To ensure the safety and enjoyment of all who will be attending the upcoming Anime North, we ask that all visitors observe the following con policies. Any questions regarding these policies should be directed to the staff or office. Thank you.
Con Attendance Info - Parents' FAQ
With so many younger con goers, we realize parents out there worry about what their kids are in for when they come to Anime North. So we've put together this page to try and answer the questions you have.
Anime North is a not-for-profit event run by volunteers who spend the year getting ready to put on a weekend that is lively, family-friendly and most of all dedicated to helping raise funds for the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. Many of our people are parents themselves and we're all concerned with seeing that the kids who come to our convention benefit from the time they spend socializing with a wide range of others and seeing guest speakers from Japan and North America, as well as just having fun.
The hotels around the Toronto Congress Centre are located near the Pearson International Airport and used by many of the top airlines as stopover accommodations for their flight crews. With these hotels, you'll find clean, comfortable and attractive rooms with a full security staff. The TCC shares the block with other upscale hotels, restaurants for tourists and business travelers and the headquarters of some of Canada's top corporations in a district known for its safety and peacefulness at any time of the day.
Anime North has its own security people as well, keeping an eye on all the events, and a comprehensive set of policies to deal with any problems that may come up. In case of emergency, we have staff who work in the medical field or have had extensive training in first aid who will be capable of handling it.
We share your concerns about the most sensitive issues, like harassment and pay close attention to potential trouble. Anyone who thinks they may have a problem is encouraged to approach us at any time for help, though in the many years Anime North has been running, we've never had any notable incidents.
All events in Anime North function space, including our Dance and hospitality suite are alcohol-free. There is a bar in the hotel for those who wish to drink and are of legal age to do so.
To those who aren't familiar with anime, misleading press coverage may have given you the idea that it's nothing but "pornographic cartoons". This is anything but true. Anime ranges across the whole spectrum of genres and ratings, with the adult titles making up only a fraction of what's available. Far more common are children's shows, comedies, historical drama and literary classics. Most of what we show in the public viewing rooms at Anime North could be broadcast on TV without a problem. While we do show the occasional mature title, these are scheduled late at night and we restrict access to those over 18.
Artwork with adult content is not allowed to be displayed openly in our Art Show or Artists Alley, and our Dealers Room contract forbids the display or sale of such merchandise to underage shoppers.
Anime North does not allow the sale of merchandise that contravenes the Criminal Code of Canada or provincial or local laws. Dealer’s contracts specifically forbid such sales and every year, we work with law enforcement to ensure that no illegal items “slip through”.
Weapons and Large Props Rules, Regulations, and Liability Limitations
For the safety of all con attendees, the following policy towards such items will be strictly enforced. Costumers are expected to read and comply to it completely. Failure to do so will result in warnings and potentially loss of convention membership.
Please note that certain exemptions to rules 3, 4, or 7 may be considered for the purpose of the Costume Masquerade ONLY. If you wish to submit a weapon or routine for special consideration, please consult with the Masquerade Director prior to the masquerade registration deadline.
- NO live firearms. Removal of firing pin or bolt does not negate this rule!
- NO prohibited weapons (as defined by applicable Canadian Laws). Examples include (but are not limited to):
- Bali-Song ("butterfly knife") or switchblade/dropblade style knives.
- Nunchucks, Tonfas, Shurikens, or similarly restricted Martial Arts Weapons, which are illegal under the Criminal Code of Canada (foam models of these items are permitted).
- Law Enforcement items such as Batons, Tasers or Mace.
- NO Replicas of Contemporary Firearms (i.e. beginning from the era of revolvers - U.S. Civil War forward to any currently manufactured firearms).
- NO metal weapons or yaoi paddles. Metal weapons shall include but not be limited to swords, knives and daggers. (Plastic or wood that LOOK'S like metal is permitted.)
- All weapons must be holstered, sheathed or slung in an approved fashion.
- Weapons will not be drawn or displayed outside of convention function space (except in the privacy of a hotel room), or in any public or crowded area except for specific photo ops areas.
- Due and full consideration must be given to physical safety and peace of mind of other persons at all times, this includes the general public and venue staff, not just other convention attendees.
- All weapons or large props must be checked and authorized by the Weapons Masters at the Weapons Registration tables at the TCC (see pocket program). Upon approval, the weapon(s) will be bonded and your convention badge marked accordingly.
- Any weapons which fail to meet the safety criteria of the Weapons Masters must be immediately (and discreetly) returned to storage (e.g.: your hotel room or vehicle) for the duration of the convention or be checked by the Weapons Master. Please note it is your responsibility to pick up your checked weapons. Any props or weapons left with the Weapons Master beyond the close of registration Sunday become the property of Anime North.
- Convention Operation Services and ConCom members reserve the right to inspect weapons, peace bond and convention badge markings at any time. Any signs of tampering will be referred to the Weapons Master for confirmation of authenticity.
- Horseplay (of any kind, whether participants are consenting parties or not) with weapons will not be tolerated. All persons involved may be penalized depending upon the nature of the severity of the offense. All complaints of behavior of this nature will be dealt with immediately by Anime North.
- Failure to adhere to one or more of the above rules will result in any or all of the following penalties being swiftly enforced.
- Immediate loss of the privilege to carry weapons
- Expulsion, without refund, from the Anime North Convention
- Any act of gross negligence or public endangerment may result in criminal charges beyond the control of Anime North (please remember that the general public may have no idea that the convention is in progress and may react in the extreme if they feel threatened).
The decision of the Weapons Master and ConCom members are final and will be strictly enforced to ensure a safe environment for all convention attendees.
Anime North is a non-smoking convention. Smoking is prohibited except where venue policy permits.
Children (under the age of 14)
A parent or guardian must accompany children under 14 at all times. Parents and guardians are responsible for the well-being and behavior of all children in their care.
Alcohol, Drugs, Theft, Vandalism
The legal drinking age in Ontario is 19. Drugs, theft and vandalism are illegal and will be dealt with accordingly.
Bus and Transport between Venues
- A convention shuttle service will run between the Toronto Congress Center, Doubletree Hotel and the Sheraton Hotel (see pocket program for times). There will be a special shuttle Friday night only to the Marriott Hotel for use by attendees of the Moonlight Ball.
- Some of the other affiliated hotels may run their own shuttles to the convention, these shuttles are not the responsibility of the convention.
- If it’s not allowed in the venue, it’s not allowed on the bus. Any incidents may result in being banned from riding the bus as well as all other penalties previously stated.
- The hotels charge a daily rate for parking, generally between $10 - $14. There is free parking at the Toronto Congress Center, but overnight parking is NOT allowed, you must move your car once the TCC closes.
Congoers who use assistive devices or face other barriers in taking part fully in the events at Anime North due to health, age, temporary disability or illness, or other issues, may register at no extra cost at the Con-AID desk for an Access Attendee ribbon. Ribbon pickup and registration will be at TCC Con-AID table only. This applies to both Access members and attendants. All others must go through main registration even when traveling together.
- The Access ribbon is in addition to the standard badge issued at registration and is used to alert Anime North Staff that you are eligible for Access Services such as seating and line-up priority.
- You must provide proof that you have paid for an Anime North membership either through pre-registration or at the door before you will be issued an Access ribbon.
- Attendant memberships will be available for free to access attendees who bring an officially recognized attendant (CNIB staff, private service staff, ASL interpreters, etc) or a family member who serves in the same capacity.
Only one attendant allowed per Access membership and only available to those with long term needs. Attendant must accompany the Access member at pickup. Access member may be asked to show a government approved access card.
The Access Ribbon provides:
- Reserved seating in Main Room. Tickets or wristbands will still be required for limited capacity events.
- Front of Line, Early Entry and Advance Seating to events where crowds may be an issue.
- Wristband pickup at the Con-AID desk at the Doubletree Hotel. Wristbands for Access will be issued at the same time they are issued for general attendees.
- Phone numbers and directions for nearby hospitals, clinics, veterinarians (for service animals) accessible transport, opticians, pharmacies, etc.
We cannot provide:
- Lifting carrying or other physical contact beyond what is necessary in emergency situations.
- Wheelchairs, crutches, canes or other needed devices.
- Drugs, prescription or over the counter. Herbal treatments.
- Dietetic foods.
Access privileges do not extend to members of your party who do not otherwise qualify for them.
If you do not need an attendant, or already have one, you are welcome to be a volunteer.
Your name badge is proof of your membership and must be worn at all times to guarantee admission to con events. You must write your full name on the badge (a convention name can be added underneath). Selling your badge to another person is prohibited, as is wearing a badge with a name not your own. Either are grounds for the badge to be confiscated.
Lost badges should be reported promptly to the Con-Aid (information) desk in the TTC. There will be a $20 replacement fee for lost badges.
Operation Services (Convention Security)
Convention Operation Services staff will be wearing distinctive badges. If you need any assistance just ask, if you see any problems, report it promptly.
Due to safety issues, Anime North will be following strict guidelines for entry to the Dealer Room where appropriate.
- Restricted admissions.
- Time limits.
- Traffic redirection.
- Early entry for those with Mobility/Access memberships.
- Any other measures necessary to ensure safety.
Note that Weapons/Props with metal blades may be for sale in the Dealer’s Room. These items are for sale under strict guidelines – namely once sold they are provided to the customer in a sealed box which is not to be opened or the weapon displayed in general convention areas. Doing so may result in badge confiscation and the attendee having to leave the convention.
Service Animals and Pets
Service animals are welcome everywhere as required by Ontario law. Pets, including dogs, cats, birds, small animals or exotic animals are not allowed inside function rooms during con events or in any indoor hotel or TCC space without written permission of the venue. Please check with hotels for their policy about pets in guest rooms.
“Glomping” (aggressive hugging, often without warning) can be disruptive and even cause harm to unsuspecting targets or bystanders being jostled in a crowded space. Please do not “Glomp” anyone without asking permission first. Repeated problems may be considered disruptive behavior and result in warnings and loss of convention membership.
Cameras and camcorders are not allowed in the Art Show. Photography of original artwork in Artists Alley is not allowed without permission of the artist.
- Flash photography is strictly forbidden for safety reasons.
- Non-flash Photography of the Masquerade is allowed ONLY where it does not obstruct others' view of the stage.
- A designated filming area will be set up for taping of the Masquerade. Numbers will be strictly limited due to space. Media Representative will be given preference, please contact the Media Dept for access. Any space left over may be made available to general attendees on a first come, first served basis at the beginning of the Masquerade. Because of the demand, we cannot guarantee anyone a space ahead of time.
- Photo Stations will be set up in the hall for attendees to have further opportunity to photograph contestants as they exit after their turn on stage.
Photography of all other aspects of the con is allowed, as long as it does not disrupt events or the flow of traffic and the subject does not object. Please be considerate and ask first before taking pictures of guests, con staff, other attendees or the general public.
Please be aware as an attendee of Anime North that media representatives will be present at the con and may be filming at any time.
General Hotel FAQs
A credit card number is required to confirm a reservation. If you do not have a credit card available, a cash or money order deposit will be necessary upon check-in. If the credit card holder will not be staying in the hotel room (i.e. if your parents make the reservation for you), then they must sign a form at the check-in to take responsibility for any damage resulting in the room.
In any case, there must be at least one adult of legal age (18 years +) staying in the room. No minors will be able to stay at a hotel without adult supervision.
Appropriate action will be taken in the case of attendees who are found to be in violation of hotel rules for use of guest rooms. Violations include, but are not limited to:
- Exceeding the maximum occupancy per hotel room. Hotel management has the right to evict anyone who is not registered with them as a guest from guest rooms.
- Charging admission to a room party serving alcohol without a liquor license or serving alcohol to minors. If this is found to have happened, legal action will be taken.
- Selling merchandise out of private hotel rooms.
- Engaging in any other behavior that is illegal or disruptive. This will result in loss of convention membership and possible legal action by the hotel.
Cosplayers with costumes that are bulky, difficult to maneuver, restrict vision, have mascot-type heads, projecting shoulders or otherwise present possible safety issues for the wearer or those they come in contact with are asked to travel with an unencumbered escort (someone in no costume or one without any restricting features) when moving through high-traffic public areas of the con. If no escort is available, you may be asked to return the costume to your hotel room or car, or remove and safely carry the portions of your costume causing concern.
Costume elements that may be offensive or disruptive are not welcome and anyone wearing them may be asked by Anime North staff to remove or cover up questionable items.
Carrying of signs in convention space will not be allowed unless the sign is a clearly understood and recognizable part of a cosplay costume (i.e., Genma Panda's signs).
- Food and drink is not allowed in function rooms except those designated.
- Seating is first-come, first-served. Due to fire regulations, sitting in aisles and seating beyond the room's capacity are not allowed, and we are bound by law to strictly enforce this.
- Please remember talking during videos is disruptive to other attendees and save your comments for outside.
- Anime North reserves the right to refuse admission to function rooms to those under 18 during videos and panels with adult content.
- Panhandling (begging for money, with or without performing music or other entertainment) is against local bylaws and will not be allowed in convention space.
- Laser pointers are not harmless toys; they are capable of inflicting serious eye damage. Irresponsible use of a laser pointer will result in loss of membership and expulsion from the convention.
- Water guns and projectiles are not allowed in convention space, any use of them in public will result in loss of membership and removal from the convention. All involved parties will be required to pay the cost of any property damages suffered by individuals, dealers or the hotel.
- Failure to follow the rules may result in loss of membership and expulsion from the convention.
- Have fun, enjoy yourself, be courteous to hotel staff and fellow attendees but please remember, the impression you make reflects on all of us.