Each year, Ai-Kon invites talent from around the world to participate in our convention! They host panels, have brunch with some lucky attendees and participate in autograph sessions where they sign 1 item per attendee for free!
Ai-Kon 2016 Guests
Returning for his 8th year to Ai-Kon, we would love to welcome back Greg Ayres!
Greg Ayres has spent the last fifteen years working in an industry he had admired for years as a fan. With over 200 credits to his name, this fan-boy has managed to get to play a variety of characters that are almost as colorful as his hair.
He’s thrilled to splash his way into 2015 in the role of Nagisa Haruki in Free Eternal Summer, and equally as excited to make “killer” appearances as MonoKuma in Danganronpa and Doug in Gangsta. He was thrilled to be a part of the Toonami re-launch in the roles of Ganta Igarashi in Deadman Wonderland and Heihachi Hayashida in Samurai 7, and even more thrill to follow that up with the following summer’s thriller Another as Kouichi Sakakibara. His most recent roles include Clear in Dramatical Murder, Satoru Asahina in From the New World, Kenji Nakanishi in Say I Love You, Sion in No. 6, Heisuke Toudou in Hakuoki, Tommyrod in Toriko, Arikawa in This Boy Can Fight Aliens, Tomoki Sakurai, in Heaven’s Lost Property, and Volken in the Book of Bantorra.
Some of his all-time favorite roles include Son Goku in Saiyuki, Chrono in Chrono Crusade, Kaoru Hitachiin in Ouran High School Host Club, Youhei Sunohara in Clannad, Yuki in The Wallflower, Leo in Ghost Stories, Satoshi Hiwatari in DNAngel, Kaworu Nagisa in the Director’s Cut of Neon Genesis Evangelion, and Negi Springfield in Negima. He can also be heard as Uesugi Kenshin in Sengoku Basara, Seikechi Tayama in Oh Edo Rocket, Hiro Hirono in ef: A Tale of Memories, Abe in Big Windup, Jr. in Xenosaga: The Animation, Tsujido in Speed Grapher, Roan in Ragnorok The Animation, Yamazaki in Welcome to the NHK, Gau Ban in Shadow Skill, Pope Alessandro XVIII in Trinity Blood, and a bunch of other titles he’ll probably forget to mention.
When he's not in a booth with headphones on, you can usually find him sporting headphones behind “the decks” at many a music event. A veteran nightclub DJ of many years, he jumped at the opportunity to play music and organize late night dances at many of the conventions he attends. He currently runs and organizes the dance and music tracks at several US conventions. Greg is also a member of Project BECK, who perform music from the anime Beck Mongolian Chop Squad. He's had blast reliving the music from the show with his friends, as well as getting to open for Back On at this last year's Otakon Matsuri. Always thrilled share his love of music with anyone willing to listen - from packed rooms at anime conventions, to the legendary stage of The Knitting Factory (NYC), Greg is always ready to make a some noise.
You can view Greg's complete list of roles here.
A native Texan and avid anime fan, Josh Grelle has been working in voice work for over 10 years.
After starting with ADV Films in January 2004, Josh was quickly bombarded with tons of in-booth experience on a wide range of shows, including Wedding Peach, Steam Detectives, 009-1, and the legendary Gatchaman. He began working for FUNimation Entertainment in 2006. Since then, he has starred in numerous titles; his most famous being Kenichi in Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple.
Other roles include Armin in Attack on Titan, Kyohei in the Wallflower, Kouichi in Linebarrles of Iron, Yuki in Future Diary, Itsuki in Initial D, and Kuranosuke in Princess Jellyfish. More recent roles include Chow from Starship Troopers: Invasion, Nicky in Mass Effect: Paragon Lost, Kazuya Aoi in Freezing, Yuji Sakai in Shakugan no Shana, Akihisa Yoshii in Baka and Test, and Komatsu in Toriko. Aside from anime, Josh has lent his voice to a number of video games, including Sima Shi in Dynasty Warriors 7, Xbalanque in Smite, Dave in Borderlands 2, and the voice of the "energetic" custom character in Dragonball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi. Josh is represented by The Mary Collins Agency.
You can view Josh's complete list of roles here.
Cherami Leigh has been in the industry for 20 years. She has been in over 75 commercials, and has worked on over 100 anime projects including "Lucy" in Fairy Tail, "Asuna" in Sword Art Online, "Road" in D. Grayman, "Lizzie" in Black Butler, "Mai" in Ghost Hunt, and "Patty" in Soul Eater and has worked on over 20 video games- including Borderlands 2- in which she plays the popular DLC- Gaige. She has also been announced to be playing "Sailor Venus" in Sailor Moon,"Mika" in Psycho Pass, Kajun in "BlazBlue" and Komaru Naegi in the latest installment of the "Dangan Ronpa" series.
She is a series regular on the Sprout hit- "Zou", a lead role in the animated feature "Ribbit" has guest starred on "Doc McStuffins" and plays "Peanut Big Top" in the La La Loopsy Girls. She starred in Shane Dawson's "Not Cool" and the Starz Original Series "The Chair." She has appeared in the Emmy Award Winning "Temple Grandin", as well as "Friday Night Lights," "The Deep End," "Chase," "Shameless," "Bones" and "Longmire" to name a few. She worked on "Fast Food Nation," with Richard Linklater, "The Hottest State," with Ethan Hawke, "The Mist," with Frank Darabont among others.
She also stars in the recently released faith based drama "Beyond the Farthest Star." She also starred in and produced two seasons of the award winning webseries "Throwing Stones." She has other projects in various stages of production she is excited to share!
You can view Cherami's complete list of roles here.
Bryce Papenbrook has been a professional voice over artist since the age of eight. He was introduced to the voice acting scene by his father, Bob Papenbrook, and has continued the trade in his footsteps.
Bryce has performed in numerous video games, cartoons, and television shows. Some recent roles include Eren in Attack on Titan & Attack on Titan Jr High, Kirito in Sword Art Online & Sword Art Online II, Shirou Emiya in Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works, Meliodas & Love Helm in The Seven Deadly Sins, Rin Okumura in Blue Exorcist, Chooki & Lydendor in Tenkai Knights, Red in PokÃ©mon Origins, Machina Kunagiri in Final Fantasy Type-0, Masaomi Kida in Durarara!! & Durarara!! X2, Theodore in Persona Q, Makoto Naegi in DanganRonpa: Trigger Happy Havoc & DanganRonpa: The Animation, Nagito Komaeda in Super Dangan Ronpa 2, Staz Charlie Blood in Blood Lad, Adrien aka Cat Noir in Miraculous Ladybug, Eugene Sevenstark in Mobile Suit Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans, Clay Sizemore in Soul Eater Not!, Calm Craftman in Aldnoah.Zero, Wataru Asahina in Brothers Conflict, Kaname Isaki in A Lull in the Sea, Numerous roles in Call of Duty : Ghosts, Tiz Arrior in Bravely Default, Adol Christin in Ys: Memories of Celceta, Inky in Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures Game, Black Ranger in the Power Rangers Megaforce Game, Sultan in Disney Princess Palace Pets, Lest in Rune Factory 4, Henry in Fire Emblem Awakening, Issachar in Shin Megami Tensei IV, Asbel Lhant in Tales of Graces F, Zidane Tribal in Final Fantasy Dissidia 012, and Guan Ping in Dynasty Warriors. Past leading roles include Shugo in .hack//Sign Legend of the Twilight, Jack in MAR, Jack Russell in Radiata Stories, Hanabusa Aido in Vampire Knight, and Isami Fujiwara in Noein.
You can follow Bryce on Facebook at http://facebook.com/ActorBrycePapenbrook, @BrycePapenbrook on Twitter, and @BrycePapenbrook on Instagram!
You can view Bryce's complete list of roles here.
Most recognized as the voice of Krillin on the wildly popular, animated TV show Dragon Ball Z and as an illustrator for, arguably, the most famous, independently published comic book series Elfquest. Strait has over 20 years of experience in the arts.As a voice actor, Strait is considered to be one of the most recognized in the business. Besides Dragon Ball Z, he has worked on many popular animated series including Usopp in One Piece, Maes Hughes in Fullmetal Alchemist, and Cartoon Network’s laid back, robot host Toonami TOM. He has also worked as a writer and director on several TV series including Dragon Ball series, Case Closed, and Lupin the Third.
As a comic book artist he has 17 published works to date including his débuted self-published series Mr. Average featured in The Comics Journal and Elfquest which was published by both WARP Graphics and DC Comics and he's considered one of the top Elfquest artists from its over 30 year history. In 2007, he wrote and illustrated a graphic novel about a reluctant punk rock, faerie princess named Goat. The book, called We Shadows, was published by Tokyopop and was nominated by The American Library Association for Best Graphic Novel 2008. The book received glowing reviews in many trade magazines including Publishers Weekly, Newtype, Play and Anime Insider.
He has also appeared in many video games such as the title role in S’plosion Man, the psychos in Borderlands and Neptune in Smite. Recently, Strait has reprised his roles of Krillin in the theatrical release Dragonball Z Resurrection F and Toonami TOM 1 in the Intruder 2 series for Cartoon Network. He was also cast in his current favorite roles of Koro Sensei in Assassination Classroom and Maple in Show By Rock.
In 2015 Sonny returned to directing starting with the anime series Maria the Virgin Witch, Mikagura School Suite and the highly controversial Prison School. He has also returned to Elfquest as a colorist for Dark Horse Comics. He also did a Ford commercial as Krillin!
If you are a geek genre unmarred by his carnage, know that you are so next!
You can view Sonny's complete list of roles here.
Yume and Kitsurie
Yume and Kitsurie are Canadian cosplayers that are based in Toronto. Both have been cosplaying for a number of years with Yume starting in 2005 and Kitsurie shortly after in 2008.
Early in the journey, they competed in masquerades with Yume at Master level and Kitsurie in Artisan level. The two of them met in 2012 and have been good friends since! They are often seen doing duo cosplays together so much that they have been giving the label: YuRie (a combination of their names).
Now they prefer to take a step back from competition and instead focus on the creating costumes of their favourite pairings, doing story-telling photoshoots and giving back to the community by creating tutorials and hosting panels. The two of them are very excited to meet the Winnipeg community!
The 404s Improv Comedy Group
The 404s are back with their biggest shows ever for Ai-Kon's momentous 15th Anniversary! Operating since 2003, The 404s are Canada’s experts in fandom-based improv comedy, and this year they’ll be improvising a series of performances sure to tickle you silly all weekend long!
In celebration of Ai-Kon's landmark year, they’re bringing together the best anime improvisers from around Canada together for a mega-show mashup of epic proportions! From sea to sea, they’ll be there making stuff up with that anime twist you know and love. Each performance is unique, and they’ll be using YOUR ideas and help to power the show!
Some of the great shows they have in store for you this year:
- The 404s Present: All-Ages Improvaganza
The 404s are back and ready to make with the funny. Join them as they kick off Ai-Kon's 15th anniversary with an Improv spectacular. The comedy is all made up on the spot, and is fueled by your suggestions. Come check out The 404s and see what they have in store to start the celebration.
- The 404s Present: The Infamous Last Pants Standing Show
After the sun goes down, The 404s filters come off among other things... *wink*wink*. Come enjoy some unadulterated comedy as The 404s entertain those over the age of 18. And be sure to stay till the end for a special surprise.
- The 404s Present: Mullet Improv
Just like the classic hairstyle of the 80's, The 404s bring you some stylish Improv. Shortform games in the front and a Longform show in the back. The 404s play some of your favourite games incorporating your suggestions. Then recreate an entire Missing Episode of your favourite Anime, chosen by you.
To learn more about The 404s visit their website: www.the404s.com
Guests Who Send Their Regrets
Laura Bailey - CANCELLED
From super powered vigilante to bubbly teen pop star to ice wielding wizard, Laura Bailey has brought to life a plethora of fan favorite characters.
Laura got her start at a young age on the smash hit DragonBall Z as Trunks, the little boy with a big attitude. She has since gone on to become one of the most prolific voice actresses in the industry today having worked on over 400 titles in video games, cartoons and anime.
Travis Willingham - CANCELLED
Travis Willingham has amassed over 200 roles in anime, video games and original animation projects. He is most widely known in the world of anime as Roy Mustang in both of the heralded Fullmetal Alchemist series'. Other credits include Naruto, Bleach, Tiger & Bunny, D.Gray-Man, Mushishi, Ouran Host Club and One Piece, as well as Marvel’s X-Men and Iron Man anime series.
Please note that all guest appearances are subject to change due to work-related or personal circumstances. Ai-Kon is not responsible for cancellations, missed flights, or other unforeseen circumstances. Admission refunds will NOT be given.
If you would like to be a guest at Ai-Kon 2016, please send an email to our guest relations.