Masquerade Rules - Winnipeg Comiccon

Masquerade Rules

A masquerade is a non-professional costume competition featuring costumes from comic books, movies, Japanese animation or video games.


There are two different entry categories:


1) A Skit is a short sketch done alone or with a group. For a group of 1 to 3 participants, the time limit is ninety (seconds. For a group of four or more, the limit is three (3) minutes. If the skit is longer than the allocated time, the lights and the sound will be cut and the contestants will be applauded off the stage.


2) During a Walk-On, the contestant or the group walks on the stage, strikes different poses to show their costumes’ every angle and walks out of the other side of the stage. Background music is permitted and strongly encouraged.


How to enter the masquerade:


1) Please read the Masquerade rules below.

2) This year’s edition includes advance registration and onsite registration.

3) To enter online, please follow this link register (note that the number of online registrations is limited). Apply HERE!

4) A limited number of entries will be available through online registration. This WILL GUARANTEE you a spot in the masquerade and you will not need to line-up for registration on Saturday. Online registration will close at 8:00 p.m., Friday, October 29, 2023.

5) IMPORTANT: A valid Winnipeg Comiccon ticket is required for online registration. Please be mindful when registering online and commit to attending. If you use the online registration to reserve a spot and don’t show up, you’re taking away from other participants who would have loved to compete but couldn’t because the show was fully booked.

6) If more online applications are received than there are available spots, you must email to be placed on a waiting list should online applicants withdraw.

7) The remaining spots will be available for onsite registration on Saturday, October 30 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (noon) in the Masquerade Green Room (adjacent to the Main Events area). There will be limited spots, so be sure to arrive early for onsite registration!


Green Room will be by appointment!


If you’ve pre-registered, the Masquerade Director will email you an assigned time slot. On site registrations will be assigned a time slot at the Masquerade Desk (Saturday) and show up at the scheduled time in the Masquerade Green Room (adjacent to the Main Events area) to have your costume judged, speak to the MC, sound technician, ninjas and have your picture taken. You’re then free to enjoy your day until final call time!


Entries whose online registration form is blank or incomplete will be given 48 hours to adjust their entry, after which it will be cancelled and their spot will be made available again. Make sure you verify your form before clicking ‘Submit’.


Entries who fail to show up to their appointment will be disqualified.

Children 12 and under MUST be accompanied by an adult in the Green Room.


Final call time will be one hour before the show (5:00 pm). You must report to the Masquerade Green Room (3rd floor adjacent to the Main Events area) by that time or you will be disqualified. Please note that you will not be able to leave the Green Room after that time. It is therefore strongly recommended that you wrap up anything you needed done prior.


Since all participants need to be inside the Green room, an unusually high number of entries with large groups or costumes that take a lot of space might limit our maximum number of entries. The masquerade director will decide the final number of entries available during registration. At least 50 entry slots should be available.




1) Microphones are not allowed. Using a pre-recorded soundtrack is highly recommended. The required format is MP3.


2) Only email ( – highly preferred) and USB drives will be accepted to submit a soundtrack.  Cell phones, tablets, CDs and laptops will not be accepted.  Also, downloads from the Internet will not be accepted (e.g., YouTube, DropBox, Google Drive, etc.).


3) If you are using a USB drive, to prevent any confusion, please put only one MP3 file on the USB drive and check that it is working properly before giving it to the masquerade registration. USB drives will be conisdered disposible. If you leave the Green Room without it, we will make no attempt to return it.


4) The maximum number of contestants in a group is twelve (12). No group over twelve people will be accepted.


5) No open flame, liquids, powders or “flash” paper are allowed on stage. If you want to use an electronic flash or any other visual effect you need to mention it on your application form so the host can warn the audience. No laser pointers are allowed. No glitter is allowed either on stage or in the Green room.


6) No slippery or messy substances are allowed on stage. When in doubt, ask the masquerade director when you submit your form. The stage must be in the same condition before and after your number. If you have to leave anything on the stage, the objects need to be easy to be picked up by the tech staff. Otherwise, you will need to supply your own stage ninja to pick it up.


7) No nudity. The masquerade is rated PG-13 and can be seen only by people ages 13 and up. However, children 12 and under with an adult can watch the masquerade.


8) No real firearms, real firearm replicas or throwing weapons are allowed. No cold weapon, no metal blade, be it sharpened or not are allowed. If your costume needs a bow, the bowstring must be removed when not on stage. Any weapon used during the masquerade must follow the Winnipeg Comiccon Weapons and Large Props Rules and Regulations. Exceptions are at the director’s discretion only.


9) Every contestant can only go up on stage once during the masquerade. However, anyone can present as many costumes they want but they can only wear one of them. The other costumes must be presented by other contestants (they can be in the same group or not).


10) Contestants must be in the waiting room (Green room) at the required time. Ask the masquerade table for any details. If you are not present on time or you are not ready to go on stage when it is your turn, you will be disqualified. Any exceptions are at the director’s discretion only.


11) The masquerade is a non-professional competition. Costumes bought online or rented are not eligible for any award, same as professional or theatrical costumes. However, these costumes can be presented on stage in the “Out of competition” category. Please note that priority is given to costumes created by non- professional contestants. The “Out of Competition” applications will be allowed only if available slots remain after registration.


12) Commissioned costumes will be allowed IF and ONLY IF the costumer (the one who made the costume) filled out the application form themself. They don’t have to appear on stage, but his or her presence in the Green room is mandatory. Wigs, little props and jewels are exempted.


13) The judges’ decisions are final. Categories, award type and mentions are at the judges’ and masquerade director’s discretion only.


14) Artisan and Master levels must be judged for workmanship, as well as novices that do only a Walk-on.


The director and the judges have the right to disqualify anyone who doesn’t follow the rules.



Standard Judging Division System


The Standard Division System, in accordance with the International Costumers’ Guild Guidelines, will be used as follows:


Junior division


Any contestant under the age of 13 the day of Winnipeg Comiccon.


Novice division


Any contestant who didn’t win any award other than the Junior division.


Journeyman division


Any contestant who won less than three (3) award at any masquerade when in the Journeyman division.


Artisan division


Any contestant who won three (3) or more awards or any contestant who wishes to be in this division and is not in any higher division.


Master division


Any contestant who won more than three (3) awards in any masquerade in the Artisan division or any contestant who won an award in the Master division in a national masquerade. Also, any contestant known as a professional in the costuming industry must enter in this division. For this competition, a professional is someone who derives 50% of his/her income from the costuming industry.


Out of competition division


The masquerade is a non-professional competition. Costumes bought or rented cannot be entered in the award divisions, but they can be showcased in the Out of competition division. Costumes created for professional purposes are not eligible for the award division but can also be showcased in the Out of competition division. Also, anybody who wants to enter in this division is welcome.


Note: Any contestant can enter in a higher division than his/her current division. However, if they win in this division, they will have to compete in this division in future masquerades.




Workmanship judging happens in the Green room, before the masquerade. These awards, for excellence in construction, will be given in addition to the masquerade awards. You can be judged for your costume as a whole or for a specific part of your costume. The evaluation of a costume’s workmanship is only mandatory for the Novices doing a Walk On, Artisans and Masters, but it is strongly advised for any division (Except Out of Competition). Great construction deserves to be acknowledged, no matter the division. Judges must know which parts have been made by the contestant and which parts have been bought, if any.




It is strongly advised to bring documentation to the judges showing source material for your costume if it comes from an existing medium, especially if it is something the judges may not know. This can be any image where your costume is shown. Please bring only copies or digital copies of these images, not originals.