On October 15-16, the fifth anniversary of the Ottawa Geek Market was held, attracting thousands of visitors from across the region. A few of us NITWits were also in attendance, basking in the warm glow of all that concentrated nerdiness (it is, after all, where our superpowers come from). To be honest, the sheer scale and variety of the event completely floored me. I had never been to any sort of convention before, and I’m not sure what my expectations were, but the Ottawa Geek Market surpassed them all. From amazing art to Japanese imports to hand-carved Harry Potter wands, there was something for everyone to be found amongst the profusion of tables and booths filling the hall.
In addition to the nerdtastic swag for sale, the festival’s organizers – all volunteers, by the way – provided a surprising number of activities for attendees, ranging from escape rooms for families and adults to a Lego table for the kids (as well as geeky videojournalists who refuse to act their age). The energy was amazing: everywhere you looked, people were smiling, fooling around, and generally having a great time. It’s encouraging to see so much passion for the subculture amongst our community; it really brought home how much things have changed since I was in school. We’re no longer outcasts, and our community is no longer as insular as it once was: we nerds are loud and proud, and much better off for it.
Perhaps the greatest thing about the Ottawa Geek Market is its focus on providing an opportunity for local talent to be recognized and promoted. The vast majority of the artists and performers in attendance were Ottawa or Gatineau locals, and when so many incredible content creators are packed into a single room, it really makes you appreciate just how many brilliant minds share the National Capital Region with us.
Don’t take my word for it, though! Check out the video below and see for yourself!
Clarification: Please note that while the video refers to the Geek Market as an annual event, it occurs multiple times per year.