Parent’s Guide to Vancoufur
Has your child or youth asked you to let them attend Vancoufur, but you aren’t sure what all this “furry” or convention stuff is all about? Here we try to provide you with information regarding the event and what to expect.
Vancoufur is a “Furry Con”, a celebration of the anthropomorphic fandom, not unlike a comic con or anime con. It is a convention of people who are all fans of “furry” characters; furry being animals with human qualities, such as anthropomorphic versions that walk like people, or talk like people, sometimes referred to ‘funny’ animals. Famous examples include characters from properties such such as Loony Toons (eg: Bugs bunny) Disney movies like Zootopia, Illumination’s SING, etc. The furry fandom is a bit unique in that unlike Anime or Comic culture, it is customary in furry culture to create your own character or “fursona”. There is a heavy emphasis on individual creativity and expression, and ones ‘fursona’ is one of many ways this is expressed in furry circles.
Vancoufur has many of the same staples you’d find at any comic or anime event, such as panels, dances, events, video game rooms, contests, tabletop rooms, and a vendor’s hall and artist alley. Though there are some key differences in some areas. For example, all vendors, from the Dealer’s to the Artist Alley are all independent small artists and furry owned businesses. Panels are varied in topics, and often very informative. Make sure you check the schedule for their times and content, they change every year!
Vancoufur also has some content that is unique, such as our Escape Room, Fursuit events, GOH dinner, Ice cream social, charity auction, & more depending on the theme year to year. Some of these events may require purchase of an extra ticket for that event (such as the Escape Room, GOH dinner, and ice Cream social). We do have some tiers of registration that include these items, but basic registration requires you purchase them separately, and some activities might not be available a-la-carte. Make sure you communicate with your child about what they want to do, and you are aware of the days these events take place and the costs required. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions!
Our registration system requires that you create an account for each individual that is registering. To register your child, you will need to create an account for them, and put in their information. If they are 12 or younger, you can simply close the browser when you get to the payment options, as 12 and under are free. However, they will need a guardian, so you or your spouse (or both) will need to each create and account and register, and pay for your tickets. When you arrive, the Registration people will check your IDs, and then link your accounts as a family.
If your child is 13 or older, they will need a full pass for themselves, but they can attend freely without supervision once you’ve checked them in at registration.
If you are bringing someone else’s child, you will need to have their parent fill out 2 copies of our For Parents to Give Consent to Another Adult form. you will need to bring this with you to registration to pick up the other child’s registration.
Currently we anticipate requiring vaccinations for all attendees as events like Vancoufur can and do result in exposures to Covid-19. Please make note and have you, and your child(ren) vaccinated at least 2 weeks before the event date.
Cosplay & Fursuits
Like at other conventions, where you’ll find tons of colorful cosplay of well known anime and comic book characters, at Vancoufur, you will encounter cosplayers called “Fursuiters”. These Fursuiters wear custom made costumes that are not unlike mascot costumes. These suits are expressions of personal characters that range from basic homemade creations to sophisticated suits with electronics and other hardware. It is important that both you and your child understand the general rules of interacting with fursuiters, so that no one gets hurt or has a bad time.
Fursuits are very bulky and often hard to see or hear in. Most fursuiters have a’ handler’ who is an assistant while they are in costume, and because of the cost of these suits (some can be worth 4000+ USD or more), and the fact the person in them may not be able to see or hear, it is important that if there is a handler, you interact with them first, and ask if you can interact with the suiter. This includes hugging, touching, or taking photos. Some people may not want to be touched, or even deaf in suit, so it is important to talk to the handler if they have one. If you talk to the suiter and they don’t respond, don’t take it personally! They probably can’t hear or see you. Try to wave, and if they don’t react, try them again later. It is very important that you DO NOT GRAB or TOUCH fursuiters without their permission! This can damage the suit or injure the suiter!
Fursuits are also very EXPENSIVE. Damage to a suit can be a major expense to fix! It is very critical that children do not touch, pull, push or otherwise touch the suits in order to avoid damaging them. These suits are usually handmande and are works of art, it is important that they are respected.
Getting my child a fursuit
It is important for parents to understand that these are not just halloween costumes. Fursuits from makers are EXPENSIVE.
Fursuits are essentially bespoke, custom, works of art, and they are priced as such. Most fursuits are designed specifically to express one’s personal “fursona” and are tailored to fit only a specific person, so they are mostly custom made. Pre-mades are fairly new and generally only available as a “partial” (Head only or with hand paws and a tail, depending on if it is a mini partial or full partial), but still carry a pretty hefty price tag, however they are available at most cons.
Most fursuits from makers start at $500 for the heads alone, often more like $1200-$5000 when you add special touches like fans or lights. If your child is looking for a suit, be aware of how expensive they are, and also be aware that due to this most makers will not make suits for children that have not yet finished growing. Makers are also very leery in dealing with parents who may not understand the cost and culture of making suits. You are better off buying a premade (assuming you have the $500-$1000 to spend) at a convention or making one yourself with your child. A great resource is Matrices.net for tutorials to build your own a suit.
If you have a child into fursuiting, you likely already know some of these things. Your child may want to participate in activities involving their fursuit and we have several specialized events. This includes dance contests such as the Fursuit Dance Competition, and Floor Wars. We also have a talent show, a fursuit parade, fursuit cutie pageant, and fursuit games. Please note these events often have a signup component and if your child wants to participate, please assist them in signing up and getting what they need prior to the event. These events also happen on different days. If you are not attending for the full weekend, do make sure you check to make sure you are attending the event on the day it (and possibly the rehearsal for the event) occur.
We do of course allow other cosplay than fursuiting, and all costumers of all skill levels are welcome to show off their creations, though adding an animal touch is definitely in the spirit of the event!
There is an area called the “Fursuit Lounge”. This is the place where suiters can go to cool off, get some snacks and hydrate. If you are your child’s handler, you can visit this space with them. There are also change rooms and repair stations in case their suit has a malfunction. Be advised there is no photography permitted in the lounge, and that rule applies to cellphones/social media as well. Please wait until you are back outside the lounge to snap instagram photos!
Vancoufur is an “all-ages” event, in that we have content for all ages. That includes adults, which make up our largest demographic. We know some parents are concerned about adult content, so we have taken steps to help you control your experience better.
General convention spaces are designated to be PG at all times, however, there are places we do host adult content in the evenings, and relax some of our general attire guidelines after 10 pm.
We have designated “Adult Hours” after 10 pm on Thurs/Fri/Sat when the adult content (panels) will be occurring. Adult programming is behind closed doors and is ID checked to ensure no minors have access to this. Adult products are not permitted to be displayed openly in the Dealers Den or Artist Alley, and vendors must ID check potential buyers to ensure only of age people have access to those materials.
If you are concerned about your child potentially encountering something adult oriented, we suggest retiring to your room or leaving the main convention area or hotel by 9:30pm.
If you see or experience anything or see anyone that you feel is in violation of these policies, please contact our Operations team at the hotel immediately. Our Rangers will deal with the situation.
If you have a child with a mobility disability or requires special accommodations (such as Autism), our hotel is accessible, and we have accommodations including special seating, elevator priority and a quiet room for use if needed. If you need assistance, please send an email to email@example.com with your accessibility needs.
Waiting for your child?
We know some parents may come with their children with the intention of simply waiting around while their kid has fun. Its important to note there isn’t much in the way of places to sit and just work or hang out in the hotel as the restaurant area is closed and all other space is convention space or the hotel is using for other purposes. If you anticipate having to wait for your child, we highly encourage you to volunteer, and help out the con while you wait. That will give you access to somewhere to sit or keep you busy helping the event staff while you wait.
- Children age 12 and under are *free* to attend (basic admission), with a paid adult pass for the parent.
We recommend that children & adults be vaccinated for Covid-19 if you are planning to attend as there is documented spread at events such as conventions.
- To register your child under 12, you must make an account for each child you want to register into our system. You can use the same email address.
- Pay in full for the adult membership(s) via paypal or credit card, and add any additional items (tshirts, escape room tickets) on the adult membership.
- If you wish to get your child ‘patron’ or ‘sponsor’ level tiers and goodies, you must pay for them under the parent account.
- Register each child as a separate account
- When you arrive at the registration desk, you will be given a ‘Kit in tow’ badge for them, and they will be attached to the adult account.
- Note: Parents attending with infants and minors 12 or under cannot bring their children into restricted event spaces marked as adult or 18+.
If your child is 12-15 years old:
- Minors aged 13 and up require a full paid membership. Minors 13-15 may attend without adult supervision as soon as they have acquired a valid membership badge. Minors aged 13+ should be vaccinated for Covid-19.
- To register, create a new account for each minor you wish to register in our registration system.
- Select a registration level for the minor.
- Add anything additional you want to purchase onto the registration and proceed to payment.
- A parent or legal guardian must be present to register (or pickup a preregistration) and sign the AUP for a minor aged 13-15. NO EXCEPTIONS.
- If you are sending your child with another parent, or you are bringing a child from another family, you must have a Parent To Guardian Consent form filled out from the non-attending parent.
- We recommend that minors who will be roaming unsupervised have a plan in place with their parents, and a cellphone or contact number, so they can stay in contact with parents and know where to meet up.
If your child is 16-18
- Minors ages 16-18 do not require parental consent to register for membership and attend Vancoufur.
- Minor is registered as a normal attendee. A separate account should be made for each person with appropriate registration level selected.
FAQ for parents
As a parent/guardian, am I required to buy a pass?
Yes. All people 13+ must purchase a pass if they are attending the convention. Children aged 12 and under are free to attend with a parent/guardian with a paid pass. Minors 13-15 may attend the convention without parental supervision, however, they need their parent/guardian to help them register and pick up their badge. If as a parent you intend to stay and supervise your youth 13+, you will need to buy a pass.
What if I’m sending my child/youth with another person or family?
Youth 13-15 require a parent or legal guardian must be present to register and sign for their registration. If you are sending your child with another family that is not a legal parent or guardian, you will need send them with two copies of the “For Parents to Give Consent to Another Adult form“. Please download the form and print and sign two copies to send with your designated guardian for registration.
Is this a family friendly event?
Vancoufur is an all-ages event, in that there is programming for all ages. Our G/PG content is featured during the day until 9:30pm, and more adult oriented content is hosted in the evening after 10pm (and is ID checked accordingly). Be sure to check the schedule when it is available for what programming is available when and plan your day accordingly.
Is there youth programming?
Yes! We have many events and panels suitable for youths, and include everything from youth and parent meetups, to creative workshops, tournaments, and even shows. There is different content everyday, so please check our events page for the schedule when it goes live. If you are a parent who would like to help with programming for youths, please consider volunteering!
Can my child attend events alone?
Minors aged 13+ may attend without parental supervision. Children 12 and under are free to attend, but must be accompanied by an adult with a paid membership.
How do I add my youth’s ticket to my registration?
Unfortunately our registration software does not allow for multiple passes per account. You will need to make an individual account for each person you are registering.
Is there somewhere for me to hang out as I wait for my child?
We do not have any designated space per se, but we often suggest that if an Adult is waiting for a child and wants something to do, we can always use volunteers to help run the event! It is a good way to both assist the event and keep an eye on minors. More information on volunteering can be found here.
My child/youth wants to participate in a particular event, how to I make sure they get into it?
Popular events, such as the dance competition, have specific requirements and sign up required. Many also require that the participants attend a rehearsal before the event. Be sure to make sure you’ve helped your child fill out the entry form to their event of choice and submit music or instructions required, and check the schedule to be sure that they are able to show up for the rehearsal time. Some of these events also have a limited participant list due to time constraints. Register early to ensure your child/youth’s participation.