The Gathering of the Fellowship Tolkien Fan Community


“Of course the children’s eyes turned to follow the lion; but the sight they saw was so wonderful that they soon forgot about him. Everywhere the statues were coming to life. The courtyard looked no longer like a museum; it looked more like a zoo. Creatures were running after Aslan and dancing round him till he was almost hidden in the crowd. Instead of all that deadly white in the courtyard was now a blaze of colours; glossy chestnut sides of centaurs, indigo horns of unicorns, dazzling plumage of birds, reddy-brown of foxes, dogs and satyrs, yellow stockings and crimson hoods of dwarfs; and the birch-girls in silver, and the beech-girls in fresh, transparent green, and the larch-girls in green so bright that it was almost yellow. And instead of the deadly silence the whole place rang with the sound of happy roarings, brayings, yelpings, barkings, squealings, cooings, neighings, stampings, shouts, hurrahs, songs, and laughter.”

~ C.S. Lewis, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, Chapter 16

The Gathering of the Fellowship Masquerade will take place during the
Banquet in the Grand Ballroom of the Toronto Sheraton Centre Hotel
at approximately 9:00 pm on Monday July 3rd, 2006.


The presentation of costumes will now be limited to a “walk on, walk off” format. Due to time constraints, we cannot accommodate the “traditional” masquerade presentation. We may have a few slots for groups to do short presentations, but that will depend on the number of entries. The earliest registrations will have priority.

All persons who wish to enter the Masquerade must be registered. Due to the anticipated participation in the Masquerade, we strongly recommend registering online. Online registrations will be accepted until Midnight, Sunday, June 25, 2006. Registration for the Masquerade will be possible on site if there are any spaces left until 5:00 p.m. Sunday July 2. Due to time constraints, there will be a cut off to participants at 65 entries. In this event, the cutoff will announced on the website and may be earlier than June 25. A Masquerade entry form must be submitted when registering. All entrants must sign the Entry and Release form. Entry forms will be available at the convention registration area.

The Masquerade will take place IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING the
meal portion of the Banquet; however, a Banquet ticket
is NOT REQUIRED for participation.*

For questions about this competition, please contact the Masquerade Coordinator at

*Banquet meals will only be served to Banquet Ticket purchasers.

This masquerade will be run on the standard Masquerade Division System of four skill levels: Junior, Novice, Journeyman, and Master.

Junior Division:
Any contestant under thirteen (13) years of age at the time of the competition may compete in the Junior Division. An adult must be present with the junior contestant.

Novice Division:
A contestant who has fewer than 3 wins for 3 different costumes at Novice Level. An Honorable Mention or Honored for Excellence need not be included in this count.

Journeyman Division:
A contestant who has won less than three awards at the Journeyman level or feels his or her skill is up to competing at the Journeyman level.

Master Division:
A contestant who has won more than three times at the Journeyman level, has won as a Master at any competition, or is a professional in a costume related business. For the purpose of this competition, a professional is defined as making 50% or more of their income in the costuming business.

A contestant may compete in a Division higher than the one he or she would normally compete in. Keep in mind that if the contestant wins in this higher Division, he or she may not return to their old Division in subsequent competitions.

Any questions regarding what level at which to compete?
Ask the Masquerade Coordinator for clarification.

Definition of a Win:
“A win is a win”—except “Honored for Excellence” and “Honorable Mention”. Workmanship awards are counted only if you wish. NOTE: In the case of groups, the skill level will be determined by the skill level of the majority of the competitors. Check with the Masquerade Coordinator for this and any other special exceptions.
Judging will be combined for original and recreation costumes unless large enough groups of both types of costumes exist. However, be sure to check the correct category because there are variations in judging the two types.

Judging Categories:

Original Costumes

A costume inspired by a character or scene from any of the published works of J.R.R. Tolkien (including The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, etc.) or C.S. Lewis (The Chrionicles of Narnia), but whose design is the creation of the contestant. A contestant need not wear his or her creation, but may use a model on stage. Be sure to note on your entry form who is the designer and who is the model.

Recreation Costumes
A costume whose design is copied or closely derived from an existing interpretation of characters or scenes from any of the published works of J.R.R. Tolkien or C.S. Lewis, be they in film (including New Line Cinema's The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy and Disney's The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe), television, art, comics, stage presentation (including The Lord of the Rings stage production), book illustration, or any other medium, showing one or more views of the costume. Recreation costumes are duplicates or close adaptations of the design work of someone OTHER than the contestant. Those entering recreation costumes are encouraged to provide the judges with photos or photocopies of the costume source or pertinent information, since not all judges are familiar with all source media.

Exhibition Costumes
Have an older costume you wish to show to the audience? Made a great costume from closet pieces? Have a costume that has won at international competition levels? It may be shown out of competition to entertain the audience.

Workmanship Judging
In addition to the usual front-of-stage judging, contestants may choose to compete for Workmanship awards. These will be given for exceptional accomplishments in the crafting of a costume. Workmanship judging is entirely optional. If you think your costume or some portion of it exhibits exceptional craftsmanship, please check in earlier for workmanship judging (location and time to be announced).

If you have questions regarding the subject of your costume—that is, whether or not it meets the criteria for presentation—please send an email to the Masquerade Coordinator.

Winning Announcements:
Winners of the Junior Division will be announced immediately following the competition. All other winners will be announced between the two concerts around 11:00 pm.

  1. The weapons policy of the convention must be followed. (See the Gathering's Weapons Policy, below.) While weapons will be allowed on stage, they must be checked by our Weapons Master first. Weapons will not be allowed for any contestant under age 18. All weapons must be checked in to the Weapons Master when the costume is not being presented and/or judged. No real firearms and no projectile weapons are allowed. If your costume requires a bow, it must be unstrung, with arrows un-tipped.
  2. If your presentation involves the unsheathing/wielding of any weapons on-stage, you must clear your presentation with the Masquerade Coordinator and the Weapons Master prior to the Masquerade. This applies to approved prop weapons as well. Contestants ignoring this rule will have their presentations stopped, and they will be escorted off the stage. We recognize the role weaponry plays in many costumes and will do everything we can to arrange a safe way for you to display appropriate weapons with your costume. Equally, we don't want anyone hurt.
  3. Furthermore, once the wielding (displaying or holding the weapon during a presentation constitutes "wielding") or unsheathing of a weapon is cleared with the Masquerade Coordinator and the Weapons Master, there MUST be a radius of at least 12 feet (or more depending on the total length of the weapon to be displayed) of empty space around the contestant.
  4. No open flame, fire, flash powder, flash paper is allowed.
  5. No messy substances, wet, dry or oily that might ruin the costume of any other contestant, or that may create a safety hazard, will be allowed in the Green room or on-stage. This includes leaving these substances on the stage. In other words, keep it on your costume. This means we rule out everything from spattered stage blood to thrown confetti to peanut butter anywhere. If in doubt ask the Masquerade Coordinator.
  6. No nudity. This also means no body paint instead of clothing minimums. Minimal clothing is considered what you would wear at a public pool. This masquerade is rated PG. There will be children in the audience. We do not want a situation where parents feel obligated to remove their child from the audience.
  7. Surprise the audience, but not the Masquerade Coordinator or the crew. If you are planning something particularly “unique” please let us know in advance.
  8. Please list any large props you plan to use. While we will have some room for props to be stored before the Masquerade, they must be removed before you leave the Masquerade on Monday evening by 11:30 pm at the latest.
  9. Costumes with electric power requirements must be self-contained. Connections to electrical outlets will not be available.
  10. No live creatures (other than human), will be allowed backstage or on stage. If your costume requires fauna such as snakes, ferrets etc, they must be stuffed or simulated. An exception to this rule will be made for service animals, if the contestant requires this type of assistance. Any restrictions, stairs, ramps, doorway sizes, and other limitations will be posted on the web site in late May or early June.
  11. Each person may present only once during the masquerade. While contestants may enter as many costumes as they like, they can only wear one of them. The others must be on other bodies.
  12. There will not be any microphones for the contestants. If you wish something special to be read by the MC please fill out the appropriate area on the masquerade registration form.
  13. Workmanship judging will be available before the Banquet and the Masquerade. Workmanship judging is optional, and may be limited to one part of your costume if desired.
  14. Check-in time for contestants wishing to compete for presentation awards only will be 8:30 pm Monday, and contestants desiring workmanship judging will need to check-in by 6:30 pm (exact locations for general check-in and workmanship check-in to be announced). Entries which do not check in will be eliminated. Costumers will be allowed to leave once the workmanship evaluation is over but must return by 8:45 pm to the Grand Ballroom otherwise they will be disqualified. We will make every effort to accommodate participants who wish to attend the Banquet (partake in the meal portion) which occurs between 8:00 pm and 9:00 pm so please let us know at check in.
  15. The Masquerade Coordinator reserves the option to eliminate anyone from competition on the basis of taste, danger to the audience or other contestants or for any other reason deemed sufficient. The Masquerade also reserves the right to change these rules as necessary and will notify contestants of any changes promptly.
  16. Hall costumes may be worn in the competition, in fact they are encouraged.
  17. We are encouraging exhibition costumes from other conventions. However, if a costume has won at a regional level or above, it can be shown only as an exhibit. (This does not preclude the competition of a costume that has been worn at another convention's masquerade at the same level.) Please speak to the Masquerade Coordinator in advance.
Some General Good Advice:
Please be kind to yourself before the competition. Get some sleep the night before. Register early and turn in all your materials properly labeled. Let the Masquerade Coordinator know what you'll need for your presentation to run smoothly. Get a lot of practice in ahead of time. Don't forget to eat and drink something in the late afternoon.

Stay in one place so we can find you when it's time to go on stage. If you need assistance dressing or have a sudden problem, let us know.
Don't forget to stick around for the awards—it just might be your name they call!

Masquerade Registration

Competition in the Gathering Masquerade is open and FREE to all Attending Registrants to the Gathering of the Fellowship event. We regret that we cannot allow single-day Registrants to compete. If you are not yet registered for the event, visit the Registration Page first to obtain your GOTF Registration Number, which will be emailed to you once we have confirmation of payment. If you know you are registered, but are unable to find your GOTF Registration Number, please send an email to

To pre-register your costume (or costumes) for the Masquerade, please fill out the following applicable information, and then press SUBMIT. If you do not yet have all the information or if something changes in the future, the registration can be adjusted later. Please note that to register a group an entry form is required for each participant and a separate one is required for the group. All members who compete in the masquerade must be registered with the convention by the time Registration closes on Sunday at 5:00 pm.

Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.
Email Address
GOTF Registration Number *
Entry Title or
Costume Name

Please indicate which Division you will be competing in: Junior (default)
Non-competing / Display only


Did you collaborate with anyone to make this entry?
No (default)
If so, please list the names of people involved, and their contribution:

Will you have large props for any of your entries?
No (default)
If so, please describe:

Will you have narration or a description for the MC to read?
No (default)
If so, please include the text or instructions here:

Will you have weapons with any of your entries?
No (default)
If so, please describe the weapon(s) and how you would prefer to use them in your presentation:

Note: Please review the Gathering's Weapons Policy thoroughly; you will need to go through a weapons check, and you may be required to provide proof of proper weapons training.

Comments, suggestions or extra information about your entries:


The Gathering of the Fellowship Weapons Policy

Weapons Prohibited

Edged  weapons of any sort (this includes all metal weapons) will NOT be carried, displayed, or worn by any Gathering attendee at any of these venues:
  • The Sheraton Centre convention meeting areas, including the ballrooms and foyers, the vendors area (see paragraph 3, below), the gallery, and all of the programming rooms;
  • The Sheraton Hotel common areas, unless being transported in a secure case;
  • The Princess of Wales Theatre;
  • The Toronto Island Public Park, including on board the ferry;
  • The cinema theatre to be designated for the Movie Marathon (to be announced).
This policy applies to ALL peace-tied swords, blades, and bow and arrow combinations, even if they are part of a costume ensemble. Prop weapons approved by the Gathering of the Fellowship may be worn throughout the event. Prop weapons can be defined as the following: weapons of wood, plastic, resin, or some other material, with the exception of rattan. Edged weapons (any metal weapon with a live/sharp blade) are strictly prohibited. Metal weapons, with non-harmful or dulled blades, are permitted only for Masquerade contestants and only during the judging and/or presentation.


Masquerade Weapons Restricted

No real weapons of ANY sort may be carried. Masquerade contestants ONLY may carry weapons under the following provision: at the Sheraton Centre Grand Ballroom during the Masquerade and Banquet Special Event, under these conditions:
  • Carried weapons MUST form an appropriate part of the costume the contestant is wearing, subject to approval by the Masquerade Coordinator and Weapons Master.
  • Carried weapons may ONLY be carried/displayed during workmanship judging and/or costume presentation. At other times during the event they must be checked in to the Weapons Master.
  • All swords (and similar blades) must be peace-tied. Bows must be unstrung, and arrows un-tipped. Weapons may drawn for purposes of judging and presentation ONLY, subject to PRIOR APPLICATION. Please note that the Gathering of the fellowship will require some evidence of weapons training to allow such display. Be prepared to provide such evidence to the Weapons Master.
  • The Weapons Master will not allow a checked weapon to be claimed by anyone who is impaired, under ANY circumstances. (The weapon may be claimed at least 12 hours later, and a storage fee will be levied.)
  • Weapons may NOT be carried by any attendee under age 18.
  • While the Weapons Master will provide a secure storage area for contestants who need to check their weapons, the Gathering of the Fellowship can NOT be held responsible for lost or stolen weapons.
  • No live blades of any kind are to be worn. All blades must be dull & without an edge.


Weapons Dealers

Weapons dealers and vendors WILL be allowed to participate in the vendors' area. However, it is the merchant's responsibility for ensuring that the Gathering's weapons policy is adhered to. All weapons sales must be held until the end of the convention day, or transported immediately out of the convention area once delivered to the purchaser. There will be a secure area provided for this purpose.


Weapons Definitions

The Gathering staff and security reserve the right to determine what is an approved weapon and what is not. The Gathering staff and security reserve the right to determine what a "live weapon" or "prop weapon" is. The following guidelines should be followed:
  • Live weapon (prohibited) means any metal weapon with a sharp edge or point. This includes any of the following blade types: broadsword, single or double-edged sword, dagger, dirk, stiletto, pike, arrow, axe, warhammer, etc.  
  • Dull weapon (Masquerade contestants only) means any metal weapon must have no sharpened edges, points, or any area of the weapon that has been sharpened by either the manufacturer or owner.  This includes non-metal weapons, such as staves, walking sticks, or wooden items (pikes, cross-bow bolts, or arrows) that can either have sharpened metal points affixed to the weapon or have a point of the weapon proper (wooden body of the weapon) in any way sharpened.
  • Approved prop weapon (unrestricted) means any weapon made of material other than metal, such as wood, plastic, resin, or rubber.  Weapons made of  rattan are prohibited, as no combat reenactment will be permitted. PVC weapons with proper SCA-regulated padding are permitted; however, these cannot be used in any combat reenactment or combat choreography.
Please note that these guidelines may be adjusted at any time at the sole discretion of the Gathering of the Fellowship. The Gathering staff and security reserve the right to cancel an attendee's registration and/or banquet tickets (without refund) and remove them from any of the venues if they are not abiding by this policy. The Gathering staff and security reserve the right to report to the local law authorities any attendee who is acting in an irresponsible manner with their weapons.


Crossing the Border with Weapons

Transportation of edged and/or prop weapons into and out of Canada is the sole responsibility of the attendee. For more detailed information, please visit this website.


Weapons Use by Guests/Presenters

Weapons (live, dull, or prop) that are exhibited and/or demonstrated by guests/presenters at SCHEDULED PROGRAMMING SESSIONS are exempt from this policy, ONLY provided that any such display/demonstration has been pre-approved by the Programming Directors and the Security Chief before the session takes place. The Gathering of the Fellowship reserves the right to immediately terminate any unauthorized weapons demonstration and remove the guest/presenter from the venue. Such unauthorized use of weapons will be considered a breach of the presenter's programming agreement.

If you have any questions or comments about this weapons policy,

please send us an email at

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