J-Fest returns to Douglas College
By Angela Espinoza, Arts Editor
Are you a fan of anime? Have an affinity for Japanese culture? Enjoy cute things with ridiculously huge eyes? Returning for the first time since 2010, J-Fest will once again be taking place this July at our very own Douglas College New West campus.
The Vancouver Anime Convention Society—the current organization behind Anime Evolution—will be prepping the lower halls of the campus for a weekend of costumes, model building, and all around geeky fun! Currently slated for Saturday July 14 (with the possibility of expanding to include Sunday July 15), J-Fest is a semi-annual fan-focused anime convention with the goal of bringing fans of the like together.
I recently got to meet with two representatives of J-Fest, David Dru Chan and Brian Ayotte, to discuss the upcoming convention.
“Right now, we have about sixteen hours worth of panel content,” Ayotte begins, “and we’re still looking for more panelists. We’re running at least one contest officially, which is the SD Gundam model contest, [which] we are hosting [for the] Vancouver Posticular Model Association—they’ll be running some panels as well. Another group that’s going to be coming is JP Canada; they are a Japanese sponsorship group, and they’ll be running several panels [focusing on] Japanese culture and stuff like that.”
Ayotte then went into detail on the numerous events happening throughout the day.
“We’ll be taking Weeaboo horror stories and doing [spooky voice] dramatic reading style. We also have eight hours worth of AMVs [Animated Music Videos], which is always a popular event. We actually have a backlog of one the biggest AMV collections out there. We have a dealer’s room, which, rough estimate, is sitting at [around] 50 booths. [And we’ll also] have a video room, which we are building a schedule for.”
Another fun event Ayotte mentioned will be “Whose Line is it Anime,” which right away offers an abundance of improv and silliness galore. (If the internet has taught me anything, this will prove to be ample opportunity to hone your meme knowledge.)
Again, the event will be taking place on the first floor of Douglas College’s New West campus.
“We’re in the 1600 series [of rooms],” continues Ayotte, “the little hallway downstairs. We [also] have the two lecture theatres, and the three rooms that are across from [them]. [Rooms] 1630 and 1640 [are] going to be our dealer rooms, [and] then we have 1620, [which will] be our gaming room.”
J-Fest is sure to be an awesomely fun event for anyone with an interest in anime. Located conveniently by the New West SkyTrain, Ayotte further states that:
“It’s not expensive—$10 for [the] day. We also have some spots open for people who want to volunteer. [Volunteering] for at least five hours… to help with set up and take down… will get you in free!”
Where: Douglas College, New Westminster Campus
When: Saturday July 14 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.