Programming highlights include: the Cosplay Craftsmanship Showcase, Barbie and Pokemon theme days, Live Podcast Recordings, and an Itasha Car Exhibit
Toronto, ON (August 17, 2023) – FAN EXPO Canada’s official schedule for 2023 is now out, complete with a mind-blowing programming lineup that celebrates all things fandom. The hugely popular four-day extravaganza held in Toronto has events and content for fans of all ages and genres to enjoy including the Podcast Theatre, themed Pokémon and Barbie days, a 25th anniversary celebration of Frank Miller’s 300, the Masters of Cosplay Grand Prix Presented by Rustoleum, and more.
With dynamic programming spaces throughout both the North and South buildings of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, it’s the place to be for fans of pop culture, fantasy, horror, sci-fi, gaming, comics, anime, and cosplay from August 24-27, 2023.
In addition to the always popular celebrity panels, autographs, and photo ops; informative panels, demos, and workshops; eye-catching cosplays, competitions, and cosplay red carpets; and the over 400,000 sq ft of shopping madness, this year’s show includes special events including An Evening with Matthew Lillard, Neve Campbell, Skeet Ulrich, and Jamie Kennedy, An Evening with Hayden Christensen, and the SuperPower 5K and 10K runs, among other experiences.
New this year is the Cosplay Craftsmanship Showcase, a display of cosplay outfits from past Masters of Cosplay Grand Prix winners showcasing the craftsmanship of cosplay outfits with insight into the cosplayers who create them. Sunday, August 27 is Barbie Bash, a day fans can spend celebrating the iconic character on the Pink Carpet, with Barbie-themed sketch duels and photo ops, Barbie and Ken cosplay contests, the Barbie Ice Cream Social where attendees will have the opportunity to meet the longtime voice of Barbie, Chris Lansdowne, and more. New anime programming include screenings, the Itasha Car Exhibit showcasing the sub-culture of anime-decorated vehicles, and the Maid Café.
Returning to this year’s convention is Tattoo Alley, where fans can watch master artists at work and get nerd-inspired ink themselves; the Horror Stage returns by popular demand with a hair-raising line up of demos, panels, competitions, shopping, classic horror film screenings, and more; fans can relax and play some video games at the Femme Gaming Free Play Lounge, then learn more about Femme Gaming at their Ladies Power Hour; the Bell Esports Challenge is back at FAN EXPO Canada, with the live in-person finals of the amateur Esports tournament series; and Bear Sailor Moon’s Lip Sync Extravaganza offers the chance to cheer for the favourite sync-er or compete in a fun-filled, winner-takes-all lip sync battle.
FAN EXPO Canada previously announced a massive guest lineup for 2023 including stars like Charlie Cox, Christina Ricci, Danny Trejo, Hayden Christensen, Jon Bernthal, Neve Campbell, Shameik Moore, Vincent D’Onofrio, Zachary Levi and many more from the worlds of TV, film, animation, and video games. Comic Creator guests include Frank Miller, Joe Quesada, Andy Kubert, Dan Slott, Donny Cates, Jason Fabok, Steve McNiven, Zeb Wells, Simone Di Meo, Jim Shooter, Ken Lashley, and many more.
Attendees can expect to be wowed by activations from Prime Video, Paramount, Disney, Crunchyroll, StackTV, PlayStation, Xbox, Squishmallows, Hasbro, eBay, Wattpad, Bandai Namco, Tamashii Nations, and more!
Programming highlights for FAN EXPO Canada include:
Beyond autograph signings and photo ops, celebrity guests will take part in CONversations where fans can learn more about their storied lives and careers.
SPECIAL EVENTS AND EXPERIENCES
FAN EXPO Canada presents a lineup of special events and experiences for attendees.
All special events require admission to FAN EXPO Canada and some events require an additional ticket purchase.
- An Evening with Matthew Lillard, Neve Campbell, Skeet Ulrich & Jamie Kennedy*
- An Evening with Hayden Christensen*
- 300 25th Anniversary Panel*** and Frank Miller Meet & Greet**
- Maid Cafe**
- After hours Anime Rave party**
- Barbie Ice Cream Social with Meet & Greet opportunity with Chris Lansdowne, the longtime voice of Barbie!**
- Draw n’ Jam***
- Bad Movie and Colour***
- Bear Sailor Moon’s Lip Sync Extravaganza***
- The 404s Improv Comedy Show***
- Doctor Who-themed escape rooms**
*Additional ticket purchase required for priority seating (Gold & Silver ticket packages). General admission is free first-come, first-served basis but seating is not guaranteed.
**Additional ticket purchase required.
***No additional ticket purchase required.
SUPERPOWER 5K / 10K
Grab your capes and unleash your superpowers at the SuperPower 5K and 10K. An all ages fun run on Toronto Island, where you’ll be inspired to move through the course where surprises await around the corner. An event like no other, the SP5K brings runners of all levels and their families together for a fun and welcoming race experience. Entry includes the SuperPower 5K medal, dri-fit event shirt, and an Exclusive Day Pass to FAN EXPO Canada to explore the show on opening day. Runners will unlock their inner heroes when they register and help raise funds for Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital through the pledge program.
BARBIE BASH – SUNDAY, AUGUST 27
On Sunday fans can spend a day dedicated to celebrating the iconic character, including Barbie-themed sketch duels in the Comics area and Barbie video games at Femme Gaming Lounge, plus all-day activities in the dedicated Barbie Bash space including a Barbie box photo-op where everyone can step into a life-sized Barbie box and strike their best Barbie pose, selfie stations, a Pink Carpet photo op, a makeup/hair/accessory station, dance party, speed dating, Barbie and Ken Costume Contest on the Pink Carpet, Barbie-themed crafts, and a ticketed event, the Barbie Ice Cream Social!
FAN EXPO Canada attendees can get special looks at upcoming titles including:
- Prime Video’s The Wheel of Time Season 2, Episode 1
- Global and Stack TV’s Robyn Hood
- Ultraman Blazar Episodes 1 and 2
- Apple TV+’s Invasion Episodes 1 and 2
FAN EXPO Canada welcomes back Wasabi Anime for their sixth year guiding the Anime and Asian Pop Culture content for Canada’s largest celebration of fandom! This year’s programming is designed to engage seasoned otaku while simultaneously presenting an introduction for casual fans to learn more about anime, manga, K-pop, and everything Asian-based entertainment has to offer. Check out panels, presentations, game shows, voice actors, and an anime viewing room showcasing titles from VIZ Media, AnimEigo, and Nozomi Entertainment. This is THE year for anime in Canada, and fans won’t want to miss it!
FAN EXPO Canada presents four days of live podcast programming in partnership with the Sonar Network. Featuring some of the best local and national podcasters including Pilot Fighters with special guests Alexa Steele & David Reale!, One Dollar Words with Food Network Host John Catucci, The FANFIC We Just Wrote Just Now! Squirrel TalkPodcast LIVE, The Movie Podcast, The Comedy Roast of Barbie, Spooked! with special guest Mark Little, The Panel Show, D&D Live!, Vanderpump Robs with Peter Madrigal of Vanderpump Rules!, Seán Cullen and Chris Locke are Two Sailors Who Are Nuts, Let’s Bring Shawn Mendes to Fan Expo! – A Nerdy Standup Comedy Showcase, Comedy Roast Battle: Marvel Vs DC, Comedy Con – Improvised Geek Comedy, The Fandom Show, Roleplaying 101 – A Guide to TTRPGs, Correct Me If I’m Wrong, and Nerd Wars: Star Wars VS Star Trek.
COSPLAY CRAFTS AND COMPETITIONS
FAN EXPO Canada is Canada’s number #1 destination for Cosplay! With a lineup of 11 award-winning cosplay craftsman guests, four days of panels, hands-on workshops, Cosplay photo meet-ups and more; this is THE weekend for cosplayers! Attendees can show off their costumes and get their photo taken by the official red carpet photographer for free when they walk the Cosplay Red Carpet! This daily cosplay exhibition is not to be missed and is the best time to see all the amazing work at FAN EXPO Canada. The Masters of Cosplay Grand Prix Presented by Rustoleum is bigger than ever before in 2023! On Saturday, August 25 the best cosplayers from the region compete for cosplay glory in the Maple Leaf Qualifier. THEN watch as all eight Qualifier Winners from across North America take to the stage to decide who is the 2023 Master of Cosplay!
Be sure to check out the comic theatre for four packed days of drawing and colouring demos, sneak previews, industry insights, and more. Comic pros will be on hand to share expert tips and tricks, or fans can take a seat and pick a side for the ultimate Sketch Duels showdowns. Artist Alley also returns for anyone interested in meeting rising stars who work the front lines of the industry. This staple of the show offers everything from comics and graphic novels, to limited edition prints and original artwork.
From tabletop to D&D, to E-Gaming and more, FAN EXPO Canada is a gamer’s paradise! Attendees can become a card and tabletop gaming master at the eBay Victory Road gaming room; explore the world of professional E-Gaming with Bell; drop in and play at the tabletop gaming room with Focht’s Network, The Guild House, and Unite the Factions; see Dungeons & Dragons in action at one of the live action D&D shows; relax and play some video games at the Femme Gaming Free Play Lounge or learn more at panels with Femme Gaming; participate in the Princess Margaret x AMD Quest to Conquer Cancer Charity Stream featuring live streamers, freeplay, VR experiences, and all for a good cause; plus more to give gamers four days of nonstop content!
Booklovers can meet their favourites with today’s best authors at the Wattpad booth. Plus FAN EXPO Canada has partnered with Wattpad, WCYR (The Writers’ Community of York Region), Horror Writers Association Ontario Chapter, and Dundurn Press to bring more literary programming than ever before with drop-in literary panels throughout the weekend where attendees can learn the ins and outs of plotting, world building, publishing, and more!
Fans of the spookier side of things can indulge in their dark side with four days of horror-related panels, demos, competitions, performances, and more! Horror-lovers can peruse the Horror retailers for devilish delights, check out games and drop-in activities, phantom-tastic photo ops, the Haunted Hints Escape Room, the “Scream Supreme” contest to see whose scream is ready for the spotlight, and enjoy classic horror film screenings throughout the weekend. Screenings include Horror Through the Ages: Nosferatu (1922), The Devil Bat (1940), Little Shop of Horrors (1960), and Invasion of the Body Snatchers(1978).
THE FAMILY ZONE
FAN EXPO Canada has exciting offerings and activities for fans of all ages with the dedicated Family Zone offering four full days of fun and activities the whole family can enjoy, including drop-in games and photo ops, U-Cre-8 Comics, Joe Wos Cartoon Academy, The Little Mermaid photo op, princess sing-a-longs and meet and greets; and a performance by iconic performers Sharon & Bram!
THE ULTIMATE SHOPPING EXPERIENCE
With hundreds of retailers on the convention floor, attendees are in for an unforgettable experience. Whether it’s a rare comic book, original artwork, graphic novels, memorabilia, collectibles, videos, games, toys, or t-shirts – there’s a vendor for it here.
SELECTION OF ADDITIONAL ACTIVATIONS
THE LODGE: A PARAMOUNT EXPERIENCE
Fan Expo attendees are welcomed in to the warmth of THE LODGE: A PARAMOUNT EXPERIENCE, where every room is another universe; guests can join the family at the YELLOWSTONE ranch, witness the crashed ice-cream truck as they travel through the post-apocalyptic wasteland of TWISTED METAL, fight crime in New York City with the TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, take a seat in a STAR TREK Captain’s Chair. and have a final splash with SpongeBob, Patrick and all things Nickelodeon. Guests looking for a few moments to kick back, can relax out front of THE LODGE on the Pluto TV Muskoka chairs and enjoy some fan-favourite programming. And the experience doesn’t end there, attendees won’t want to miss the ParamountShop.com activation, with Fan Expo specific merchandise for all THE LODGE offerings and more is just a QR Code away!
Prime Video gives fans the ultimate experience this FAN EXPO Canada! Onsite at booth PV01, Prime Video brings to life three distinct worlds from Amazon Studios hit series The Boys, Invincible and The Wheel of Time. Guests will navigate through a tale of good versus evil as they embark on their journey, with interactions filled with unique show premiums, photo moments and more! Then on Friday, August 25 from 4-5pm in the South Building – Level 700, Room 701A, Prime Video brings The Wheel of Time to the big screen for a special sneak peek of Season 2 ahead of its return on September 1. Don’t miss it!
With so many programming spaces throughout both the North and South buildings of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, there is not question that FanExpo Canada is the place to be for fans of pop culture, fantasy, horror, sci-fi, gaming, comics, anime, and cosplay from August 24-27, 2023.
More information including guest details, tickets, and pricing for FAN EXPO Canada is available at fanexpohq.com/fanexpocanada.