I live in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, U.S. Most of the conventions I hear about either take place somewhere on the west coast, like Los Angeles, or in a big metro like New York; if one occurred in North Carolina, it would probably be around Charlotte or Raleigh, which isn't too far away, but the odds that I'd be able to attend would still be pretty slim.
Not exactly sure what happened, but in the past 2 years there has been a steady growth in anime related events over here.
And some of the cosplayers that I know are actually rather serious in doing the hobby, they spend a lot on costumes / make -up, etc. Sorry to hear about the situation of anime conventions in Canada, or are you from the US? Maybe it's because anime cons aren't widely accepted as a public acitivity in your area? Or perhaps theres only few people who like anime in your area? Even my friend from Germany says there are small anime conventions held every now and then in her country (although not as frequent like in the Philippines) - there's one time where it rained but she still attended.
I always enjoy looking through them; anime conventions are not very common where I live, the closes thing to it I can recall, was actually at a model train event that was held at the Winston-Salem Colosseum about 10 years ago; and the only reason why I say that, is because there was a small counter selling anime related goods, particularly: Sailor Moon, DragonBall Z, Gundam Wing and Ronin Warriors; as they were airing at that time; so there were unfortunately no cosplayers.