Anticipation Masquerade

Palais des congrès de Montréal

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Masquerade DVD

A DVD of the Masquerade is now available .

We encourage members of Anticipation to show their fellow fans their costumes on stage and, if they wish to do so, compete for awards from our judges. No experience is necessary; we’ll show you the ropes and help you on and off stage. There will be experienced judges to review entries on stage and, optionally, the workmanship on costumes.

Cheryl Morgan has provided links to her collection of past Masquerade videos and photos.

Registration is required to appear on stage; it is not required to attend as a member of the audience.

The following information is very important. Please read it carefully. The Anticipation masquerade’s rules are similar to other masquerades’ rules; however, they are not identical to them.


We will hold the masquerade in Room 517abc on the fifth floor of the Palais. It seats at least 3,000 people.


We anticipate that the stage will be ten meters deep by 20 meters wide (approximately 32 feet, 8 inches deep by 65 feet 8 inches wide), with a four meter by six meter wing on each side (approximately 13 feet, 1 inch by 19 feet, 7 inches), not visible to the audience. The height of the stage will be one meter (3 feet, 4 inches). The height of the room is 7.42 meters (approximately 24.3 feet); there will be no low-hanging lights over the stage so available height will be 6.42 meters.

There will be stairs to reach each stage wing from a passage behind the curtain, permitting entry or exit from either stage right or stage left. (Stage right is to your right on stage as you face the audience; it is the opposite of the audience’s right.)

We anticipate that the podium for the Master of Ceremonies (MC) will be at the front of the stage, far stage right (audience’s left).

This is a diagram of the stage as we envision it. Please note that details may differ.

Big Screens

© Emerald City

To enhance the audience’s view of entries, there will be projection screens stage right and stage left. Each screen will be about three meters by three meters and a half (9 feet, 10 inches by 11 feet, 6 inches).

Green Room

Entrants wait in the masquerade “green room” to go on stage. We anticipate using room 516 as the masquerade green room. It is immediately behind the stage and is 42.7 meters long by 18.3 meters deep (140 feet by 60 feet). The height is 4.53 meters (14.9 feet). Depending on configuration, the room can seat 500 to 600. We anticipate that the green room will be available to entrants all day on Saturday. However, it will not be a secure space until it opens officially, so valuables should not be left there at other times.

We anticipate opening the green room several hours before curtain time. Once it is officially open, it will be staffed by a green room manager, den moms, and other staff. After appearing on stage, entrants are welcome to return to the green room to relax, or to take a seat in the audience.

The nearest washrooms are public ones just outside room 516 that are accessed from the hall.

© Emerald City

Ruling Dimensions in the Palais

Entrants planning to use props too large for the ruling dimensions should discuss their needs in advance with the Masquerade Director. The corridors in the Palais are tall and large freight elevators may be available for entrants with large props. However, the ruling height is the door into room 516 from the hallway, which is only 2.3 meters (7.5 feet) high by 1.7 meters (5.5 feet) wide. The doorway from the room to the backstage area is slightly higher at 2.3 meters (7.6 feet) and much wider.

Entrants’ Registration

We encourage entrants to register on line by using the registration form on the Anticipation Web site. Please fill in as much information as you can ahead of time. You will be able to update or change information until the on-site masquerade registration desk closes. In addition, paper forms will be available at the on-site masquerade registration desk, which we anticipate will be available near convention registration from about 2:00 p.m. until about 8:00 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and from about 9.00 a.m. until about 11.00 a.m. on Saturday.

All members of each entry must check in at the masquerade registration desk during those periods and all must sign a masquerade release form.


Translation Service

Anticipation will be a bilingual Worldcon, and so will its Masquerade. You can choose to do your presentation in English, French, or both. For those who are not fluent in one of Canada’s official languages, we will provide a translation service. Please bear in mind the following:

  • Using both languages or a specific one is NOT mandatory.
  • You must submit the text to be translated IN ADVANCE. The best way is to send us an e-mail, preferably weeks or months before the event. This will allow us to do a good job and get back to you for clarification and suggestions.
  • Your presentation time IS STILL ONE MINUTE. It usually takes just a bit longer to say the same thing in French than in English, so we recommend that you factor this into your calculations. If you feel that you need a little more time because your script is very challenging, tell us what you have in mind and we will consider your request on a case by case basis.
  • If you are fond of puns, remember that many jeux-de mots do not survive the switch from one language to another. We can suggest alternatives, but again only if we have plenty of time.
  • Please note that we are not trying to be difficult with our “well in advance” request. We simply want to help you give a good presentation and enhance the general quality of the show. The Nippon Masquerade Translator had to valiantly struggle to render last minute requests on the fly, and we would rather spare that ordeal to our own presenters.
  • If you wish to play the part of a French or French-Canadian character, we advise caution. It is quite all right to come as Jules Verne or La Corriveau (a famous local ghost), but you should know that many francophones consider their stereotypical portrayal in English media to be dubious at best.
  • Finally you can also, of course, do your presentation in other languages, such as Eastern Patagonian or Wookie. But unless you provide your own translation, very few people will understand you…

Green Room

Come to the masquerade green room when it opens officially. Check in with the person at the check-in table. You will learn your number in the presentation and will be assigned to a den of entries just before and/or after you, where you will be in the care of a Den Mom. Go to your den, introduce yourself to the Den Mom assigned to you, and take a seat. Please stay there until it is time to go on stage.

Den Moms

If you need anything, let the Den Mom assigned to you know. We anticipate providing light refreshments and having a manned repair table should a costume need repairs. The repair table provides glue, safety pins, needles and thread, tools, and so forth. It is for last-minute repairs, not for building or completing a costume.

Your Den Mom will see that your photo is taken by the official masquerade photographer and the photographer taking reference photos for the judges. We anticipate that official photos will be available for purchase by you and other convention members, possibly the next day. Your Den Mom also will take you to the workmanship judges, should you decide to have your workmanship evaluated (see below), and will get you to the stage at the right time and in the correct order.

On Stage

Back stage, there will be stage “ninjas” (dressed in black) at the wings to help you up and down the stairs, move props on and off stage, and catch you if you stumble. You need to let us know how much assistance you need, especially if your vision is obscured by a mask or by not wearing your glasses, or if your costume limits your range of movement. The more assistance you need, the earlier you should let us know (preferably at the masquerade registration desk).

There also will be stage ninjas at the front and sides of the stage to try to stop you from stepping off the stage by mistake. If you hear someone shout “Stop!” during your presentation, do so; you are in immediate danger of falling off the stage! However, if you dance, run, hop, skip, or jump so fast that the catchers cannot stop you, you are responsible for your own safety.

The young fan entries (see below) will appear first during the masquerade and the judges will immediately make their decisions before the adult entries appear on stage.

Constraints on Presentations.

The masquerade is PG-13; there are likely to be children in the audience. Flagrant nudity is not permitted; remember, “No costume is no costume.”

Safety is our paramount concern. There will be absolutely no flame, fires, sparks, or other flaming on stage. If you are a dragon, plenty of fake and safe “flame” is welcome. Other special effects must be clearly described to the Masquerade Director and to the stage manager and tech crew at the tech rehearsal in order for us to determine that they are (1) legal and (2) safe. Strobe lighting, for example, has the potential to be harmful to members of the audience. Smoke or fog machines could set off the fire alarms.

If your entry includes displaying a weapon, the Masquerade Director must clear it ahead of time in order to ascertain that it will not harm other entrants, the judges, or the audience. No sharp edges or points will be permitted. Weapons that shoot or eject projectiles will not be permitted. If you intend to point a weapon at other members of your entry or at the judges and audience, you must demonstrate in advance to the Masquerade Director that the weapon DOES NOT WORK.

Weapons permitted in the masquerade that otherwise are not permitted at Anticipation must be carried into and from the green room in secure wrappings and be peace bonded.

Anticipation Weapons Policy
No weapon, whether edged or projectile firing (or facsimiles thereof or anything resembling a weapon) shall be carried within the boundaries of the convention.  Any weapon sold in the dealers room must be wrapped for transport to the purchaser’s room.  Penalty for failure to do so will result in the dealer being asked to remove all weapons from their table.  Operations/Rovers will have the final say on what constitutes a weapon.  Anyone found carrying a weapon will be asked to return it to their room.  Failure to do so will result in penalties that could be up to and including revocation of membership.

Entrants may not throw anything at the audience.

We discourage the use of radio controlled or other wireless devices as part of an entry. We do not know what sort of interference will exist in the hall during the show. It would be unfortunate to base your entry on something that doesn’t work when you are on stage.

In addition, entrants may not use substances, including make-up or costume elements, that could turn rancid or be smeared on or stain other costumes. All parts of your costumes must leave with you. This is generally known as the “No Peanut Butter” rule.

Each person may appear in only one entry. If you have more than one entry, you must find other Anticipation members to present the other one(s).

We want to see your costumes. Therefore, there is no prohibition against presenting on stage costumes worn in the halls before the show or worn at other conventions. We ask that you use your best judgement about whether to enter in competition or out of competition. If you’re not sure, ask us. If you have won an award at another international-level competition (a prior Worldcon or Costume-Con masquerade), please consider competing up a level or presenting your entry out of competition. Entrants may present purchased or rented costumes only out of competition.

Each entry is limited to one minute (60 seconds) on stage. After one minute, your lights and sound will fade or we may use a large hook to remove you. Entries with three or more participants are asked to discuss their presentation plans with the Masquerade Director in advance. Fans tend to be easily bored. A good costume and presentation can be ruined by taking too long on stage. A good presentation takes sufficient time for the judges and audience to see your whole costume and then ends.

Music and/or narration or dialogue as part of your presentation must be pre-recorded (except for a script to be read by the MC). Provide your recordings on CD or CD-R (not CD-RW) (or as a file on a USB drive). We cannot accept tape cassettes. Two copies must be handed in at the masquerade registration desk as early as possible so that the tech crew can program sound for the show. The copies should contain only the music and/or speech you want played AND NOTHING ELSE; please do not provide a commercial CD and ask us to play a specific band. We strongly recommend that you bring several copies of your recording, to provide a back-up should one fail. We also suggest bringing copies in more than one medium (e.g., a CD to back up a USB drive), just in case. Label your recordings with the entry title and your name. We do not plan to return them after the show, so please do not turn in anything of continuing value.

There will be no microphones available to entrants; the only person permitted to speak from the stage is the MC. The MC will be happy to work with you in reading a short script or to interact with you during your presentation; remember, you have only one minute on stage, however. The MC will have only a small light on the podium under which to read scripts. Please provide your script in black double-spaced type on white paper using at least 18-point letters in a plain and easy-to-read font. Put the title of your entry and your name at the top of the script.

Masquerade Orientation and Rehearsal

Entrants should surprise the audience. Never surprise the crew! No exceptions to the “never surprise the crew” rule will be permitted and entrants who attempt to do so will be disqualified.

There will be a masquerade orientation panel for entrants. The date and time will be in the convention program. In addition, all entrants will be required to take part in a tech rehearsal on stage on Saturday before the masquerade. This is an opportunity for the stage manager and the tech crew to work with you to assure that sound and lighting support your presentation. Entrants need not wear costumes for the tech rehearsal; however, you should wear the shoes you will use for your presentation and any parts of your costume that will impede your movement or vision, or both. Please bring a part of the costume that represents its dominant color(s) for a lighting check.

We anticipate that rehearsal times will be between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon and between 1:00 p.m. and about 3:00 p.m. More time may be allocated if needed. Entrants will choose their tech rehearsal slots at the masquerade registration desk, on a first-come-first-served basis. Entrants who do not participate in the tech rehearsal will not be permitted to participate in the masquerade.

Beyond the tech rehearsal, we encourage entrants to rehearse, rehearse, and rehearse. We anticipate making available somewhere a space with the stage dimensions marked out that entrants may use on a first-come, first-served basis.

Angry Robots – A Special Theme

Angry Robot (a HarperCollins imprint) is sponsoring a special competition for entries on a theme of Angry Robots. First prize will be a trophy plus a copy of each book published under the Angry Robot imprint for the year from its launch in the U.S. and Canada – at least 24 books – to be mailed just before publication each month. The winning costume also will be featured on Angry Robots Web site. Second and third prizes also will be awarded.

Categories and Skill Divisions.

The masquerade will use two entry categories, Original Design and Re-creation, and the four skill divisions recommended by the International Costumers’ Guild: Young Fan, Novice, Journeyman, and Master.

Entry Categories

  • Original Design costumes are costumes whose design is the creation of the contestant, even though it may be inspired by an SF, fantasy, mythological, or other source.
  • Re-creation costumes are duplicates or design adaptations of the published work of someone other than the contestant. Their design is copied from a film, television show, theatrical presentation, illustration, comic, work of art, or other medium showing at least one good view of the work copied.

Some judges may not be familiar with your source. Consequently, re-creation costume entries require documentation of the source in the form of at least one image of the work being copied or adapted, which must be turned in at the on-site masquerade registration desk.

Skill Divisions

Skill divisions are intended to ensure that both novice and experienced costumers have a reasonably equal chance to win an award. The division system is not intended to provide recognition; the awards themselves do that. It exists merely to promote fairness. Outside of any single competition, division ranking is meaningless.

Anticipation’s skill divisions are as follows:

  • Master: Any entrant may compete in the Master division.
  • Journeyman: Professional costumers may not compete in the Journeyman division. A contestant who has competed and won in the Master division at an international competition (Worldcon or Costume-Con masquerade) or in the Craftsman division at a large regional convention may not compete in the Journeyman division. A contestant who has won “Best in Show” or “Best Journeyman” at an international competition may not compete in the Journeyman division. A contestant who has won more than three major awards in the Journeyman division in international competition may not compete in the Journeyman division. Anyone else may compete in the Journeyman division.
  • Novice: Professional costumers may not compete in the Novice division. A contestant who has competed and won in any division other than Novice at an international competition may not compete in the Novice division. A contestant who has won “Best in Show” or “Best Novice” at an international competition may not compete in the Novice division. A contestant who has won major awards in the Novice division at international competitions is encouraged to enter in the Journeyman division.
  • Young Fan: An entrant who is under 13 years of age on the day of the masquerade (i.e., born after August 8, 1996) and who is not part of an adult entry may enter as a young fan. This division is for costumes designed and/or made by the young fan, either in their entirety or with assistance from adults (such as parents). A child wearing a costume designed and built entirely by an adult should be entered either in the adult’s appropriate skill division or entered out of competition.

Group entries should compete at the level of the group’s most experienced member(s).

An entrant may choose to compete in a division that expects higher skill levels. If in doubt about which division to enter, consult the Masquerade Director.


The judges will consider both entry categories and skill divisions in making their awards. The Anticipation masquerade’s philosophy is “excellence deserves award”; there are no predetermined minimum or maximum number of awards the judges may make.

Some judges will be at the front of the audience watching the entries as they present their costumes. They will look at the costumes as well as how they work with the presentation, choreography, music, and/or script. Judging by them is mandatory for all entries except for costumes entered “not in competition”.

The judges of presentation are:

  • John Hertz
  • Dawn McKechnie
  • Victoria Warren

Other judges will be in the green room before and during the show to evaluate the workmanship on costumes, or parts of costumes, voluntarily brought to them by entrants. They will evaluate your entire costume or just the part(s) you think are best. This is where exquisite attention to detail may be recognized. Please let these judges know what you are most proud of in your costume. Tell them about how you made it. Please provide documentation to help them evaluate your work. They will have only limited amounts of time to review your work and documentation, so keep the documentation brief. Photos, design sketches, screen shots, and brief written descriptions of your work are good.

The judges of workmanship are:

  • Valérie Bédard
  • Susan de Guardiola

We recommend that, if you’re in doubt, let the workmanship judges evaluate your work, even if you’re not impressed by it. If you don’t, you deny them the opportunity to give you an award!

Awards will be presented when the judges’ have reached their decisions. Their deliberations usually take some time; this is not like “Dancing with the Stars.” If you’re competing, we urge you to stay in the area and be prepared to be called back on stage for an award. Awards will be announced by skill division and will include both awards for stage appearance and for workmanship. We anticipate that award certificates will be available on Sunday at the (former) masquerade registration desk.


The official masquerade photographer, Charles Mohapel, will record your costume(s) before the show starts. This is not optional.

Fan photography will be taking place from the audience during the show, using available light (not flash). In addition there will be a designated area for fan photographers who have signed up to take photos there; your participation is optional. Your Den Mom will take you and other entries in your den to the fan photo area.

Tips for a Successful Masquerade

  • Before the show, get some sleep!
  • Before the show, please eat. If you want to faint after you’ve been on stage, fine; however, we don’t want you to pass out from hunger or low blood sugar in the green room or on stage.
  • Before the show, rehearse, rehearse, rehearse.
  • Remember, this is a costume show, not a talent competition. Never bore the audience.
  • Don’t forget to enjoy yourself. Have fun!

Fan Photography

There will be a designated area in the Masquerade Green Room (which is directly behind the stage) for fan photographers who have signed up in advance to take photos. It is under Christine Mak’s direction. It will accommodate both available light and flash photography. The Fan Photo area will have no more than 30 seats for photographers. To sign up in advance, please send an E-mail with your name and preferred lighting (available light or flash) to the head of fan photography at . If seats remain unreserved, photographers who wish to participate will be able to sign up at the masquerade desk at the convention.

For the safety of those on stage, use of flash photography from the audience during the show is strictly prohibited. The Masquerade Director will stop the show and have the house lights turned on until those using flash have been ejected from the hall.

Masquerade Staff

Sylvain St-Pierre is the Assistant Director of the Masquerade. Julie Czerneda, Anticipation’s overall Master of Ceremonies, will be the Masquerade’s MC. Sandra Manning is our green room manager. Susan Kulinyi is back stage ninja-in-chief. Charles Mohapel is our official photographer. Christine Mak is directing the fan photography area. Carole Parker is the workmanship judges’ clerk. Other masquerade staff include Tina Connell, Toni Lay, Sébastien Mineau, and Cheryl Morgan.

Further Information

For further information, send E-mail to

We look forward to seeing you at the Anticipation masquerade.

Byron Connell Masquerade Director

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