Cosplay Props Rules & Regulations - Montreal Comiccon

Weapons and Large Props Rules and Regulations

Comiccon is a family-oriented show, and the rules regarding props and weapons are designed to keep everyone safe. 

 

A. Comiccon is committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment for all persons attending the convention. Any item that Comiccon believes may be a prop and/or weapon must be immediately taken to Prop Check for examination. Props that Comiccon determines are admissible will be marked with an identifying tag and may be brought into the convention. Any props that Comiccon considers to be inadmissible must be stored at Prop Check or immediately removed from the convention. Any prohibited (illegal) prop/weapon must be removed from the convention. The decision of the Prop Master, or their designate, is final and will be strictly enforced to ensure a safe environment for all attendees.

 

B. Failure to respect any of the prop rules may result in any or all the following:

  1. Confiscation of weapon or item, without return;
  2. Loss of admission to the show without refund;
  3. The involvement of law enforcement agencies; and/or
  4. Other actions deemed appropriate by Comiccon.

 

  1. DEFINITIONS
  • A prop is defined as any item that is a supplement to a costume. A prop is also defined as any item which is not considered to be clothing (e.g. Armour is not clothing).
  • A weaponis defined as any item or object that the Criminal Code, the Comiccon Prop Master, or their designate, considers to be a weapon.
  • Prop Masteris the representative of Comiccon which implements and enforces the Comiccon prop policy, either directly or via designated staff. The decision of the Prop Master, or their designate, is final.
  • Prohibited and/or illegal Weaponry: A prohibited weapon is one that the convention does not allow on its grounds. An illegal weapon is defined is not allowed to be possessed, displayed, or sold in Canada. These prohibited and/or illegal weapons are banned from Comiccon and must be immediately removed from the convention centre. Comiccon reserves the right to notify law enforcement agencies.
  • An inadmissible Prop/Weaponis a non-prohibited (i.e. legal) item that has been examined by the Prop Master, or their designate, and is not permitted to be brought into the convention. A legal prop/weapon may still be considered an inadmissible item at Comiccon (e.g. a metal sword). The prop/weapons must be stored at Prop Check or immediately removed from the convention. Some weapons sold by exhibitors are inadmissible and are subject to the procedures in the Special Circumstances section below.
  • An admissible Prop/Weapon is an item that has been examined by the Prop Master, or their designate and is permitted to be brought into the convention. A small identifying tag will be affixed to the prop to identify it as admissible.
  • Prop Checkis the area, or areas, at Comiccon where all items that may be considered props are inspected by Comiccon and determined to be either prohibited, inadmissible, or admissible.
  • Peace bond (AKA peace bonding). A peace bond is a term that makes an item safe in a manner that the item cannot be used or drawn. A peace bond is achieved by securing the item with tape, string, or zip ties.

 

 

  1. Transporting Weapons

We take your safety seriously. We strongly suggest you safely transport all weapons out of view of the public. This can be done by putting the weapon in a bag, case, box, plastic bin, etc. Additionally, we strongly suggest not taking any weapons outside of the convention centre grounds. We suggest using the convention center on-site coat check (if available).

 

 

  1. Inadmissible Props Stored by Comiccon

While Comiccon does provide complimentary storage for inadmissible items, the convention will not be responsible for any damage or theft of props stored in Comiccon care. If your item is inadmissible, we suggest returning the item to your vehicle/home.

 

 

  1. Prohibited and/or illegal Weaponry

If it is illegal outside the convention, it is illegal inside the convention and therefore banned from Comiccon. Examples include (but are not limited to):

  • Firearms of any kind;
  • Bali-song (“butterfly knife”) or switchblade/drop blade style knives;
  • Brass knuckles or knives/blades attached to brass knuckles;
  • Spiked wristbands/collars/headbands;
  • Morning Stars or flails;
  • Concealed knives or blades in normally innocuous items that are less than 30 cm in length;
  • Hand crossbows;
  • Nunchucks, tonfas, shurikens, or similarly prohibited martial arts weapons (foam replicas of these items are admissible); and,
  • Law enforcement items such as batons, Tasers, or mace.
  • Arrows, bolts, and other projectiles used in bows, crossbows, or slingshots.

Click on the link below to review the Canada Border Services Agency’s and Justice Canada’s information regarding prohibited weapons:

https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications/dm-md/d19/d19-13-2-eng.html

Note: Although some types of weapons such as cane swords, umbrella swords, and similar items may not be prohibited in Canada, all such items are banned from display, sale, or possession at Comiccon.

 

 

 

  1. Inadmissible Props/Weapons and Exceptions/Alternatives

The following list provides some examples of inadmissible items. Comiccon reserves the right to determine the admissibility of any item, prop, or weapon.

  • Projectile WeaponsProjectile weapon means any bow, crossbow, pellet fund, slingshot or other weapon that is not a firearm which is capable of expelling a projectile that could inflict serious physical injury or death by striking or piercing a person.
  • Inadmissible Projectile Weapons
  • Airsoft pistols, rifles, or other similar devices.
  • Pellet guns, BB guns, or similar devices.
  • Flintlock or muzzle-loading weapons or similar devices (which are not considered “firearms” under the law).
  • Decommissioned firearms of any kind.
  • Replica firearms made from metal.
  • Any prop, item or weapon that is capable of firing any projectile or powder charge of any kind.
  • Bows, crossbows*, and slingshots used for hunting, target practice, sports and recreation are not permitted (with some exceptions see section 2 in the exceptions list below). Also, any arrows, bolts, and other projectiles used in bows, crossbows, or slingshots are inadmissible.

*Small/hand crossbows are Illegal weapons.

  • Exceptions/Alternatives to Inadmissible Projectile Weapons
  • Replica firearms.

 

*IMPORTANT* “Cosplay” replica firearms listed below must\ have an orange safety tip on convention grounds.

 

  • Nerf guns and other foam dart guns are admissible, but they must not have any foam darts loaded at any time.
  • Toy firearms, Rubber training “Dummy” firearms, imitation firearms made of paper, plastic or light wood, cap guns (no caps allowed), water guns (no water allowed), and 3D printed imitations are permitted. All these items must be plastic, light wood, or paper.
  • Imitations of fantasy/sci-fi firearms are permitted if they are made of acceptable materials (plastic, paper, or light wood) and they cannot fire a projectile.
  • Clear body airsoft (aka clear-soft) may be permitted if the mechanical box (e.g. spring and trigger mech box) is removed, made of CLEAR plastic (not painted), and an orange tip is applied. If the item has metal parts (e.g. barrel, handguard, buttstock, rails, etc.), it will be inadmissible.
  • Bows, full-sized crossbows, and slingshots
    • Bows, crossbows, and slingshots can be permitted if they are de-strung or strung with light string, yarn, or similar material and cannot fire a projectile.
  • Melee WeaponsA melee weapon, hand weapon, close combat weapon or fist-load weapon is any handheld weapon used in hand-to-hand combat, i.e. for use within the direct physical reach of the weapon itself. Examples include, but are not limited to, swords, blades, knives, etc.
  • Inadmissible Melee Weapons
  • Hard plastic replica weapons made from polypropylene or similar items;
  • Cane swords, umbrella swords, or similar items;
  • Metal swords, metal knives and other active martial arts weapons;
  • Metal chains or other similar items;
  • Blunt weapons (made of wood, hard plastic, or metal) such as baseball bats, cricket bats, and hockey sticks.
  • Butterfly trainers
  • Brooms or mops, or props made from broom or mop poles.
  • Metal weapons purchased at the convention are subject to the Inadmissible Weapons Purchased from Exhibitors policy in the Special Circumstancessection below [Section 10.2];
  • Exceptions and Alternatives to Inadmissible Melee Weapons
  • Costume swords are admissible if they are secured in such a fashion that they cannot be drawn (peace bonded). These items are made from bamboo, balsa wood, pine wood, or plastic. If an attendee is discovered removing a secured item on the show floor will be met with consequences outlined in Section B (top of this page).
  • Foam cosplay swords are admissible.
  • Plastic “toy” swords
  • Bambo swords with a sheath (will be requested to be peace bonded)
  • Wood swords with a sheath (will be requested to be peace bonded)
  • Shields and Armour

A shield is a piece of personal armour held in the hand, which may or may not be strapped to the wrist or forearm.

Armour is a covering to protect the body, head, or limbs in battle.

 

  • Inadmissible Shields and Armour
  • Shields are inadmissible if they contain:
  • sharp metal edges;
  • the weight of the item can cause harm;
  • contains metal, heavy/hardwood;
  • contains hard plastic/metal spikes or other protrusions;
  • contains any other feature or characteristic determined to be inadmissible.
    • Armour is inadmissible if it contains:
  • sharp metal edges;
  • contains metal, wood, or hard plastic spikes, or other protrusions;
  • contains any other feature or characteristic determined to be inadmissible.

 

  • Exceptions and Alternatives to Inadmissible Shields and Armour
  • The use of cosplay foam, plastic, cardboard, or light metal, leather, or aluminum is recommended as an alternative.
  • Noise MakersA noise maker is a device that can be used to make noise, especially a horn or rattle. Some examples include air horn, thundersticks, cowbells, party blowers, vuvuzelas, hand clappers, megaphones, and klaxons.

 

  • Inadmissible Noise Makers
  • Noise makers of any type are inadmissible.
  • Only official convention centre staff or Comiccon staff can use megaphones.

 

  • Musical Instruments and Sound EquipmentA musical instrument is a device created or adapted to make musical sounds.
  • Inadmissible Musical Instruments and Sound Equipment
  • Guitars, banjos, or other string instruments will be inadmissible.
  • Boom boxes or large portable stereos/speaker equipment will be inadmissible.
  • Professional drums or other percussion-type instruments will be inadmissible.
  • Brass instruments like trombones, French horns, tuba, ETC will be inadmissible.
  • Exceptions and Alternatives to Inadmissible Musical Instruments/Sound Equipment
  • Toy instruments made of plastic can be used in place of any of the above inadmissible music equipment at the discretion of the on-site prop staff.
  • Other types of musical instruments may be permitted at the discretion of the on-site staff. If you are not sure, please email the Prop master [See Section 11]
  • Small portable sound speakers (e.g. sound bars or speaker pills) may be permitted but cannot be used in any event room. Nor should be used to broadcast any solicitations, lude, or hateful music (family event), or disrupt the enjoyment of our attendees.
  • Music instruments or sound equipment used in a live event, exhibitor display, or panel will be permitted provided the individual holds a relevant badge (exhibitor, performer, panelist, guest, etc.)
  • Glass ItemsGlass is an inorganic solid material that is usually transparent or translucent as well as hard, brittle, and impervious to the natural elements.
  • Inadmissible Glass items
  • Any prop made from glass or with glass in its construction will be inadmissible due to the possibility of breaking and shattering.
  • Exceptions and Alternatives to Inadmissible Glass Items
  • Vendors are permitted to sell items that contain glass in its construction. However, such items should remain in their packaging or secured in paper or bubble wrap to protect the item from breaking. We ask all attendees to only remove the item from its packaging after they leave the event.
  • Plastic or plexiglass can be used to replace the use of glass.
  • LightsabersA lightsaber, also referred to as a laser sword, is weapon usually used by characters in the Star Wars
  • Inadmissible Lightsabers
  • Any Lightsaber* in which the blade/bulb is made of glass or a material that can shatter is inadmissible.

*IMPORTANT: We ask all attendees and vendors to refrain from lightsaber demonstrations, horseplay, or mock battles outside of Comiccon-sanctioned events.

  • Exceptions and Alternatives to Inadmissible Lightsabers
  • Lightsabers are permitted if their blade/bulb is not made of glass – but rather a plastic like polycarbonate.
  • Wheeled and Jumping DevicesA wheeled device is any motorized or non-motorized wheeled vehicle or device.
    A jumping device is any vehicle or device used for jumping off the ground in a standing position through the aid of a spring or new high-performance technologies.
  • Inadmissible Wheeled and Jumping Devices
  • Bicycles, unicycles, roller-skates, rollerblades, in-line skates, roller-shoes, skateboards, hoverboards, scooters, electric bicycles, and electric scooters will be inadmissible.
  • Pogo sticks, spring shoes, jumping shoes, kangaroo shoes, and similar devices will be inadmissible.
  • Exceptions And Alternatives to Inadmissible Wheeled and Jumping Devices

 

  • Strollers or similar devices to transport children are permitted.
  • A wheelchair or similar mobility device used by a person who is unable to walk as a result of illness, injury, or disability for conveyance is permitted.

 

  • LasersA laser is a device that emits light through a process of optical amplification based on the stimulated emission of electromagnetic radiation.
  • Comiccon prohibits all laser pointers in the convention. If a prop or weapon includes a laser pointer, it must be rendered non-functioning (e.g. batteries must be removed).
  • Spiked Clothing, Accessories, And PropsA spike (or stud) is a narrow, thin shape with a sharp point at one end, typically a piece of metal.
  • Metal spikes of any kind that can be located on bracelets, necklaces (spiked dog collars), gloves etc. will be inadmissible.
  • Any article of clothing with metal spikes will also be subject to this rule.
  • Whips and FlailsA whip an instrument consisting usually of a handle and lash forming a flexible rod.
    A flail is a weapon consisting of a striking head attached to a handle by a flexible rope, strap, or chain.
  • Inadmissible Whips and Flails
  • Whips of any type, including, but not limited to, horse whips, riding crops, bullwhips snakewhips, and stockwhips, will be inadmissible.
  • Flails of any type, including but not limited to maces, medieval flails, chain knives, spiked chains, and leather flails, will be inadmissible.
  • Exceptions And Alternatives to Inadmissible Whips and Flails
  • Some types of whips may be permitted, ff they are light enough (e.g. made of a light material) that could not cause physical harm, but we may ask the item to be peace bonded to your costume.
  • Light materials examples (yarn, fabric, fake leather, felt, paper, cardboard, etc. )

 

 

  1. Smoke, Flame and Other Flammable Items
  • Any item that emits smoke, fire, sparks, or has an open flame is inadmissible.
    • This includes items made with modified vape pens*, dry ice, lanterns, candles, sparklers, spark toys, smoke bombs, fireworks etc.

*This is to be sure we comply with Canadian Tobacco/vaping laws, as well as the building fire code.

 

 

  1. Prop Weight, Shape and Material Restrictions

7.1 Inadmissible Props Based on Weight, Shape and Material Restrictions

  • Any items with sharp points, sharp edges, excessive weight, or any other features that are deemed dangerous to others will be inadmissible.
  • Any item made with metal as a primary part of any item’s construction will be inadmissible.
  • Any item made with heavy wood as a primary part of the item’s construction will be inadmissible.
  • Any item made with glass in any part of its construction will be inadmissible.
  • There is no set weight limit for items, but Comiccon reserves the right to prohibit heavy items on a case-by-case basis.
  • Exceptions and Alternatives to Inadmissible Props Based on Weight, Shape and Material Restrictions

*Important* This section is to give guidance for replacement materials with the construction of props. Using the materials below does not imply that the prop will be admissible. When constructing a prop, it is important to consider if the item could hurt someone if the item is dropped, swung, or if it breaks – if the potential is present, it will be inadmissible.

  • Instead of using metal poles/bars, aluminum poles/bars or wood bars/poles, use PVC pipes, plastic, bamboo, light wood poles, (e.g.: cedar, douglas fir, juniper, yew, pine, balsa wood and hemlock). If you are using light wood, we suggest covering it in foam or leather or cloth. (Reminder: broomsticks or mop poles are inadmissible).
  • Instead of using heavy wood, use light wood (See list in 7.2.1), bamboo, plastic, cardboard, cosplay foam, or leather.
  • Instead of using glass, use plastic or plexiglass.
  • Instead of metal, use light wood (See list in 7.2.1), plastic, cardboard, foam, leather, or aluminum.
  • We strongly recommend using plastic, foam, leather, and cardboard, as the primary part of your prop whenever possible.
  • NOTE: We estimate that a prop (excluding costume clothing) should be less than 5 lbs in weight.*. Even if the prop’s weight is under what we estimate to be acceptable, any item that we believe can cause harm or is dangerous may be refused entry. This includes items made with the alternative materials list.

 

  1. Restricted Items Sold by Vendors
  • Note that the following weapons and/or items can be sold at the event but cannot be displayed during the event. It is recommended that if you wish to sell these items you make a pamphlet with images of the items for customers to see what items you have in stock.
  • Butterfly combs or similar
  • Butterfly bottle openers

 

  1. Medical Assistance Devices

    A medical assistive device is any tool or piece of equipment that helps a person carry out normal activities of daily living, e.g. moving around, seeing, hearing, talking/communicating, eating, getting dressed. The most familiar ones are crutches, canes, walkers, glasses, and hearing aids.
  • If the item is used as a medical device (canes, walking sticks, crutches, etc.) to assist an attendee mobility or vision impairment will be permitted. We suggest visiting Special Services as we have reduced mobility stickers available.

 

  1. PROCEDURES
  • General Procedures
  • Comiccon reserves the right to require that any item entering the convention, or which is found to be anywhere within the convention, be made available at any time for examination by Comiccon staff to determine the item’s admissibility status. Non-compliance may result in expulsion without refund from the event.
  • Any item that Comiccon determines may be a prop must be immediately taken to Prop Check for examination (or examined on the convention floor by the Prop Master, or their designate, if they are circulating around the event). Props that already have a tag may be re-sent to Prop Check to validate the tag. Comiccon staff may escort the weapon to Prop Check.
  • The Comiccon Prop Master, or their designate, will examine the prop to determine its admissibility.
  • Admissible props will have a small identifying tag affixed to it in a location determined by the Prop Master, or their designate. The tag must remain on said prop for the duration of the convention. Tampering, altering, or removing the tag during the convention may result in the prop being determined as inadmissible and/or the removal of the person from the convention.
  • Inadmissible Props must be stored at Prop Check or immediately removed from the convention.
  • Prohibited weapons must be immediately removed from the convention centre. They cannot be stored at Prop Check. Comiccon reserves the right to notify law enforcement agencies.
  • Illegal weapons may be reported to law enforcement agencies if seen.
  • Any inappropriate behaviour with a prop or weapon, which puts the safety of any person or property at risk, will not be tolerated. This includes horseplay, mock fighting, or other activities deemed inappropriate by Comiccon.
  • Refer to the Special Circumstances[ SECTION 10.2] section below for the procedures related to Inadmissible Props or Weapons that are displayed, offered for sale, and purchased at the convention.
  • Inadmissible props stored at Prop Check will be returned to individuals as they are leaving the convention.
  • Failure to respect these requirements may result in the prop being confiscated without return.
  • It is the individual’s responsibility to pick up their checked prop as they exit the convention. Any props or weapons left with the Prop Master beyond the closing of Prop Check on Sunday become the property of Comiccon.

 

  • Special Circumstances
  • Inadmissible Weapons Purchased from Exhibitors
  • Inadmissible weapons on display and/or being sold by Exhibitors must be safely secured to the display surface if they are within reach of attendees (i.e. attendees must not be able to pick up the weapons). As part of normal shopping behaviour, attendees are permitted to handle inadmissible weapons- but must remain under the direct supervision of the Exhibitor.
  • The sale of an Inadmissible Weapon to anyone under 18 years of age is strictly prohibited.
  • Exhibitors may only display (including under-the-counter displays and items stored out of sight) or sell weapons or any other items that are permitted to be sold by all applicable provincial and federal laws and regulations (i.e. they are not prohibited) and only to persons who are legally entitled to purchase and/or possess the weapon or item.
  • The display or sale of prohibited (illegal) weapons or items may result in an Exhibitor being removed from the convention and/or other actions deemed appropriate by Comiccon, including the right to inform law enforcement.
  • Inadmissible Weapons: Demonstrations
  • For safety reasons, Exhibitors must not conduct demonstrations of Inadmissible Weapons or other items in the aisles or other similar areas. Such demonstrations must be conducted behind the counter, table or within the allotted booth space, and must be supervised by the Exhibitor.
  • Inadmissible Weapons: Purchased from Exhibitors
  • Once a weapon has been purchased, it must be securely wrapped in thick paper or cardboard and cannot be taken out of such packaging at the convention.
  • Exhibitors must remind the attendees buying weapons that if they are found opening the packaging on the convention hall floor, the weapon in question will be confiscated.
  • It is the Exhibitor’s responsibility to inform attendees of the requirement to keep their purchased weapons securely wrapped while at the convention.
  • Inadmissible Weapons: Masquerade (Costume Contest)
  • If attendees wish to include the use of an inadmissible prop/weapon in their Masquerade appearance, they must seek and receive approval from the Comiccon Masquerade Director prior to the registration deadline.
  • The Masquerade Director may consult with the Prop Master when considering the approval of a prop/weapon. Approval will be determined on a case-by-case basis, and always at the full discretion of Comiccon.
  • Inadmissible Weapons : For Autograph Signing
  • Attendees who wish to have an inadmissible prop/weapon signed by a Comiccon guest must immediately report to Prop Check when they enter the convention, complete the required paperwork, and leave the prop/weapon at Prop Check.
  • The inadmissible prop/weapon will be escorted by Comiccon to and from the Autograph area. After being signed, the weapon must immediately leave the convention or be stored at Prop Check.
  • Admissible Weapons: Purchased from Exhibitors
  • The Exhibitor must inform the attendee purchasing the weapon to bring said weapon or item to the Prop Check at the entrance and have it tagged as an admissible item. Exhibitors are required to explain to attendees that if the item is not tagged, it may be confiscated.
  • If an Exhibitor wants to arrange for mock battles to show off their LARP weapons during convention hours anywhere on the convention site, they must have prior approval from Comiccon. Such requests should be directed to the Programming Director, Cliff Caporale [cliff@montrealcomiccon.com].
  • Exhibitors are reminded that all participants in mock battles for demonstration events must not damage the convention centre, Comiccon, or other Exhibitor property and must be extremely careful not to endanger or injure bystanders.

 

  1. Contacting Comiccon about the Prop Policy 
  • If you have any questions regarding the Prop Policy, please contact Comiccon before the convention at props@montrealcomiccon.com [accessoires@montrealcomiccon.com]
  • For any questions regarding props or weapons, which weapons can be sold in Canada, and what constitutes proper wrapping, please contact the Prop Master via the contact information provided above.
  • While the Prop Master may offer advice before the convention on which Props are appropriate, Comiccon and the on-site staff have the final say regarding the admissibility of items onto the event grounds.

 

Last revised:

Human Resources Department & Prop Master
Jan 2024.

 

Revised for formatting, grammar, and spelling.

Cliff Caporale
April 2024

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