Edmonton couple to represent the west in cosplay costume contest
Lane Monteith and Daina Friend are dressed modestly. He’s wearing a blue striped polo and khakis, and she’s got a grey striped cardigan on. Their sensible attire is completely different from the pictures on the wall, where they’re outfitted in gold-trimmed robes, suits of armour and fleece tunics.
Friend and Monteith are cosplayers, meaning they go to conventions and expos dressed up as super heroes, video game characters and even colourful celebrities.
In April, while attending the Calgary Comics and Entertainment Expo, the couple competed while dressed as Alucard and Maria Renard from the videogame Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. They won in the masters of cosplay contest at the event.
As a result, they were invited to compete at the next level, as representatives of western North America.
“(Calgary Expo) put on a contest and the winner of that they’re flying out to Toronto to compete against the winners from Dallas, from Orlando and from Boston,” Monteith said.
“Those four winners are going to go at it and represent their own regions of North America.”
Cosplay, or costume play, has become an international phenomena. Even in the time they’ve been engaged in it, Monteith and Friend agree that the hobby has grown.
“Now you’re getting people making businesses out of it and travelling the world,” Monteith said.
Although there’s a chance to make a profit in cosplay, neither of them do it for the money.
“It’s really fun being able to throw all of yourself into a character and act like them,” Monteith said.
The costumes the two have made include fantastical characters from games like Dragon Age and Undertale, to real-life celebrities including grumpy chef Gordon Ramsay. Monteith also points to designing and constructing their own costumes as a fulfilling creative outlet.
“I’ve done now metal casting and leather working and prosthetics and glam makeup and all kinds of different things that I never would have known that I would have been able to do.”
“After you finish it and look at the final product and you’re wearing it and you get all that feedback from the people, it just feels really good.”
READ MORE: Inside the world of cosplay
Although Friend and Monteith at times sink months into constructing their costumes, they said doing so is not needed to be part of the culture.
“It can just be as simple as, ‘Hey, I really like Captain America. I’m going to put a mask, a shield on, and a muscle shirt,’” Monteith said. “It’s all about fun.”
The masters of cosplay contest is set to happen at Fan Expo Canada, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, over Labour Day weekend.
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