Costume Contest

The 2017 Winners!

» Click here for the Facebook post covering our winners this year! «

Costume Contest information

Will be taking place on Sunday Sept. 24th 2017. The location of the costume contest registration desk has changed from previous years. It will be located near the bottom of the second floor escalators. In upholding the sacred tradition of onesie Sunday, which is observed by cosplayers at conventions all over the world, there will be an award for best onesie.

Sign-Up & Prejudging

Costume contest registration desk open and close times

Friday: 12:00pm – 6:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am – 2:00pm & 3:00pm – 6:00pm
Sunday: 10:00am – 2:00pm – !!!Stage competition registration only!!!

Sign up will only take place at the costume contest registration desk near the bottom of the second floor escalators. There is no fee. Entry into the workmanship portion of the contest is extremely limited so please sign up early to ensure you get to participate as it will close once entry limit has been reached regardless of time or day. Stage competition entries will stay open as long as possible until max limit is reached (200ppl). You must register to participate in the competition.

Prejudging times happen 11:30am and 3pm Sunday Sept 24th at a location will we inform you of when you register. Each contestant will be issued a specific judging time upon registration. You will not be required to sit around for any long period of time, judging should only take a few minutes and then you are free to go.

Pre-stage competition mustering is at 3:00pm Sunday Sept 24th at a location which you will be informed of when you register. The stage competition begins at 4pm and will end before 6pm.

Workmanship Judging

All workmanship judging happens -time and location pending-. Presentation only category entries need not attend. You may sign up for the costume contest at the costume contest registration desk, there will be no registration available during workmanship judging.

When you register for any workmanship category you will be given an appointment time during your categories given time slot. Report to the 8th floor lobby for your given time, meet the judge for your level and do a one-on-one with them about your costume. Time slots are in hour long blocks between 11am and 5pm before the stage contest begins, you are not required to stay for the entire hour, once your judging is complete you are free to go until it is time to line up for the stage contest. Please remember to be concise, it is highly recommended that you bring reference or progress photos which highlight your work.

If you are being judged for workmanship you must do both the one-on-one and walk the stage.

*Individual workmanship judging times will be issued upon registration.*


The Director reserves the right to eliminate anyone from competition on the basis of taste, danger to the audience/other contestants or for any other reason deemed sufficient.

Purchased costumes may only be shown in the presentation category. (See presentation category for details)
No nudity. This is a family friendly event and uncovered male or female genitalia is just as unacceptable during the costume contest as it is at any other time and will result in removal from the convention.

Non-humans will NOT be allowed backstage or onstage. If your costume requires a less human companion (dog, cat, snake, mouse, bird, etc), they must be stuffed or simulated. Exceptions will only be made for animals required for assistance by the human being such as guide/service dogs.
Surprise the audience, but not the director. If you are planning to do anything other than walk on and off you must tell the director in advance via your registration form. No alterations to your application or personal requirements (other than dropping out of the contest) will be permitted once a contestant has registered.

If you wish to have a specific song, music or sound played, address the audience, or anything else during your performance that would require the sound system, you must prepare it on a Flash Drive in MP3 format. You are responsible for ensuring the clip is appropriately cut/prepped for the time cues you want. You are entirely responsible for providing this and ensuring that it works prior to contest registration. No sound files will be accepted after a contestant has registered.

We do not ensure the safety, proper operation, or return of any flash drive you request us to use for your introduction. You must pick up your item after the contest has ended at the second floor info desk, failure to do so may result in loss of your item.

We will not be allowing the use of a microphone.

Weapons Policy

Weapons that are deemed unfit for Hal-Con, if required for the costume contest, must be kept with security at all times before and after you are on stage. Weapon confiscation at any time during Hal-Con revokes your ability to use it in the costume contest (refer to weapons policy for details). This does not apply to live firearms or any weapon with projectiles which will NEVER be permitted. Further details about our policies can be found on our Policies page.


The Director and/or the judges reserve the right to promote your category selection to one more fitting of your obvious skill level without consultation.

If you hold skill level awards for costuming from Hal-Con or another convention/event you cannot enter a category below that level. If you place (1st, 2nd or 3rd) in the same category in the Hal-Con Costume Contest three times you are promoted to the next category level and unable to enter lower.

Fraudulent information on your entry form results in immediate removal from skill level competition. You may still be permitted stage time but will not be eligible for a prize or honourable mention.

Hal-Con forbids the use of peanut butter as an element of a costume or it’s design.

All children 12 years of age or under must enter the Junior Category.

Some awards are being sponsored by interested fan groups, Hal-Con sponsors and businesses. These may be donations towards a specific category title or a special award created by the party sponsoring. If you wish to sponsor an award please contact for more information.

All professionals must enter the Masters category. Professionals are an individual or individuals who earn 50% or more of their living by costuming.


Any contestant 12 years of age or under at the time of this competition will compete as a junior. Mass produced costumes which are purchased from stores can only be entered into presentation. The Junior Division is divided into two subdivisions.

Junior Self-made: A junior contestant who has largely or wholly constructed their own costume.

Junior Adult-Made: A junior contestant whose costume has been largely or wholly constructed by an adult. This is treated like a commissioned costume (please read rules for commissioned costumes found at the end of the categories section.)


* qualifications have changed

Must be 13 years of age or older.

Have no awards for costuming from Hal-Con or other convention/event that are recognized or unrecognized above Novice.
Displays a basic knowledge of craftsmanship.

Is the only category under which clothes that were purchased can be used as long as they have been altered in a major way. At least 80% of the purchased item(s) must be altered or embellished.

If your costume is a commission (someone else has made it) please read rules for purchased costumes found at the end of the categories section.


Must be 13 years of age or older.

Can but is not required to have awards in costuming of an equal or lower level.

Displays an average knowledge of craftsmanship.

If your costume is a commission (someone else has made it) please read rules for purchased costumes found at the end if the categories section.


Must be 13 years of age or older.

Can but is not required to have awards in costuming of an equal or lower level

Displays an above average knowledge of craftsmanship

If your costume is a commission (someone else has made it) please read rules for purchased costumes found at the end if the categories section.


Must be 13 years of age or older.

Can but is not required to hold awards in one or all categories.

Displays a professional level of craftsmanship, attention to detail, and performance.

All industry professionals must enter this category. (See definition of “Professionals” above.)

If your costume is a commission (someone else has made it) please read rules for purchased costumes found at the end of the categories section.

Any contestant can enter in a higher division than they feel they’re capable of competing in but is not permitted to enter lower. If he/she wins in this higher division, he/she will have to compete in this division (or higher) in future costume contests at Hal-Con.


Everyone is automatically entered into this category unless they choose the non-competitive entry option in which case you will appear on stage but not be considered for any awards.

This is the category under which we judge how you wear and display your costume to both the judges and the audience.
We recommend you put a little more into your performance then walking on and off the stage. Given our time constraints you must inform the director if you intend to do anything out of the ordinary by either contacting them at before the convention or writing it on your registration form when you enter. Anything done on stage that is not previously approved by the director will result in disqualification from competition.

Purchased costumes can only be entered in the presentation category.

  • If the major elements of your outfit were not in some way physically created or altered by you, your entry belongs in only the presentation category.
  • Purchased costumes and costumes made for business purposes (theatrical and professional) can only be shown in this category. This includes but is not limited to rentals and commissioned (made for you by someone else) outfits.
  • In the case of a commissioned outfit (when someone else makes the costume for you). Enter with the name of the commissioned person as the contestant and yours as a model. The person commissioned must be in attendance to qualify for a prize. If they are not this costume can only be entered into the presentation category.
  • If you have designed the costume but did not make it yourself and you wish to enter for a skill level prize, you must submit a copy of the original artwork or pattern to the judges during your one on one. By doing this you can be considered for partial credit if you win an award. Do not leave it with your registration as we cannot guarantee it will make it to the right hands.
  • If your costume is composed of a compilation of various store finds you are permitted to enter no higher than novice level as long as major alterations were made. If no or very few alterations were made your entry still belongs only in the presentation category.


This section is an explanation of how the awards are broken up. It has nothing to do with the application process and is informational only. Also, it is subject to change without notice BUT be assured changes will not take place once registration has begun.

Skill level (Junior, Novice, Intermediate,Masters) prizes will be awarded at the end of the competition. Ribbons will be issued during the closing of the contest at which time we call all workmanship winners back to the stage.

Best Of Show

This is awarded to the best performance and display of craftsmanship to an individual or group. Best of show is the highest award given and if won is the only award won that year by those to whom it is awarded. The costume(s) (but not the participants) awarded this level of prestige are eliminated from competition at future Hal-Con events. Best of show draws from all skill levels and categories.

Honorary Mentions

Give credit where credit is due. Drawing from all levels at once they can have a first, second, and third place of their very own.
Honorary mentions are created by the judges depending on what kind of costumes appear in bulk or to highlight a particular competitor’s achievements. Keep in mind a minimum number of entries in your genre/theme will be required to place. Some examples of possible honorary mention titles would be; Group, representation from a book, favorite fursona, video game, prop.

Some honorary awards are being sponsored by interested fan groups and Hal-Con Sponsors as well as local groups and businesses.

Any questions about the costume contest or to apply to sponsor an award can be addressed to

» The 2016 Winners! «