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For this month of April, to promote reading and celebrate City of Toronto’s 175th Anniversary , City of Toronto and Toronto Public Library are collaborating a showcase called Keep Toronto Reading 2009. Many free events, performances and discussions are available at library branches and participating partners.

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One of the library branches, North York Central Library, partnered with Anime North staffs holding an Anime Bash. It’s the first time that an event like that was being held at a public library. I think they did a good job on trying to promote reading and advertise Anime North at the same time. Not to mention the event was free.

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I stumbled this event by accident when I was browsing Toronto Public Library’s website. If only this event was known more, I bet there would be a lot more people attending it. The event started around 2pm and when I got there with my gf, there were barely 10 people aside from the staffs.

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The anime bash only consisted of two parts. Firstly, a presentation by Jacqueline M. Ward, a world-class costume designer and anime showing, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (時をかける少女 ,Toki o Kakeru Shōjo). I had not watched before and it turned out to be pretty good.

During the presentation by Jacqueline, she gave us some useful tips about costume designs which I am sure that a lot of cosplayers would be interested in. There were two types of costume design; the first one is an original work where you design the costume by yourself and the second one is a derivative work where the design is already there so you just need to create it. For most cosplayers, it falls into the derivative type since the designs are already there (in manga or anime), although, if you come up with your own costume for the anime character that you are cosplaying for, it becomes an original work.

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She also talked materials and her experiences in countless costume cons around the world. At the end of the presentation, she closed it with an interesting story when she went shopping at a fabric store and bought some really unusual materials. The cashier lady asked her what she was planning to do with all of these materials then she started explaining about what she does. The cashier lady could not understand why she’s doing all of this (a similar question for us, otaku ^^) and suddenly, an old italian lady said that it’s for the heart. If you are not sure about the meaning, it’s “passion” ^^. It’s something that we all otakus have, whether it’s for anime, figures, japanese’s culture, etc. A good example would be Danny Choo and his passion which bring him to where he is now and I couldn’t remember how many times his story always inspire me.

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Some of Jacqueline’s works can be seen above and I think they look amazing ^^. Her presentation or info session is quite informative and I learn a thing or two about costume design even though I am not a cosplayer (yet).

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Some nice views from inside the library.

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Before the anime showing, all cosplayers gathered together and took a group picture. Since I went to many anime related events, I met so many familiar con-goers. One of them was Amanda (known as Elemental). She is a professional cosplay photographer who gave out a presentation about cosplay photography in Con-G.

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