• Home
  • /
  • Saturday Costume Contest

The Costume Contest is a time for you to showcase and compete with your best cosplay work! The event welcomes all ages, skill-levels, and ambitions! Registration will be held at the Data Desk at the designation times on Friday and Saturday morning. Prejudging will take place early Saturday afternoon.

The possible categories you can enter are: Junior (12 & under), Novice, Journeyman, Artisan, and Master. The presentation category is also an option for those who have not made their costume, but wish to perform on stage and not compete in the competition itself.

Sign Up Times:

  • Friday @ Data Desk (5:00pm – 7:00pm)

  • Saturday @ Data Desk (10:00am -12:30pm)

***Winners will receive a certificate and prize. Winners will be announced during Closing Ceremonies that will take place Sunday afternoon. For more information, please visit the Data Desk during convention weekend.


Rules & Category Guidelines

Please be sure to read all guidelines to ensure that your costume is appropriate and ready for the costume contest!

General Guidelines

  • The Costume Contest Team reserves the right to eliminate anyone from competition on the basis of taste, danger to the audience/other contestants or for any other reason deemed sufficient.
  • All children 12 years of age or under who wish to enter the Workmanship Competition must enter the Junior Category.
  • Purchased costumes may only be shown in the Stage Competition category. (See Stage Competition category for details)
  • No nudity. This is a family friendly event and uncovered genitalia is just as unacceptable during the costume contest as it is at any other time and will result in removal from the convention.
  • Non-humans will NOT be allowed backstage or onstage. If your costume requires a less human companion (dog, cat, snake, mouse, bird, etc), they must be stuffed or simulated. Exceptions will only be made for non-humans required for assistance by the contestant such as guide/service dogs.
  • Capercon forbids the use of peanut butter as an element of a costume or its design.
  • If your costume has placed 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in a Workmanship category (Novice, Journeyman, Artisan, Master) at Capercon or a Capercon event no part of that winning costume can be reused or repurposed in future competition at Capercon or a Capercon event in any capacity.
  • We will not be allowing the use of a microphone.
  • We may be unable to accept sound files.

Weapons Policy

  • Weapons that are deemed unfit for Capercon, if required for the costume contest, must be kept with security at all times before and after you are on stage. Weapon confiscation at any time during Capercon revokes your ability to use it in the costume contest (refer to weapons policy for details). This does not apply to live firearms or any weapon with projectiles which will NEVER be permitted. Further details about our policies can be found on our policies page.

Stage Competition Overview

  • Any Capercon attendee  who wishes to can enter the Stage competition! There are no restrictions other than what is permitted at Capercon. For an outline of what those rules are please visit our Policies page.
  • If your costume is a commission (someone else has made it) it can be entered into the stage competition BUT you must give credit to the person who made the costume at time of registration.
  • Given our time constraints you must inform the Costume Contest Staff if you intend to do anything other than walk on and off the stage by telling us when you register for the competition. Anything done on stage that is not previously approved by Costume Contest Staff will result in disqualification from competition. No alterations to your requests will be permitted after you have registered.
  • Music: We may be unable to accept sound files.

Workmanship Competition Overview

  • When you register for any category in the Workmanship Competition you will be given a time slot to be judged at. Report to the location indicated by costume contest staff,meet the judge and do a one-on-one with them about your costume. All Workmanship Competition judging takes place on the day of the Costume Contest. Once your judging is complete you are free to go until it is time to line up for the Stage Competition.
  • All Workmanship Competition Contestants must also enter the Stage Competition or they will be disqualified from prizing. If you do not care about prizing do not enter the competition, people who do care deserve the chance to place.
  • Reference photos (pictures of the character your cosplaying) are required at time of registration. They can be digital or physical.
  • Fraudulent information provided to staff, or judges will result in immediate removal from competition. You may still be permitted stage time but will not be eligible for a prize or honourable mention.
  • Purchased costumes may not be entered into the Workmanship Competition. They can only be entered in the Stage Competition.
  • Below is an outline of what counts as purchased: (we reserve the right to update this as the needed)
    • Mass produced costumes you find in stores, or bought online.
    • Less than 80% of your costume was made or drastically altered by you.
    • Costumes made for business purposes (theatrical and professional) or commissioned costumes (made for you by someone else).
    • Your costume is composed of a compilation of various store finds which have not been sufficiently altered.

Workmanship Competition Categories

  • The Director and/or the judges reserve the right to promote or demote your category selection to one more fitting of your obvious skill level without consultation.
  • If you hold Workmanship (or similar) awards for costuming from any other recognized event you cannot enter a category below that level. If you place (1st, 2nd or 3rd) in the same category in the Capercon Costume Contest three times you are promoted to the next category level and unable to enter lower.
  • All children 12 years of age or under must enter the Junior Category.
  • All professionals must enter the Masters category. Professionals are an individual or individuals who earn 50% or more of their living by costuming.
  • Purchased costumes can only be entered in the Stage Competition.
  • All Workmanship Competition Contestants must also enter the Stage Competition or they will be disqualified from prizing.


  • Any contestant 12 years of age or under at the time of this competition will compete as a junior. The Junior Division of our Workmanship Competition is divided into two subdivisions.
      • Junior Self-made: A junior contestant who has largely or wholly constructed their own costume.
    • Junior Adult-Made: A junior contestant whose costume has been largely or wholly constructed by an adult.

Novice* (*qualifications have changed)

    • Must be 13 years of age or older.
    • Have no awards for costuming from Hal-Con or other convention/event above Novice.
    • Is the only category under which clothes that were purchased can be used as long as they have been altered in a major way. At least 80% of the purchased item(s) must be altered -Diagram- (coming soon)
  • If your costume is a commission (someone else has made it) it cannot be entered here.


    • Must be 13 years of age or older.
    • Can but is not required to have awards in costuming of an equal or lower level.
    • Displays an average knowledge of craftsmanship.
  • If your costume is a commission (someone else has made it) it cannot be entered here.


    • Must be 13 years of age or older.
    • Can but is not required to have awards in costuming of an equal or lower level
    • Displays an above average knowledge of craftsmanship
  • If your costume is a commission (someone else has made it) it cannot be entered here.


    • Must be 13 years of age or older.
    • Can but is not required to hold awards in one or all categories.
    • Displays a professional level of craftsmanship, attention to detail, and performance.
    • All industry professionals must enter this category. (See definition of “Professionals” above.)
  • If your costume is a commission (someone else has made it) it cannot be entered here.

Note: If you win a workmanship competition award in a category you will no longer be permitted to enter a lower category at Capercon. (example: You placed in Journeyman so cannot enter Novice ever again)


    • This section is an explanation of how the awards are broken up. It has nothing to do with the application process and is informational only. Also, it is subject to change without notice BUT be assured changes will not take place once registration has begun.
  • Some awards are being sponsored by interested fan groups and Capercon Sponsors as well as local groups and businesses.

Stage Awards

    • Most Stage Awards are created by the judges during the contest to highlight achievement in excellence. The categories they come up with are varied and may not be awarded year after year but there are a few which we strongly suggest to them as long as the minimum number of entries is met.
    • They are as follows; Group, Skit and/or Presentation, Video Game, Duo, Original Concept, and Major Props. The judges also each get to pick a personal favourite based on whatever qualifications they deem fit.
  • Some examples of awards which have been created in the past are; Look a like, Rockin Retro, Most Accurate, Crowd Pleaser, From a Novel, From a Cartoon, Genderbend, From TV, Horror, Mashup and Tamer of the Tendrils. There is no guarantee any of these will be awarded again, they are listed here only as examples to highlight how varied the stage awards can be.

Workmanship Competition

  • All workmanship prizes are awarded at the ending ceremonies on Sunday with stage awards.

Note: If you are unable to attend the ending ceremonies for any reason all reasonable efforts will be made to contact you and get your certificate, and/or prizes to you.

Best Of Show

  • This is awarded to the best performance and display of craftsmanship to an individual or group. Best of show is the highest award given and if won is the only award won that year by those to whom it is awarded. The costume(s) (but not the participants) awarded this level of prestige are eliminated from competition at future Capercon events. Best of show draws from all participants in the competition and is not exclusive to workmanship contest contestants or any particular category.

Download a copy of Costume Contest Rules & Categories Here! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us as [email protected]!