Cornwall Ontario — Attention cosplayers and geek culture enthusiasts, the fourth annual CoTiCon (Cornwall Tiny Convention) is taking place Saturday, August 19th, 2017 – but this year with an outdoor twist in Lamoureux Park. The event this year is titled CoTiCon Rendevous, a geek culture celebration and day of fun outside along the riverside.
The event will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the well known Mario Kart games. The main event of the day being a Mario Kart race where participants will have to race each other by foot using customized box cars, but with a Mario Kart twist. There will also be several smaller themed events as well as contests and other activities on the Bandshell stage.
“We’re all really excited to introduce CoTiCon Rendevous! Many of our former attendees were disappointed that we couldn’t run a full CoTiCon this year, so I came up with a fun alternative for fans to enjoy. The event won’t be quite a full convention, but will still include things like a gaming tournament (taking place on the Bandshell’s screen), and multiple activities and our cosplay/costume contest will also be returning. During last year’s CoTiCon a lot of people enjoyed our themed activities, so a few of those will also be coming back, such as the Pokemon Pageant and we’re also including some new activities based on Mario Kart Games that we are currently working on ” said event founder Annie DeRochie.
This is the fourth annual CoTiCon event. It began in 2014 when Annie DeRochie joined the Summer Company Program.
“CoTiCon started when I saw an opportunity. I’ve been attending conventions since 2010, and been loving the concept since even before then. So when I heard of the Summer Company program, which gives students a grant and a chance to run and learn about business, I figured it could be my chance to bring a convention to Cornwall. I didn’t think I could do it at first, being nearly 17 at the time, but I have a lot of amazing friends with experiences in running or staffing conventions who have helped me out tremendously,” Annie DeRochie reminisced.
The event has grown and changed since it’s beginning. This year’s event will be an outdoor festival of sorts, but still includes several new activities.
“CoTiCon is definitely changing this year as we ran into several issues with our usual preparations early on while organizing. After announcing having to cancel fans of our event were rather upset, so I did my best to think of something else that would still be fun and geeky. The entire event will be taking place outside at the park, a great place for cosplaying attendees to take photos and hang out. Our popular activities like Pokemon Go LIVE, Pokemon Pageant and other Pokemon GO events will also be included into our event, as well as over 6 new games created by myself and the CoTiCon Team. Our masquerade/costume contest is usually quite a popular part of our event, so we are still incorporating it into Rendevous with the use of the Bandshell. We have some incredible judges in mind for this contest, and we’re just waiting to confirm everything before we can announce who they may be” Annie DeRochie added.
This year, just like last, CoTiCon has also partnered with Beyond 21’s Cornwall Food Fest and also recently with the Kinsmen In Motion car show.
“We’ve once again partnered with Beyond 21’s Food Fest, just like we did last year. This year due to the nature of the event it will be even easier to mix the two together. We will also be doing a full cosplay parade through food fest (led by yours truly). The Kinsmen in Motion Car Show is also a very smart partner for us, especially considering we are celebrating a game involving cars and racing this year.” Annie DeRochie explained.
In addition to being the founder of CoTiCon, Annie DeRochie is also a fashion design student. She is currently in her second year of Fashion Design at Fanshawe College. And, in addition to creating fashion clothing she also creates costumes. She is an award winning cosplayer. Several of her costumes and accompanying performances have won awards during masquerade competitions at conventions. She has the distinction of being a Canadian Master Class, and an International Artisan – both impressive titles considering her age.
How did she get into cosplay? She learned about it googling her favourite game series, The Legend of Zelda.
“I got into cosplaying after googling things about my favoruite game series, The Legend of Zelda. From there I found pictures of cosplayers, then learnt about conventions and found out that there was one coming up in Montreal. At the time I got my mother to assist me in making a costume of a minor Zelda character, and eventually learnt to do things myself along the way. Now I’m interested in making costumes that include a lot of cool techniques, corsets, hoop skirts and sometimes things require fine detail. And now that I’m halfway through the Fashion Design program at Fanshawe College my skills have improved so I can make my costumes even better quality. It’s also a great feeling that a hobby that I started to love as a kid may help me out with a future career,” Annie DeRochie recalled.
Annie DeRochie has designed many costumes over the past few years, but her favourite is the character of Lissa from Fire Emblem Awakening.
“My favourite costume to model is definitely Lissa from Fire Emblem Awakening! It’s been my most challenging costume to make as well as it took me close to three months to complete. It involved me figuring out and planning how to make a realistic looking steel cage hoop skirt out of duct tape and steel strapping (it’s remarkable how much I made it look like it’s purely steel), altering a corset pattern and making a proper corset with all the character’s little details (including very specific seams), and as well as drafting my own skirt patterns and for the first time ever making a decently large prop. I made it very comfortable too, and durable and I’m just so proud of it. It’s probably my best work to date on a costume, and it’s so much fun to wear with that hoop skirt,” said Annie DeRochie.
In addition to cosplaying and organizing CoTiCon, Annie DeRochie still attends various conventions out of town. Two of her favourites are Otakuthon and YetiCon.
“I actually have two favourite conventions, and I can’t decide which I like better. Otakuthon is definitely one of them, and not only because it was my first but it’s just a really great event. It’s Canada’s second largest convention, it has so much to see and do, tons of beautiful costumes that are all masterly crafted. My other favourite is actually a new convention as of 2016, YetiCon! It’s a resort convention that takes place at the Blue Mountain Resort. The location is lovely, but the convention is absolutely fantastic. It’s well run and there are so many fun events throughout the day like cosplay pool parties and things like mountain coaster rides. It’s just a fantastic and fun time. And the highlight to both of these conventions are the fact that I get to see my friends, meet new people and have a good time with like minded, geeky people. It’s always the people that make the convention!” said Annie DeRochie.
For those interested in cosplay or geek culture, CoTiCon Rendevous will have a lot to offer for people of all ages. It’s also a chance to meet new people and have fun! For more info visit the CoTiCon website.