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Animethon is a three-day anime convention held annually at Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta. It is Western Canada's longest-running anime convention, the first being held in 1994. It was, up until 2006, Western Canada's largest anime convention, but in that year Anime Evolution's attendance was claimed to exceed Animethon's by about 150.[1]

History

Animethon was conceived by the Banzai Anime Klub of Alberta, the University of Alberta's anime club as a public festival to promote Japanese animation and pop culture to the public and help dispel the widely-held perception of anime fans as an unpopular and disturbing fringe element.[2] Animethon was preceded briefly by an event often referred to as the 'Mechaball', which was not publicized and did not attract a large attendance. First held in August 1994 as a single-day event at Grant MacEwan University's then brand-new City Centre campus, Animethon attracted several hundred attendees despite its short notice. Animethons II and III also featured the first commemorative t-shirt designs, in a collage artwork style initiated by Harvey Lee. 1997 saw a change in leadership both at the originating club and Animethon, and a new series of t-shirt designs produced in successive years by Daniel Ross, Ian Horner and Megan Shaw. In 1997, Animethon also began its practice of soliciting food donations for the Edmonton Food Bank and/or the University of Alberta or Grant MacEwan campus food banks. During the years 1997 to 2003, Animethon continued to follow the originating mandate to provide a free event for the general public, while expanding its attendance to an average between 3500 and 3800 people and its offerings to include discussion panels on culture and technology related to animation and manga as well as anime-related events such as a cosplay contest.

With an estimated 4,000 people in 2003, Animethon was the tenth largest anime convention in North America that year.[3]

Event history

Dates Location Atten. Guests
July 1994 Grant MacEwan Community College
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada[4]

<td style="text-align: center"></td>

July 1995 Grant MacEwan Community College
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

<td style="text-align: center">80[5]</td>

July 13–14, 1996 Grant MacEwan Community College
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

<td style="text-align: center">300[6]</td>

July 12–13, 1997 Grant MacEwan Community College
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

<td style="text-align: center">1,200[7]</td>

July 11–12, 1998 Grant MacEwan Community College
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

<td style="text-align: center">2,500[8]</td>

July 10–11, 1999 Grant MacEwan Community College
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

<td style="text-align: center">2,700[9]</td>

July 15–16, 2000 Grant MacEwan Community College
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

<td style="text-align: center">1,800[10]</td>

July 14–15, 2001 Grant MacEwan Community College
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

<td style="text-align: center">3,000[11]</td>

July 13–14, 2002 Grant MacEwan Community College
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada[12]

<td style="text-align: center"></td>

July 12–13, 2003 Grant MacEwan Community College
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

<td style="text-align: center">4,000[13]</td>

July 17–18, 2004 Grant MacEwan College
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

<td style="text-align: center">4,700[14]</td>

August 5–7, 2005 Grant MacEwan College
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

<td style="text-align: center">3,755</td>

Rob Bakewell, Brian Dobson, and Debbie Munro.[15]
July 7–9, 2006 Grant MacEwan College
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

<td style="text-align: center">3,450</td>

Randy Brososky, Consplayers.com, Trevor Devall, Brian Dobson, Michael Dobson, Tom Edwards, Cole Howard, Kirby Morrow, and PikminLink.[16]
August 10–12, 2007 Grant MacEwan College
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

<td style="text-align: center">4200 [17]</td>

The 404s, Trevor Devall, Tiffany Grant, Matt Greenfield, Kyle Hebert, and Vic Mignogna.[18]
August 8–10, 2008 Grant MacEwan College
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

<td style="text-align: center"></td>

The 404s, Randy Brososky, Michael Daingerfield, Kyle Hebert, Stephen Notley, and Sonny Strait.[19]
August 7–9, 2009 Grant MacEwan College
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

<td style="text-align: center">5000 [20]</td>

The 404s, Michael Daingerfield, Aaron Dismuke, Paul Dobson, Caitlin Glass, and Brad Swaile.[21]

ASAPA control

In 2004 the event was transferred to a new society, the Alberta Society for Asian Popular Arts (ASAPA), a non-profit society that focuses on the promotion and enjoyment of Asian popular art and culture. The society is also the financial and legal backbone of Animethon, formed under the Societies Act of Alberta.[22]

References

  1. "Today". Anime Evolution. Retrieved 2008-05-06. 
  2. "Banzai Anime Klub of Alberta". Ualberta.ca. 2008-05-10. Retrieved 2008-05-10. 
  3. "Ten largest North American anime conventions of 2003". AnimeCons.com. 2004-01-01. Retrieved 2007-02-05. 
  4. "Animethon 1994 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  5. "Animethon 1995 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  6. "Animethon 1996 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  7. "Animethon 1997 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  8. "Animethon 1998 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  9. "Animethon 1999 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  10. "Animethon 2000 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  11. "Animethon 2001 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  12. "Animethon 2002 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  13. "Animethon 2003 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  14. "Animethon 2004 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  15. "Animethon 2005 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  16. "Animethon 2006 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  17. "Animethon has much to offer". canada.com. Retrieved 2009-09-20. 
  18. "Animethon 2007 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  19. "Animethon 2008 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  20. "'Cosplay' chess highlights Edmonton Animethon 16". edmontonjournal.com. Retrieved 2009-09-20. 
  21. "Animethon 2009 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  22. "Alberta Society for Asian Popular Arts". Asapa.ca. Retrieved 2008-05-10. 

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