The Calgary Expo understands that Cosplay is an important part of the vibrant tapestry that is nerd-culture. We want to our part to support and nurture Cosplay culture while maintaining standards of safety. If you’re planning to Cosplay at the Calgary Expo, please read through these policies and familiarize yourself with them. If in doubt, contact us with questions and/or concerns.
The prop application form can be found HERE.
Introduction to the Weapons and Costuming Policy
The Alberta Entertainment Expo Inc. strives to ensure that all of its staff, crew members, and attendees are provided with a safe and secure experience while attending any of our events. To facilitate this goal, the Expo will make every reasonable effort to educate and enforce compliance in all areas of hazard mitigation, accident prevention, and injury prevention. The Expo will create and enforce policy based upon this mandate.
The Alberta Entertainment Expo Inc. understands and acknowledges that a large component of the cosplay costumes require the use of props and weaponry. We would like to continue to encourage our attendees to enjoy the cosplay experience but must also enforce rules and guidelines that will ensure the safety of all staff, crew members, and attendees.
General Rules and Regulations
This section outlines the Alberta Entertainment Expo Inc. policies, rules, and regulations in regards to any and all props, weapons, and costumes being brought to or being displayed at any of the events run by the company. As there are too many props and items to individually define, the following general guidelines for weapons and props and how they will be handled at the venue have been defined;
Illegal and Restricted Items
Any weapons and/or props that are classified as “illegal” or “restricted” under City, Provincial, or Federal mandate are categorically barred from any Alberta Entertainment Expo Inc. event.
Visual Identification and Concealment
Any item that may be mistaken for a weapon by any person at a range of 25 feet will be considered to be classified as a weapon and will fall under 8.2.1. Weapons and Props MUST be in plain view at all times and not concealed. The item will be considered a weapon in such circumstances as;
a) A Police Officer could mistake it for a weapon at a range of 25 feet in the dark.
b) It could be concluded that the item in question could reasonably cause physical harm, could be used to cause physical harm, or could be used to make a person believe that they could come to physical harm.
c) The item in question could be used in such a manner to menace, threaten, or harass another individual.
Presentation and Inspection
ALL props and weapons must be presented to the Weapons & Prop Compliance Team on arrival at the venue to be peace bonded. Failure to adhere to this regulation may result in your prop/weapon being confiscated, or revocation of your convention pass.
a) The Weapons and Prop Compliance Team and Event Staff will have the final say on whether a prop or weapon will be allowed at the convention.
b) Any weapon or prop that does not pass peace bonding must be removed from the venue or checked into the Weapons Room immediately. Failure to comply with this mandate may result in revocation of your convention pass.
At NO time will any attendee use their props or weapons in any way that may be insinuated as an assault, an act of intimidation, or in any manner that may be deemed as harassing or threatening to any person. Failure to follow this mandate will result in immediate revocation of your convention pass and the proper authorities may be contacted.
All props and weapons may be subjected to continued assessment throughout the event by the Weapons and Prop Compliance Team or Event Staff.
All weapons bought at a designated weapon vendor onsite at the convention MUST comply with the stated Vendors Weapons Policy as described within this document.
All costumes worn to any Alberta Entertainment Expo Inc. event are subject to approval by Event Staff. Please be mindful that the event is a family friendly affair and there will be children onsite.
Should at any time a complaint be received regarding any cosplayers attire, an assessment will be made by Event Staff. Should that assessment find that the costume is lewd or in poor taste, the attendee must immediately depart the venue and/or change clothing before being allowed back into the event. Failure to comply may result in revocation of convention pass without refund.
Weapons and Prop Compliance Team
All members of the Alberta Entertainment Expo Inc. Weapon and Prop Compliance Team have been thoroughly educated on the policies, procedures, and mandates as outlined in this policy. It is their duty to ensure compliance of this policy is enforced through the acts of inspecting items and patrolling the venue looking for non-compliant attendees. Their role is to answer questions, give direction, and to issue and revoke peace bonds as necessary.
All weapons, props, and items may be inspected at any time by the Weapons and Compliance Team that an item is called into question.
All weapons, whether prop or not, must be peace bonded before being allowed inside the event. It is the responsibility of the attendee to present said items to the Weapons and Prop Compliance Team at the peace bonding table BEFORE entering the convention. To aid in speeding up the process, it is recommended that the attendee download and fill out the “Peace Bond Application” form prior to arrival at the event, and have it ready to submit at the peace bond table.
The Alberta Entertainment Expo Inc. strictly enforces a zero tolerance rule for concealed weapons of any sort. All weapons and props MUST be in plain and visible sight at all times. Should you be found to be in possession of a concealed weapon, you risk revocation of your convention pass and having the appropriate authorities contacted.
Skill and Determination
The effectiveness or ineffectiveness of the weapon or prop, or the skill, or lack of skill of the person in possession of the weapon or prop is irrelevant in the determination of whether or not the item is classified as a weapon.
Any and all props or weapons MUST be presented at the peace bonding table to be cleared PRIOR to entering into the event.
Onsite Purchase Compliance
Any items or weapons contrary to the stated policy that are purchased at a vendor inside the convention MUST be kept in compliance with the rules as set forth by the Vendors Weapons Policy as listed in this document. Failure to adhere to this policy puts you at risk of having the item confiscated or having your convention pass revoked.
Peace Bond Marks
Peace bond marks applied to your approved weapons/props MUST stay intact for the duration of the event. If you are caught deliberately removing or otherwise altering any peace bond marks you risk having the item confiscated and having your convention pass revoked.
Weapons and Props Storage Room
For any weapon, prop, or item found to contravene this policy, the Alberta Entertainment Expo Inc. supplies and operates a safe and controlled room where your items may be stored while in attendance at the event. The cost of storing items in this space is subject to the venues posted rates at the time of the event.
Responsibility for Stored Items
The Alberta Entertainment Expo Inc. shall bear no responsibility for theft, misplacement, or damage to any item stored in the Weapons and Prop Storage Room under any circumstance. If in doubt, do not bring the item to the event.
Banned and prohibited Weapons, Props, and Items
The Alberta Entertainment Expo Inc. considers the following items as “banned” at any event operated by the Company;
Absolutely no functional piece of projectile weaponry will be allowed at any Alberta Entertainment Expo Inc. event at any time, including thrown weaponry such as shuriken and throwing darts. There shall be no throwing of any kind of prop at any time.
Bows, whether compound or recurve will be allowed at an Alberta Entertainment Expo Inc. event provided they have had the string completely removed. The string must not be brought to the event.
Crossbows will be allowed provided they have been professionally destrung. Trigger guards shall not be considered as adequate protection.
Homemade Projectile Weaponry
Homemade bows or crossbows will be allowed provided they cannot under any circumstance fire any style of projectile.
Arrows and Bolts
Arrows and bolts may be used as a part of your cosplay provided all arrows are capped with blunt ends and secured together in some fashion to create a bundle. Absolutely no single or individual arrows or bolts will be allowed under any circumstance.
Replica firearms will be allowed provided they follow all conformities as outlined in this policy. They must under no circumstance resemble a real gun, or have the chance of being mistaken for a real gun. The barrel tip must be painted bright orange or red, and there must be no way in which the replica can, or be made to, fire any projectile of any sort.
Any and all paintball markers are considered to be prohibited and are not allowed at any Alberta Entertainment Expo Inc. event.
Any and all airsoft guns are considered to be prohibited and are not allowed at any Alberta Entertainment Expo Inc. event.
Nerf, Cap, and Toy Guns
All guns, whether replica or otherwise not directly covered under 8.6.1 must be presented at the peace bonding table and will be assessed on a case by case basis.
Silly String Guns or cans of Silly String are considered to be prohibited and are not allowed at any Alberta Entertainment Expo Inc. event.
Any and all ammunition, whether inert or not, including but not limited to bullets, grenades, shells, or casings are considered prohibited items and are not allowed at any Alberta Entertainment Expo Inc. event.
Metal Bladed Weaponry
Absolutely no metal blade weaponry is allowed regardless of sharpness or hardness of the blade. This includes swords, knives, axes, pole arms, or any other prop composed of metal.
Boken, kendo, and other wooden practice swords shall be deemed as bladed weapons under this policy.
Yaoi paddles are for all intents and purposes deemed as weapons under this policy and are strictly forbidden.
Leashes and Neck Restraints
No collars of any type or style that is attached to a leash or a length of cord or other item intended to be used as a leash will be allowed.
Explosives of any style or type, whether live or inert, are not allowed at the convention. This includes fireworks, smoke bombs, stink bombs, flash paper, gunpowder, or any other item intended to be ignited.
Gas, Smoke, and Chemical Devices
Chemical or other items that dispel any kind of gas, odour, or smoke are prohibited.
Noise Producing Items
Any prop or items that cause excessive noise are prohibited.
Whips of any style are allowed as a costume accessory only. Absolutely no use of any whip shall be allowed at any time. Contravention of this rule may result in the item being confiscated, or having your convention pass revoked.
Laser pointers are considered prohibited from any Alberta Entertainment Expo Inc. event regardless of size, type, or strength.
Handcuffs, Restraints, Ties, Collars, Bindings, etc.
Handcuffs, restraints, chains, and bindings may be used as a part of your costume, however under no circumstance will any person be allowed to have said items used to restrain the free movement of any other individual. Contravention of this rule may result in the item being confiscated, or having your convention pass revoked.
Collars or other forms of neck restraints will be allowed provided that at no time there is any form of leash, cord, or other item intended to lead or control an individual’s free movement attached.
Pointing of Weaponry
At absolutely no time will any person point a weapon whether real, inert, or fake, at any other attendee. The ONLY exception of this rule will be when requested to do so for a photo opportunity. Any other circumstance will put you at risk of having the item confiscated or having your convention pass revoked.
Prohibited and/or Illegal Weapons
Any attendee who presents onsite with any item deemed as illegal or prohibited under City, Provincial, or Federal law including but in no way limited to: Asps, Guns, Nunchuks, Pepper or Bear Spray, Grenades, Incendiary Devices of any nature, Explosives, etc., risk having their convention pass revoked and having the appropriate authorities contacted.
Exotic or otherwise unclassified Weapons, Props, or Items
Any weapon, prop, or item, not clearly defined within this policy must be declared to the Weapons and Prop Compliance Team at the peace bond table prior to entry into any Alberta Entertainment Expo Inc. event. All items will be dealt with on a case by case basis.
Horseplay and Inappropriate Behavior
Horseplay and inappropriate behavior in conjunction with any weapon, prop, or item is strictly forbidden. Attendees found to be in contravention of this rule risk having their convention pass revoked immediately.
Homemade Weapons and Props Materials
The following comprises generally acceptable and unacceptable materials that may be used to make homemade weapons and/or props. These lists are in no way deemed as exhaustive and all homemade weapons and props will be dealt with on a case by case basis.
Generally Acceptable Materials
The following is a list of generally acceptable materials for the construction of homemade props and weapons. All items will still be assessed on a case by case basis by the Weapons and Prop Compliance Team
d) PVC and Plastic
e) High Density Foam
The following is a list of forbidden materials for the construction of homemade props and weapons. There are certain exceptions that may be made on a case by case basis.
b) Glass or Ceramics
c) Plastics or Composite Materials that has been fashioned to, or that can hold an edge or sharp point.
Costume Contest Exemptions and Directives
The Alberta Entertainment Expo Inc. understands and accepts that the need for certain props and weapons is beneficial and desirable for use in the case of the annual costume contest. To that affect, the following exemptions and directives have been created to afford entrants the ability to use props, weapons, and items that would otherwise be deemed as prohibited at the event;
a) All contestants of the costume contest are bound by the rules of the weapons policy while not specifically at the costume contest event. No exemptions will be made to allow for the use or display of any prop, weapon, or item outside of the confines of the costume contest.
b) All contestants MUST present their props, weapons, or items to the Weapons and Prop Compliance Team at the peace bonding table PRIOR to entry to the event.
c) All contestants will be required to complete the “Peace Bond Application” form and check the box that states “This item is intended for use in the costume contest”. To speed up the process it is recommended that contestants download and complete this form ahead of time and bring the printed copy with their prop, weapon, or item to the peace bonding table.
d) The prop, weapon, or item will be marked with a “Costume Contest Peace Bond Mark” and will be entered into the weapons holding room.
e) A member of the Weapons and Prop Compliance Team will bring all props, weapons, and items’ being held for use in the costume contest to the waiting area in the programming hall one half hour before the costume contest pre judging begins. You will be required to sign your item back into your possession from the designated WPCT member.
f) At the completion of the costume contest, you must immediately remove the prop, weapon, or item from the venue.
The following policies are in regards to acceptable costumes and costume construction at events of the Alberta Entertainment Expo Inc. Please also see Directive 8.2.7.
Any costume determined to be lewd, sexually suggestive, or in any way inappropriate for a family friendly show will be prohibited.
Determination on what comprises a prohibited costume under 8.13 shall and can be made by any staff level member of the Alberta Entertainment Expo Inc.
Prohibited Costume Removal
If it is determined that a costume is considered prohibited, it shall be the responsibility of the wearer to immediately depart the venue and change attire. Failure to do so may result in the wearer’s convention pass being revoked.
Costumes Do Not Equal Compliance
Regardless of the style of costume, the Alberta Entertainment Expo inc. subscribes to the idea that “Costumes Do NOT Equal Compliance”. If at any time you feel unsafe, please immediately contact and inform a crew members or staff. Please see the Harassment Policy (Article 6) for more information.
Prohibited Construction Materials
The following materials are prohibited from use in costumes to ensure attendee safety. Certain exemptions may be made on a case by case basis;
a) Glass and/or ceramics
b) Plastics or Composite Materials that can hold an edge or a point
c) Metal of any type that has been fashioned to hold an edge or a point
Prohibited Costume Accessories
The following accessories are prohibited from use in costumes to ensure attendee safety. Certain exemptions may be made on a case by case basis;
a) Stilts of any style
b) Headgear or facemasks that severely limit the wearer’s line of sight to an extent that safety becomes an issue.
c) Collars with attached leashes, or any length of material attached to the neck. Any length of material of any description that’s intention is to lead, or control the movement of any other person.
d) Smoke, gases, liquid, or dry propellants of any style or type.
e) Wheels, casters, or other means of locomotion not under direct human power. This includes roller skates, rollerblades, heelies, skateboards, etc. (Excluding mobility assistance devices required due to health or personal issues.)
The following costumes are prohibited at any event of the Alberta Entertainment expo Inc.;
a) Any Police uniform that is not obviously and immediately identifiable as being a costume will not be allowed.
b) Any patch, pin, emblem, or piece of clothing associated with a major municipal, provincial, or federal policing agency will not be allowed. (Example: City of Calgary, City of Edmonton, RCMP, SWAT, etc.)
c) Any patch, pin, emblem, or piece of clothing associated with a major municipal, provincial, or federal Emergency Medical Service or Fire Service will not be allowed.
All attendees are required by the venue to wear approved footwear while at any event of the Alberta Entertainment expo Inc. No bare feet will be allowed under any circumstances.
Any costume that exceeds 7 feet in height, or 4 feet in diameter may require the use of a guide to help the wearer move around the venue in a safe manner. If at any time your line of sight or your ability to move easily and freely is in question, you will require a guide.
Guides are the responsibility of the Cosplayers to supply and use. The Alberta Entertainment Expo Inc. does NOT supply guides for cosplay use.
It shall be the responsibility of the Guide to ensure that the cosplayer moves around the venue in a safe manner, and is not risking injury or damage to themselves, other attendees, staff, crew members, or the venue.
If it is determined by a staff level member of the Alberta Entertainment Expo Inc. that your Guide is not effective in their duties, you will be required to replace the Guide with someone more suited, or to remove the costume from the venue.
Final determination on what constitutes an oversize costume can and will be made by any staff level member of the Alberta Entertainment Expo Inc.