Ottawa Pop Expo 2013 Masquerade Gallery, plus Heroes of Cosplay


Before the Ottawa Pop Expo Masquerade even started, there was a large amount of buzz surrounding it. Shortly before the convention, it was announced that Syfy’s controversial TV show Heroes of Cosplay would be filming an episode in Canada’s capital. Given the show’s penchant for drama, the reaction to the news was definitely polarizing. Although the show would be amazing exposure for a first year con, many feared that bringing the ‘heroes’ to town was unjust competition.


The masquerade started off as usual. The MCs introduced the judges (from left to right: Melting Mirror Cosplay, Nailo Syanadel, Frenzy Wonder and Heroes of Cosplay cast member Yaya Han). One of the two consequences of Heroes of Cosplay filming happened within the first ten contestants. The MCs were interrupted over the intercom and asked to return backstage. At this point the crowd was informed that the show was going to need to re-shoot the introduction segment of the masquerade. The MCs restarted the show, judges had to re-enter and be re-introduced, and the masquerade then proceeded all the way to the end of the ‘Master’ class with no further interruption.

Then the daleks happened.

Based on my Canadian Masquerade experiences, judges are usually given the night to go over notes and decide on their winners, which they then present the morning after the con. One can only assume that for purposes of show filming, the judges went to deliberate and the crowd was asked to remain in their seats for what would turn out to be an incredibly awkward, forced, ad-lib Doctor Who intermission…an intermission that lasted close to an HOUR.


I do not wish to attack those that participated in the intermission, as it was obvious that they were trying their absolute hardest to entertain a crowd growing more impatient by the minute. Despite their attempts, many crowd members quickly became restless and ignored announcements to stay in their seats at the request of the Heroes of Cosplay production team.

After what seemed like an eternity, the judges returned to the stage and announced a small portion of the prizes. Judges choices were shared by local cosplayers as well as by heroes. Perhaps the highlight of the night was local cosplayer Niq Vanderaa, who voluntarily competed in the master class against the cast of Heroes of Cosplay, winning the coveted ‘Best in Show’ prize for his take on The Hobbit’s Thranduil. Niq’s victory was not only well deserved but will most certainly serve as inspiration to the many cosplayers in the national capital region.

Reserving judgement until the episode is released will not be easy for some, as the intermissions during the masquerade were certainly cumbersome and easily avoidable. Will the inclusion of the show help to grow a brand, or will it alienate the local community whose support a new con desperately needs? Will drama and negativity overshadow a deserved win? Only time, and season 2 of Heroes of Cosplay, will tell.

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