Programming > Events and Panels

Click here to see the Ai-Kon 2023 schedule!

FEATURED PANELIST:

BECOMING AN ANIME VTUBER WITH KIRAL POON
VTubing – or virtual YouTubing – is taking off around the world but particularly popular in Japan, where it has developed into a full-fledged industry. It is a form of online entertainment where advances in technology have allowed for more realistic and sophisticated avatars, making it possible for creators to express themselves in new and exciting ways. Content creators use motion capture technology to control a virtual character or avatar that represents them online and use them to connect with their audiences.

VTubers often create characters that are designed to appeal to niche audiences and use them to provide entertainment, interact with fans, and even stream video games. The anonymity of the avatars allows for more open and honest conversations, making it possible for fans to connect with their favourite creators in a more intimate way.

Join us for the presentation and Q&A, where Kiral Poon will be breaking down this phenomenon; Learn how Vtubing allows for a level of creativity and imagination that is not possible with traditional content, making it more entertaining and enjoyable for viewers.

KIRAL POON – 3D ANIME TECH DIRECTOR, XR TECH DIRECTOR, GUGENKA CTO
Kiral is originally from Canada but is currently living and working in Japan as an XR technical director for major properties like “Attack on Titan (Hexaride)”, “Code Geass 3D Live:”, “Slayers 3D Live.”, “Sanrio Virtual Fes”, Taito’s “Space Invader” Arcade game, and many more

He is also the Technical Director for MakeAvatar and HoloModels app

He is an Otaku and passionate about bringing Japanese content to the world through different tech. He is also fascinated with creating the tech of improving anime production workflow. By using his app MakeAvatar and their partner platforms like VRChat, Virtual Cast, DOOR(web), etc, People can cast as VTuber and can join tons of anime events and contents that Gugenka hosted.

PANELS:

2013: THE YEAR OF HITS
Host: Mic
2013 was a year of hits! Join us as we celebrate the 10 year anniversary of some fantastic and influential anime.

AI-KON DRAG EXTRAVAGANZA
See local drag artists from Winnipeg perform at the main stage of Ai-Kon!

ANIME FEUD
Host: Victoria and Jamila
Two teams compete to name the most popular answers to a survey of questions in order to win prizes – and most of all, honour. Anime edition!

ANIME NAME THAT TUNE
Host: ChandyRan
Your favourite game show returns once again! Do you know your Koda Kumi from your Radwimps? Sing along with every opening that comes up on your playlist? Come test your anison knowledge! This game will consist of two rounds with four contestants each.

ARMOUR AND PROPS ON A BUDGET
Host: Potato_Salad
Interested in armour and props for cosplay? Tight on funds? Come so I share with you on how I have learned to save money to contribute to more projects. I will also share basic techniques so you can use less material on experimentation.

BEST SOUNDTRACKS OF 2022
Host: Leafgun
Come listen and discover some of the best soundtracks from last year!

BUILDING TIPS & TRICKS FROM LEGO MASTERS
Host: Manitoba LEGO Users Group
Join some of the master builders from the Manitoba Lego User Group as they share tips, tricks and techniques from some of their amazing builds with you.

CLOSET COSPLAY 101: COSPLAY FOR BEGINNERS
Host: Cosplay Shenanigans
Have you been wanting to get into cosplay but don’t know where to start? Look no further! You don’t need 200$ cosplays off of Aliexpress and super wig styling abilities to be a cosplayer, you just need to be resourceful and have fun with it!

CROCHET CLUB
Host: Nagi
Come chat anime, amigurumi and everything in between. Bring along your wips and questions. Limited supplies available

GALAX-E OFFICIAL PRESENTS: K-POP RANDOM DANCE PLAY
GALAX-E, the longest running K-pop dance team in Winnipeg, is excited to present K-pop Random Dance Play!!! Do you love K-pop? Do you know all the popular K-pop dance moves?? Well this is the panel for you! Join our team of passionate K-pop dancers in the BEST random dance play challenge!!! Show off your skills, meet new K-pop friends, and most importantly, have FUN!!!

GAMEBOY MUSIC SCHOOL
Host: Mo Keachie aka scatterpattern
Using a music creation program for the Nintendo Gameboy called LSDJ we will go through the creation of a simple chiptune song. We will go over creating a bassline, drum beat, and melody, as well as briefly covering the use of samples.

GETTING INVOLVED WITH AI-KON
Host: Christopher Benson
Interested in volunteering or taking the leap to be a part of our committee? Find out more about how Ai-Kon works behind the scenes, and how you can help! We’ll also be taking down your feedback to try to make each year better than the last!

HANAFUDA JAPANESE CARDS – LEARN TO PLAY KOI KOI
Host: Paige & Mic
Hanafuda are traditional Japanese playing cards. This panel will teach basic knowledge of hanafuda cards and the popular 2 player game of Koi-Koi. A game of collecting cards and points. Cards will be provided, so “come on” and have some fun!

HEADPATS & HARD DANCE: THE VR CLUB SCENE
Host: Lirodon
One of the most creative underground music scenes is hidden in plain sight on VRChat. Explore how virtual reality rewrote the rules of rave culture during a global pandemic, and is taking it to new places in both the virtual and real world.

HOW HOLOLIVE CURED OUR PANDEMIC PAIN (PEKO)
Host: The Skeleton Crew
Lockdown nearly extinguished our flame, but Gawr Gura’s big shark brain revived us. Now we are more powerful than ever: Hololive saved our souls! NEWBIE FAN FRIENDLY PANEL

HOW VIDEO GAMES LIE TO YOU FOR YOUR ENJOYMENT
Host: Mitchell Wallace
An exploration of video game tricks and lies to get you to have more fun.

HYAKUNIN ISSHU: JAPAN’S FAST-PACED POETRY CARD GAME
Host: Dan Allardyce
Poetry is not the first thing you think of when you hear the terms “lightning reflexes” or “card game”, but it’s true! Come learn about the occasionally frenetic and fascinating world of Hyakunin Isshu, a game with many names.

J-POP FEVER DREAM (14A)
Host: touki
J-pop 101? No, no, no. This is not it. Join touki as he takes you through some of the most prolific and iconic of Japanese pop music’s offerings, from those meme’d to death to those that are guaranteed to get you thinking “what the XXXX is this”!

JOANNA CACAO: GETTING YOUR BOOK PUBLISHED
Host: Joanna Cacao
Joanna Cacao explains her publishing journey, from signing with her agent to accepting her first book deal, as well as the process of working with one of the Big 4 US publishing companies to release her graphic novel “The Secret of the Ravens”

K-POP RANDOM DANCE PLAY (w/ TEMPO DANCE CREW)
TEMPO Dance Crew is back hoping to bring another fun and exciting Random Dance Play for everyone to enjoy! If you love K-POP and Dance, then make sure to come join the fun and dance to fan favorite KPOP Songs!
(The Event will be Filmed/Recorded!)

K-POP DANCE WORKSHOP
Host: Illicit Dance Crew
If you have ever wanted to dance like your favorite Kpop idol or dip your toes into dancing? Here’s your chance! Come and learn the chorus of a popular Kpop dance while also connecting with other fellow dancers and/or Kpop fans. No experience required!

LGBTQ IN MANGA
Host: Jesse
Looking for LGBTQ representation in manga? Look no further! We’ve sorted through the explicit to find a collection of titles that cover a variety of identities, ages, and situations. Come discover the representation you’ve been looking for.

LIP SYNC DUELS! (14A)
Host: Justin Ladia
Two otakus will stand before you… this is their last chance to impress and save themselves from elimination. The time has come, for them to lip sync for their life… to your favourite anime and J-pop songs! Who will slay and who will sashay?

LIVE ACTION ANIME: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE BIZARRE
Host: ChandyRan
Movie adaptations of Anime are a mixed bag. Always have been. Come and take a look at the strange creations that come when the US, Japan, France, and Canada create when they adapt a beloved cartoon into a live action format.

LOLITA 101: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT LOLITA
Host: Victoria and Valeria
An introduction to the Japanese fashion lolita fashion! Have you ever seen a lolita out in the wild and thought dang? I wish that was me. Well you can be! Come and find out what it takes to be a lolita and how you too can live in the life of frills.

LOLITA MEET AND GREET
Host: Victoria and Valeria
Your annual lolita Ai-Kon meet up! Come and meet local lolitas in your area, show off your outfit, learn tips and tricks and play some ice breakers!

MC LAM MUSIC PERFORMANCE
Do you like music? Do you like anime? Come get hyped and turnt up with MC Lam as he performs his original anime inspired songs live on stage. This is a performance you will not regret!

NOT QUITE MY TEMPO: A RHYTHM GAME PANEL
Host: Lirodon
Rhythm games have been a quintessential part of Japanese gaming culture for over 25 years! Join us as we take a brief exploration into the genre, its cult classics, and some of its most notable musicians!

ONE SHOT JANKEN TOURNAMENT
Host: Justin Ladia
“Jan! Ken! Pon!” Compete for glory and prizes in this one-shot bracket-style Rock Paper Scissors Tournament! Not playing? Bet on the winner in this high-stakes game of janken! Who’s going to come out on top?

PIANO AND ANIME
Host: istyleonpiano
A presentation of the relationship between piano and anime. Topics discussed will include the anime piano scene, finding good music and tips for aspiring pianists.

POKÉMON: GOTTA EAT ‘EM ALL
Host: Pokémon Food Faction
Join us in the wonderful world of Pokémon! As well as where to find them, cook them and put them in a stew! We’ll be discussing delicacies such as Slowpoke tail and more humble dishes like a good old Miltank burger.

PUNCH PARTY LIVE BAND
Punch Party is a local band composed of talented musicians/cosplayers/dancers/singers from across the city; a collection of friends who share a passion for music and Asian culture covering songs from all across Asia. We formed in 2018 and currently our repertoire consists of covers from genres such as anime/jpop/jrock songs.

SHE’S IN HER REDEMPTION ERA
Host: The Skeleton Crew
Some girls are easy to hate, especially when they make things difficult for our faves! But are these vixens always villains; shallow & spiteful? Or might there be some sparkling jewels buried deep within? And how does this reflect on IRL girls/women?

SUPER STAR: AN ANIME/GAMING THEMED DRAG SHOW
Host: Aria Zero
SUPER STAR is an anime/video game themed drag show hosted by Aria Zero and Ruby Chopstix featuring performances from local drag artists including: Traycee, Kymera, Peachy Keen, The Yellow Belle, and Jolean Groundbeef!

THE PAST AND PRESENT OF OTOME GAMES
Host: Leafgun
Interested in getting into otome games? We’ll look at the history of the genre as well as various popular series you can play today!

TOUHOU: INTERNET SURVIVOR
Host: Mic
What’s a Touhou and why is there a bad apple? We’ll look at the impact of the game series Touhou Project and how it persists to this day!

Take it easy daze~

UNDERRATED GEMS IN ANIME AND MANGA!?
Host: Jordan Kirby
Come with us as we take a look at some of the lesser known Anime and Manga that you might have missed throughout the years. Maybe you’ll find something that you wont be able to stop talking about like us!

VIDEO GAME JEOPARDY – Host: Mitchell Wallace
Come test your knowledge about video games and video game adjacent things! Rated E for Everyone.

VTUBING 101 FT. KEIKO HITACHIIN
Have you ever been interested in VTubing? From how to start to how to network and grow. Join Keiko the Delinquent Penguin Empress as she dives into the ins and outs of VTubing.

WE’RE YOUR PARENTS NOW: FOUND FAMILY AND COMMUNITY AS AN LGBTQ+ ANIME FAN IN 2023
Host: The Skeleton Crew
The Skeleton Crew holds space for and guides a discussion about queer identities and experiences through a western anime fan’s lens.

YUKATA 101- Host: Sena Senpai
You’ve seen them in your favorite anime, now come learn how to dress in and where to buy yukata.

GUEST PANELS:

ART NIGHT WITH BIRDY
Guest: Birdy
Get your kigurumi on! It’s drawing time with Birdy! Creator of the Pokémon Kigurumi craze, learn some tips and tricks from the t master himself!

CHAINSAW MAN Q&A WITH VO RYAN COLT LEVY AND ADR MIKE MCFARLAND
Guests: Ryan Coly Levy and Mike McFarland
Join the voice of Denji, Ryan Coly Levy, and ADR Mike McFarland for a Q&A session about all things Chainsaw Man!

CRUNCH TIME WITH WIRRU: BUILDING A BAHAMUT SUMMON
Guest: A. K. Wirru
Join me in walking through the building and competition preparation process of my larger than life Bahamut cosplay build. This cosplay won runner up in the 2018 C2E2 Global Crown Championship representing Australia in Chicago

CRUNCH TIME WITH WIRRU 2: SAILOR STARLIGHTS
Guest: A. K. Wirru
Join me as I walk through an intense 3 night crunch where I sewed a competition costume from scratch, added a second costume for a reveal moment, and made it out alive AND with an award.

EVENINGS WITH ISABELLE AND SIGNING
Guest: Greg Ayres
A large number of anime and gaming fans deal with depression on a daily basis. In that daily struggle many of us have turned to games and online communities for comfort and cool down. From gamers kept company by “lets play” videos and online content creators, to acting mayors of towns filled with talking animals – come discuss how gaming and fandom have helped you through the rough patches of your day to day adventures. Join in afterwards for autographs!

FROM MUSICIAN TO ACTOR – FINDING ONE’S TRUE VOICE LATER IN LIFE
Guest: Ryan Colt Levy
“Though I always had a passion for storytelling, filmmaking & acting, I never expected to have a career in VO.After picking up a guitar at 12 years old & starting my first band, I began a 15 year journey in pursuit of a completely different life & how I ended up here has been quite the surreal ride. In this panel, I’ll dive full on into the wild rollercoaster that found me working as an actor full time & how major detours in life can give you the greatest of gifts when you least expect them.”

GREG AYRES: RAW AND UNCENSORED (18+)
Guest: Greg Ayres
Join us for a raw Q&A session with a guest who is never shy of “over sharing”. Come listen to tales of true con horror from years past, along with some uncensored retellings of many stories that you have had to be “softened” for a daytime audience. Please bring your ID, a sense of humour, and questions for this no holds barred panel.

IT GETS BETTER
Guest: Greg Ayres
The “It Gets Better” project in response to a string of teen suicides by kids who were bullied because they were perceived to be gay. Sadly bullying is something that happens to 1 in 4 teens. Join us as we share out stories, and talk about ways we can all help and support each other and find light at the end of the tunnel. It really does get better!

LIFE FIBERS, HALF DEMONS, AND EXPLOSIONS… OH MY! Q&A WITH ERICA MENDEZ
Guest: Erica Mendez
Kill la Kill, Genshin Impact, Sword Art Online, Sailor Moon… these are just some of the many fun titles that Erica has been a part of. Don’t lose your way and come ask questions about some of your favourite projects she’s been in!

LUCIEN DODGE: BEAT ME AT SOUL CALIBUR VI
Guest: Lucien Dodge
Think you have what it takes to beat Lucien Dodge in Soul Calibur VI? Try your hand in this hour of gaming!

MASTER ROSHI AND BEYOND: Q&A WITH MIKE MCFARLAND
Guest: Mike McFarland
Join seasoned voice actor and ADR director Mike McFarland for an hour of Q&A! With over 25 years of experience, come ask any questions you might have about his extensive roles and voice directing experience.

MISFIT COFFEE CHAT Q&A AND SIGNING/PHOTO OPS
Guest: Ryan Colt Levy
After two years of successful digital only streams, the Misfit Coffee Chat is now a live panel!What is a Misfit Coffee Chat you ask? Well it’s a bit of a free form hang out where we talk about life, creativity in all forms, positive reinforcement & community, video games, anime, food adventures, all of your pets & more! (Drinking Coffee is not required, I’ll be having enough for all of us). Join in afterwards for autographs!

SATURDAY AFTERNOON Q&A WITH BEN DISKIN
Guest: Ben Diskin
Join award winning voice actor Ben Diskin in an hour of Q&A! Ask him any burning questions you might have about any of his great roles spanning all genres.

SATURDAY MORNING Q&A + AUTOGRAPHS WITH ZENO ROBINSON
Guest: Zeno Robinson
Join Zeno Robinson for a Q&A hour to discuss all his roles and anything you’ve ever wanted to ask, followed by an autograph session!

SAVE THE DIGITAL WORLD WITH ZENO ROBINSON AND BEN DISKIN
Guests: Zeno Robinson and Ben Diskin
Join Zeno Robinson, the voice of Tai, and Ben Diskin, the voice of Agumon, discuss taking over two iconic roles in the Digimon Adventure reboot!

SUNDAY AFTERNOON Q&A WITH LUCIEN DODGE
Guest: Lucien Dodge
Join Lucien Dodge for an hour of Q&A, and find out what it takes to be a voice actor!

SWIM TRUNKS, RAVERS, AND BEARS… OH MY! GREG AYRES Q&A AND SIGNING
Guest: Greg Ayres
Come join Greg Ayres as he answers questions about all projects old and new. You can be sure he’ll be talking about new projects, as well as talking about DJ’ing and his experiences with con life. Join in after for autographs!

WIRRU AUTOGRAPHS AND MEET AND GREET
Guest: A. K. Wirru
Meet with legendary cosplayer A.K. Wirru for autographs and photos!

WORKIN’ 9-5: AGGRETSUKO OFFICE LIFE WITH ERICA MENDEZ AND BEN DISKIN
Guests: Erica Mendez and Ben Diskin
Join the voice of Retsuko (Erica Mendez) and Haida (Ben Diskin) and discuss the accounting department of Aggretsuko!

18+ PANELS:

ANIME FEUD (18+)
Host: Victoria and Valeria
Two teams compete to name the most popular answers to survey questions in order to win prizes! Saucier and sillier than before 18+

CRINGE CONFESSIONS: WELCOME TO CAMP CRINGE (18+)
Host: Canephora and Miasmacaron
Welcome campers! Come confess your cringe at this healing retreat led by some of the foremost cringe experts. Learn to let go and move on from your peak weeaboo days. Remember – I am cringe, but I am free.

DAKIMAKURA 101 (18+)
Host: NiiChan
Ever heard of Body Pillows? Are you unsure about getting one? Don’t know how to get one? Have you wanted to know how to maintain one? Well this is the panel for you! Come to Dakimakura 101 to learn about the joys of Anime Body Pillows!

HENTAI BINGO (18+)
Host: Jeff and Emily
Hentai Bingo is back, baby! Hear some numbers! Call out naughty things! Win some prizes!
Sponsored by Riverside Inn, and hosted by Jeff and Emily, you’re sure to have a good time being a part of this crowd!

HENTAI KAHOOT (18+)
Host: renachan
Everyone’s favorite learning game from high school, but you’ll wish you wouldn’t have learned what we’re about to teach you. But if you already knew all the answers to these questions… what’s wrong with you!?

HOW TO BE AN ETHICAL DEGENERATE (18+)
Host: The Skeleton Crew
The Skeleton Crew will discuss how best to enjoy hentai manga, anime, games, and other media without your crush calling you hentai.

UNCLE JENNAH’S STORY TIME (18+)
Join Uncle Jennah, with some 18+ Yaoi bedtime stories! Uncle Jennah needs YOUR help to tell these stories, so get ready for audience precipitation, games and prizes! Get your Kigurumi on and come to a bedtime story you won’t forget!

UNPOPULAR OPINIONS (18+)
We’re back! Come and join us as we discuss, debate, and yell at each other over opinions about Japanese cartoons. Be ready to back up your hot takes and join us!

YOUTUBE HELL (18+)
Host: The Sick Vid Council
Come and see an hour of the absolute worst (and some of the best) that the depths of YouTube has to offer! You will laugh, you will cry, you will cringe, and you will simply be amazed to see what our “favourite” video sharing site has to offer!