Cloud Strife at Anime North 2009
Anime North is the best cosplay convention in Canada, this year I took a lot of great cosplay photos while dressed up as Cloud Strife, the main character from Final Fantasy VII.
Anime North is definitely one of my favorite events of the year. It is so vibrant and lively.
My costume for this year was Cloud Strife once more since it was such a success last year.
Anime North was founded by Toronto anime fan Donald Simmons in 1997 as a one day mini-convention with approximately 600 attendees.
The original venue was the Michener Institute in downtown Toronto. In 1998 the convention expanded to two days of programming, and 1999 saw the addition of a third day of programming as well as a move to the Ramada Airport East Hotel, with attendance reaching 1,000.
In 2001 the convention was moved to the airport strip near Pearson Airport and was held at the Toronto Airport Marriott (attendance 2,000) and in 2002 moved to the much larger Regal Constellation Hotel (attendance 2,800).
Shortly after the 2003 convention at the Regal (attendance 5,000), the Regal closed and the convention had to find yet another new location. For 2004 the best combination of function and hotel space available was the combination of the Toronto Congress Centre and the nearby Renaissance Hotel for additional programming.
These two venues were unfortunately a 10-15 minute walk apart, although a free shuttle bus was provided to help alleviate this problem.
Despite this difficulty, attendance reached a record 8,200 that year. In 2005, the convention added a Thursday evening badge pickup for pre-registered attendees, and changed hotels from the Renaissance to the Doubletree International Plaza Hotel, across Dixon Rd. from the TCC (attendance 9,500).
In 2006 actual programming was added for Thursday evenings; approximately 12,500 people attended that year, the first time that attendance has broken 10,000 people. Anime North 2008 was the 12th year of the convention, with 13,300 attendees, and continues to grow every year.