Canadians invade Youmacon

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(Photography courtesy of Caitlin Beamer)


Sheridan nerds invaded Detroit and the consensus is that it sure is crowded over there. Last weekend, an excited group of four Sheridan students braved the border and found themselves at Youmacon, a popular U.S.-based the anime convention.

The con, which is held annually in Motor City, is similar to most of the other “comic cons”. Held at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center and the Cobo Center, it is a large venue connected by its own tram system.

From a humble start of only 1,000 attendees in 2005, Youma is now the only convention of its kind to fill the RenCen to capacity. According to FindtheBest, Youmacon this year had more than 10,000 attendees. Its 400,000-square-foot exhibit halls were filled with excited and passionate fans of all kinds.

Jade Harley was one of the Sheridan students to make the six-hour trip to the event.

“[I heard about Youma] through online artist communities. Lots of people were talking about the size of this convention as well as the quality of the art and cosplay there,” she said.

Harley was attracted to the idea of meeting online friends and how easy it was to travel to Detroit on a Greyhound bus from Toronto.


“American cosplayers and artists put more effort into their work. They spend more time on everything,” she said. “They’re so much prouder of what they’ve accomplished.”

Detroit’s public transit system was packed by mid afternoon. Attendees were sandwiched into the tiny cars and made friends pretty quickly.


“The size is probably the biggest shock for me,” said Harley. “Canadian conventions look like tiny picnics in comparison. I mean Youmacon has two massive centres. There’s a mostly mature crowd too.”

For American Marlo Louden, her homeland’s conventions are just right.

“I feel that they overall offer a safe, fun and accepting environment. You can go to a con without worrying about getting hurt and you always know it’ll be a good time.”


The con vibe in American is similar to Canadian cons. Large Canadian events like Anime North are friendly, excited, affairs where despite the number of people, the crowd’s mood is upbeat.

Size of a con can really hype people up and for Louden that is very true. “The sheer number of people in America that go to a con makes it feel like a large event and it’s easy to get excited for that,” she said. “The more people the more potential.”

Canada’s own Anime North is one of the largest in Canada. It’s a fan-run event so it appeals to its own attendees in its own friendly way. Located in Toronto, it sees thousands of attendees and Louden would one day like to attend.

“If I had the money anyways,” she said.

If you want to experience one of these wonderful cons, try Toronto’s Frostcon in January or Anime North in May. As for America and if you are willing to make the trek you can head to Maryland for the hugely popular Katsucon in February.