion panels, martial arts displays, model contests, Go tournaments, and similar events.

History[edit]

Anime North 2009 attendees outside the Toronto Congress Centre, some in cosplay.

Anime North was founded by Toronto anime fan Donald Simmons in 1997 as a one day mini-convention with approximately 600 attendees. The original venue was the Michener Institute in downtown Toronto. In 1998 the convention expanded to two days of programming, and 1999 saw the addition of a third day of programming as well as a move to the Ramada Airport East Hotel, with attendance reaching 1,000. In 2001 AN was moved to the airport strip near Pearson Airport and was held at the Toronto Airport Marriott (attendance 2,000) and in 2002 moved to the much larger Regal Constellation Hotel (attendance 2,800).

Shortly after the 2003 convention at the Regal (attendance 5,000), the Regal closed and the convention had to find yet another new location. For 2004 the best combination of function and hotel space available was the combination of the Toronto Congress Centre (TCC) and the nearby Renaissance Hotel for additional programming. These two venues were unfortunately a 10-15 minute walk apart, although a free shuttle bus was provided to help alleviate this problem. Despite this difficulty, attendance reached a record 8,200 that year.

In 2005, Anime North added a Thursday evening badge pickup for pre-registered attendees, and changed hotels from the Renaissance to the Doubletree International Plaza Hotel, across Dixon Rd. from the TCC (attendance 9,500). In 2006 actual programming was added for Thursday evenings; approximately 12,500 people attended that year, the first time that attendance has broken 10,000 people. AN 2008 was the 12th year of the convention with 13,300 attendees, and continues to grow every year; in 2010, the convention expanded to the Marriott Toronto Airport to host the Friday Moonlight Ball. The front section of the TCC was finally opened to Anime North attendees in 2011 (it was always closed in past years), with rooms made available for Guest of Honor panels, AMV screenings, workshops and toy and model displays. In 2012, the convention expanded to 2 more hotels, the Crowne Plaza Hotel where Go and board gaming were held, and the Radisson Suites Hotel where Café Nocturne and Café Aurora Zero were located, which made in all 5 hotels in the area where Anime North operated, in addition to the Toronto Congress Centre. That year, attendance exceeded for the first time the 20,000 mark, with 22,385 paid attendees.

Attendance cap[edit]

Anime North has considered implementing an attendance cap to address overcrowding issues. Such a cap was enacted in 2012; a decision made in fall 2011 confirmed it.[4] Citing long lineups and overwork of staff and volunteers as the main reasons for capping attendance in 2012, they countered (compensated) this announcement by proclaiming pre-registration for the con to be opened on January 2, 2012, giving a large amount of time for fans who want to attend AN 2012 to plan ahead their convention trip.

As of early May 2012, weekend passes have sold out and none were available for purchase at the door. The convention had capped the sales of passes to the following figures:

  • Full weekend: 15,000
  • Friday-only: 5,000
  • Saturday-only: 5,000
  • Sunday-only: 5,000

Also, Anime North 2012 had a daily cap of 20,000 attendees.[4]

For 2013, the same attendance cap was maintained and pre-registration opened on January 2, 2013.

Event history[edit]

Dates Location Attendance Guests
August 9, 1997 The Michener Institute
Toronto, Ontario
800[5] ...
August 22–23, 1998 The Michener Institute
Toronto, Ontario
747 Christina Carr, John DeMita, Martin Hunger, Mark C. MacKinnon, Matt K. Miller, Fred Perry, David L. Pulver, Fred Schodt, Barb Schofield.[6]
June 18–20, 1999 Ramada Airport East Hotel
Toronto, Ontario
850 Christina Carr, Robert DeJesus, Hitoshi Doi, Martin Hunger, Hyi-san, Locke, Mark C. MacKinnon, Pandora Diane MacMillan, Matt K. Miller, David L. Pulver, Barb Schofield, Kenji Shimizu.[7]
June 16–18, 2000 Ramada Airport East Hotel
Toronto, Ontario
1,001[8] ...
May 25–27, 2001 Toronto Airport Marriott
Rexdale, Ontario
1,841 Steve Bennett, Stephanie Brown, Keith Burgess, Tristen Citrine, Julie Davis, Ben Dunn, Shimpei Itoh, Fred Ladd, John Martin, Aubry Mintz, Billie Mintz, Mio Odagi, Van Partible, John Pham, Peter Rebelo, Sailor JAMboree, Mark Simmons, Doug Smith.[9]
May 24–26, 2002 Regal Constellation Hotel
Toronto, Ontario
3,000 Anshin School of Karate, Steve Bennett, Keith Burgess, Julie Davis, Ben Dunn, The Jem Project, David Kaye, Diana Kou, Fred Ladd, Jason Lee, John Martin, Scott McNeil, Sailor JAM-Boree, Mark Simmons, Doug Smith, and Amanda Winn Lee.[10]
May 16–18, 2003 Regal Constellation Hotel
Toronto, Ontario
4,875 Anshin School of Karate, Steve Bennett, Brian Drummond, Ben Dunn, Saffron Henderson, Mark Hildreth, The Jem Project, David Kaye, John Martin, Miyako Matsuda, Scott McNeil, Hikaru Midorikawa, Frank Miller, Kirby Morrow, Claude J. Pelletier, Stan Sakai, Doug Smith, Brad Swaile, and Kathryn Williams.[11]
May 21–23, 2004 Toronto Congress Centre
Renaissance Toronto Airport Hotel[12]
Toronto, Ontario
8,500 Steve Bennett, Richard Ian Cox, Michael Dobson, Brian Drummond, Ben Dunn, Atsuko Enomoto, David Kaye, Les Major, Nobuyuki Ohnishi, Moneca Stori, and Studio Udon.[13]
May 27–29, 2005 Toronto Congress Centre
Doubletree International Hotel
Toronto, Ontario
9,500 Susan Aceron, Rob Bakewell, Trevor Devall, Brian Dobson, Michael Dobson, Paul Dobson, Brian Drummond, Ben Dunn, Hilary Haag, Matt Hill, Lamia, Carl Macek, Les Major, Scott McNeil, Vic Mignogna, Kevin Mowrer, Stan Sakai, Asami Sanada, Rob Travalino, Sam Vincent, and Cathy Weseluck.[14]
May 26–28, 2006 Toronto Congress Centre
Doubletree International Hotel
Toronto, Ontario
12,500 Steve Bennett, Keith Burgess, Colleen Clinkenbeard, Mark Dillon, Brian Dobson, Michael Dobson, Ben Dunn, Quinton Flynn, Donald Kinney, Sen'no Knife, Kotoko, Lamia, Les Major, Cynthia Martinez, Jeff Nimoy, Tim Park, Scott Ramsoomair, Nekoi Ruto, Sonny Strait, Kathryn Williams, and Tommy Yune.[15]
May 25–27, 2007 Toronto Congress Centre
Doubletree International Plaza Hotel
Renaissance Toronto Airport Hotel
Toronto, Ontario
13,500 Steve Bennett, Johnny Yong Bosch, Keith Burgess, Svetlana Chmakova, Ben Dunn, Peter Fernandez, Tiffany Grant, Matt Greenfield, Donald Kinney, Wendee Lee, Les Major, Sara E. Mayhew, Alex Milne, Nan Yan, Ryan North, Corinne Orr, Derek Stephen Prince, Scott Ramsoomair, Michelle Ruff, Patrick Seitz, Stephanie Sheh, Spider's Kiss, Sonny Strait, Wire, and ZZ.[16]
May 23–25, 2008 Toronto Congress Centre
Doubletree International Plaza Hotel
Renaissance Toronto Airport Hotel
Toronto, Ontario
13,300 Yamila Abraham, Steve Bennett, Benoît Cécyre, Camilla d'Errico, Trevor Devall, Mark Dillon, Trevor Devall, Brian Dobson, Ben Dunn, Quinton Flynn, Liana Kerzner, Donald Kinney, Les Major, Nina Matsumoto, Sara E. Mayhew, Alex Milne, Halko Momoi, Jeff Nimoy, Noizytoys, Claude J. Pelletier, Ed the Sock, Spike Spencer, Sonny Strait, Studio Udon, Brad Swaile, and Tara Tallen.[17]
May 22–24, 2009 Toronto Congress Centre
Doubletree International Plaza Hotel
Renaissance Toronto Airport Hotel
Toronto, Ontario
14,800 Benoît Cécyre, Bukkyo-kai Dance Group, Svetlana Chmakova, Heather Dale, Camilla d'Errico, Karen Dick(cancelled), Ricky Dick, Mark Dillon, Ben Dunn, Jessie Flower, Jess Hartley, Heroes of the World, Mark Hildreth, Nobuyuki Hiyama, Steve Horton, Yuri Lowenthal, Les Major, Vic Mignogna, Nagata Shachu, Tara Platt, Carrie Savage, Malcolm Sheppard, Tara Tallan, and Douglas Tong.[18]
May 28–30, 2010 Toronto Congress Centre
Doubletree International Plaza Hotel
Sheraton Toronto Airport
Marriott Toronto Airport
Toronto, Ontario
16,800[4] Christopher Ayres, Greg Ayres, Ricky Dick, Yaya Han, Brittney Karbowski, Jushin Liger (cancelled), Derwin Mak, Vic Mignogna, Akira "Kiyoshi" Raijin, Micah Solusod, Manabu Soya, John Swasey, David Vincent[19] and Shawn Spears.
May 27–29, 2011 Toronto Congress Centre
Doubletree International Plaza Hotel
Sheraton Toronto Airport
Marriott Toronto Airport
Toronto, Ontario
19,951 The 404s, Robert Axelrod, Christopher Ayres, Greg Ayres, Brian Dobson, Michael Dobson, Ben Dunn, The Fool, Barbara Goodson, HITT, The iammatthewian Project, Kyle Jones, Helen McCarthy, Miki Narahashi, John Swasey, Kumiko Watanabe[20] and Shawn Spears.
May 25–27, 2012 Toronto Congress Centre
Doubletree International Plaza Hotel
Sheraton Toronto Airport
Marriott Toronto Airport
Crowne Plaza Hotel
Radisson Suites Hotel
Toronto, Ontario
22,385 The 404's, Adapter, Yuu Asakawa, Christopher Ayres, Steve Bennett, Benoît Cécyre, Julie E. Czerneda, Karen Dales, Ben Dunn, Jim Felker, J.M. Frey, Mac Christian Heywood, Hoshi*Furu, The iammatthewian Project, Benjamin Israel, Adrienne Kress, lix, Les Major, Marlee, Helen McCarthy, The Moonroses, Carli Mosier, Brina Palencia, Pinku! Project, Shelly Tsivia Rabinovitch, Scott Ramsoomair, Rem, Monica Rial, Akira Sasanuma, Elizabeth Schram, Lianne Sentar, DJ Shimamura, J. Michael Tatum, Miranda Tempest, Lee Tockar, Mike Toole, Mayrhosby Yeoshen.[21]
May 24–26, 2013 Toronto Congress Centre
Doubletree International Plaza Hotel
Sheraton Toronto Airport
Marriott Toronto Airport
Crowne Plaza Hotel
Radisson Suites Hotel
Toronto, Ontario
23,700 AWOI, Lynda Ballantyne, Steve Bennett, Chris Cason, Kate Daley, Ben Dunn, Katie Griffin, Ryo Horikawa, Hoshi*Furu, Kevin Lillard, Bruce Mai, Nora Mai, Sarah McNeal, Eriko Nakamura, Trina Nishimura, Tyson Rinehart, Susan Roman, Chii Sakurabi, John Stocker, John Swasey, J. Michael Tatum, Umbrella.[22]
May 23–25, 2014 Toronto Congress Centre
Doubletree International Plaza Hotel
Sheraton Toronto Airport
Marriott Toronto Airport
Crowne Plaza Hotel
Radisson Suites Hotel
Toronto, Ontario
28,509 Linda Ballantyne, Michael Benyaer, Brian Dobson, Michael Dobson, Ben Dunn, Brian Froud, Mai Goto, Katie Griffin, Yumi Hara, Benjamin Israel, Deven Christian Mac, Scott McNeil, Toby Proctor, Susan Roman, Hidekatsu Shibata, John Stocker

Mascot[edit]

Hoppouno Momiji, a fictional redhead with a taste for both anime and anything Canadian, serves as Anime North's dominant mascot. Her various incarnations and the original concept art in which she was conceived can be found here.[23] Momiji's many manifestations are used on all AN clothing, badges, and other wearables. She was originally created for the convention by the Japanese artist Hyi-San.

Other anime conventions in the GTA[edit]

The Greater Toronto Area has several anime conventions or multigenre conventions with anime programming other than Anime North. They are:

  • March Toronto Anime Convention, by HOBBYSTAR (in March)
  • ConBravo! (in July)
  • Atomic Lollipop (in July)
  • Fan Expo Canada (in August)
  • Unplugged Expo (in October)
  • December Toronto Anime Convention, by HOBBYSTAR (in December)
  • Frostcon (in January)

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://animecons.com/events/info.shtml/4221/Anime_North_2014
  2. ^ Delahanty, Patrick (2014-01-06). "Ten Largest North American Anime Conventions of 2013". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2014-02-05. 
  3. ^ http://www.animenorth.org/an06/moonlight_m.php
  4. ^ a b c Notice to Attendees: Attendance Cap to be Enacted in 2012, Anime North website.
  5. ^ "Anime North 1997 Information". AnimeCons.ca. Retrieved 2008-05-09. 
  6. ^ "Anime North 1998 Information". AnimeCons.ca. Retrieved 2011-03-24. 
  7. ^ "Anime North 1999 Information". AnimeCons.ca. Retrieved 2011-06-29. 
  8. ^ "Anime North 2000 Information". AnimeCons.ca. Retrieved 2008-05-09. 
  9. ^ "Anime North 2001 Information". AnimeCons.ca. Retrieved 2011-06-29. 
  10. ^ "Anime North 2002 Information". AnimeCons.ca. Retrieved 2008-05-09. 
  11. ^ "Anime North 2003 Information". AnimeCons.ca. Retrieved 2008-05-09. 
  12. ^ "Linus Lam Network News at Anime North 2004". usagichan.com. Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  13. ^ "Anime North 2004 Information". AnimeCons.ca. Retrieved 2008-05-09. 
  14. ^ "Anime North 2005 Information". AnimeCons.ca. Retrieved 2008-05-09. 
  15. ^ "Anime North 2006 Information". AnimeCons.ca. Retrieved 2008-05-09. 
  16. ^ "Anime North 2007 Information". AnimeCons.ca. Retrieved 2008-05-09. 
  17. ^ "Anime North 2008 Information". AnimeCons.ca. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  18. ^ "Anime North 2009 Information". AnimeCons.ca. Retrieved 2009-05-19. 
  19. ^ "Anime North 2010 Information". AnimeCons.ca. Retrieved 2010-05-20. 
  20. ^ "Anime North 2011 Information". AnimeCons.ca. Retrieved 2011-05-26. 
  21. ^ "Anime North 2012 Information". AnimeCons.ca. Retrieved 2012-05-09. 
  22. ^ "Anime North 2013 Information". AnimeCons.ca. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  23. ^ http://www.animenorth.com/design_winners.php

External links[edit]