Which is the better GTA Anime Conference?
Two of the largest conventions in the Greater Toronto Area happen in the months of May and August. Anime North is the only yearly grand scale Anime convention, while Fan Expo is an speculative fiction convention, that once held the CNAnime convention inside it before becoming one with the entire convention. Cosplaying can cost a lot though, along with the inevitable shopping the stalls will bring, so if your bank account will only let you go to one, which one should it be?
One of the best parts of going to conventions is seeing the people who voice your favourite characters. So which has a better guest list?
They actually seem to be pretty balanced, even with Anime North being a Not-For-Profit convention. Anime North has had Eric Vale, Micah Solusod, Barbara Radecki all in attendance, compared to Fan Expo who’s guest have included Bex Taylor-Klaus, Todd Haberkorn, and Maile Flanagan.
Anime North’s quantity of guest can vary year to year, but are usually free or cheaper to see then Fan Expo, where you need to pay to talk to the guest or get their signature. Because of this payment though, guests get paid more at Fan Expo, so they usually have a larger quantity of guests available yearly.
Fan Expo is located in the main city of Toronto, and so after the convention the ends or you need a break from the excitement there is a lot more to do, while Anime North is held on the outskirts in Etobicoke.
Anime North is also spread over a few venues, sometimes involving a fifteen minute walk to get from one to the other, while Fan Expo is all held in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. This means all of Fan Expo is held in AC (not including everyone who just hangs out in cosplay outside of the centre), while much of Anime North is held outside, often in the first heat wave of the year.
Anime North caps their attendance for tickets at 20,000 a day while over four days FanExpo regularly has over 130,000 people in attendance. Your opinion of crowds may help influence which convention holds more interest for you.
A weekend admission cost $60 at Anime North, while a deluxe pass for the full four days of Fan Expo starts at double that, $125 or $137 at the door. Fan Expo has a few different packages that may interest people. Children (age 6-12) only cost $10 a day at Fan Expo, while tickets for children (age 6-13) at Anime North are only half price.
Anime North’s tickets price start at $35 for the first and last days, which would be Friday and Sunday, while the middle day cost $45. FanExpo ticket’s cost $5 more when you pay at the door, meaning booking in advance is better when being price conscience. Thursday is the cheapest day but the doors are only open for 4 hours, meaning it only cost $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Friday is the next cheapest, costing $40 in advance, and Sunday is the second highest price with tickets costing $45. Saturday is the most expensive day with tickets costing $60 in advance or $65 at the door.
Which One is Better?
Fan Expo has more then just the Anime convention so the price has a lot more included, along with a much better location if you want to fill the entire day with activities, or would prefer to stay in the air conditioning. If you are only interested in Anime though, Anime North would be your preferred convention.
Elizabeth Ayana Hall
Elizabeth is a second year professional writing student who lives on anime, books, and cheese.
She does not actually spend time outside, it is a eco-wall behind her.