In light of recent events in Moncton, Animaritime has decided that certain props/weapons are not appropriate for the 2014 convention. For this year’s convention there will be more strict guidelines for props that resemble guns (i.e. plastic toys that are hollow on the inside but can be perceived as a weapon by the public) and we will be banning modified air rifles and/or bb guns.
Animaritime is committed to creating a safe environment for both attendees and for the Fredericton community. While the convention does respect and is open to listening to individual thoughts and opinions on our policies, our primary concern at this time is the safety and comfort of all those involved with our convention, including attendees and the Fredericton community as a whole. We at Animaritime understand that props are an important piece to a costume. Most of us are cosplayers ourselves, and like you, put in a great deal of time into the conception and implementation. We must, however, be cognizant of the severity of the current situation and how such props would be seen by others in the community. Carrying props that look like real guns is worrisome, especially for those who do not understand the concept of cosplay and do not readily know that a convention is present in the area. Regardless if it has an orange tip, the general shape of a prop can alarm an individual.
With that in mind we wish to continue to foster a positive relationship with the community and to ensure that the general public is not only comfortable with our presence, but continues to be supportive of our convention. Though our original policy has always been to ban real weapons, we did, out of consideration for our cosplayers, allow modified/inoperable air rifles and bb guns in the convention space as our policies did not specify between modified and operational weapons. Thus, we had taken the position that we would be lenient with those items as they were incapable of firing and not a danger to our attendees. Due to recent events, however, we are banning those props for this year. Items that will still be allowed at the convention include nerf, foam, or hollow plastic toy guns, as long as they follow the convention’s weapon policy (i.e. orange tips).
While personal opinions and/or the legality of carrying/displaying guns and/or other weapons are valid, individuals who attend our convention MUST abide by our policies. The guidelines that Animaritime has set will be strictly enforced and any concerns brought to us will be taken seriously and dealt with immediately. By attending Animaritime, all convention attendees are agreeing to the established policies and guidelines set forth by our staff. Any attendee in contradiction or breach any of these policies will be removed from the convention area.
All props will be subject to closer inspections, and prop guns will remain to be under the microscope even more so. Here are a few things to keep in mind for Animaritime 2014:
- All allowable prop guns (i.e. hollow plastic toys) must have a visible orange tip. If this tip has been painted over or obscured in any way, you must make the necessary adjustments.
- Please note that the convention does not and will not carry orange electrical tape/paint. These items can be purchased at one of the many hardware stores in Fredericton.
- If an attendee does not agree with a decision to not allow their prop into the convention, the attendee will be subject to dismissal from the convention. Please be aware that those who refuse to leave the premises or continue to carry a prohibited prop within the community will be subject to police intervention.
- Keep in mind that the Fredericton Police Force is the authority on public safety in the community, and that Animaritime has no influence over what behaviour they deem inappropriate. Be sure to conduct yourself in a way that will not cause alarm, especially outside of the convention area.
To show our support to the Fredericton Police Force and the RCMP, staff will be wearing either blue and white label ribbons or red and brown. We will have some extra, therefore, if you would like to join in this please to go our Information Desk and ask for a ribbon.
Although the new weapons guidelines are in place for 2014, they will be subject to revision in 2015. In the past, we have revised our policies and guidelines as needed to suit the current situation, but we are committed to updating all convention policies for future years. We thank all those who attend our convention and appreciate your patience and support by complying with these new guidelines.