We don’t always stay at home and play games. Sometimes we like to venture out and do other cool stuff together as a family. Like going to the Ottawa Geek Market X. Last Sunday was our first time attending the OGM, but it wasn’t our first family foray at a Geek Convention-style event. [Insert dreamy flashback to 2011. My daughter Zoé was dressed up as toddler Princess Leia. She stole the hearts of many at the Calgary Expo with her squeaky shoes. Even the storm and scout trooper couldn’t resist.]
The OGM is super family-friendly and you’ll feel it from the moment you walk in with your little ones. Adult admission at the door was $10 and kids under 12 get in for free, which is so nice when you’re used to paying crazy dollars for most outings with a family of 4. Plus, some of the proceeds from our admission went to the Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health. The OGM deserves props for that.
The OGM has something for everyone. You can buy board games, comic books, Legos, wall art, geeky tshirts, stuffies, jewellery and so much more. At this year’s event you could also test out tons of board games for free. Or you could try virtual reality games or a mobile escape room experience in a portable trailer. Perfect for your next birthday party.
And whether you came dressed or not as your favourite superhero or villain (the theme of this year’s event) there was LOTS of great cosplay to see. This includes my very own sister-in-law Sherri Boucher who rocked a vintage Star Trek cosplay uniform as part of the Ladies Who Trek community group. Hopefully she’ll let me borrow her awesome beehive for fancy parties.
We met some wonderful vendors and wanted to highlight a few of them here. Most offer their handmade merchandise for sale online so wherever you live you can still get your hands on these geeky goodies.
Glitch: Hi-Tech Lo-Fi Art
TBone Forest is the mastermind behind these incredibly detailed shadowboxes of retro arcade games. Many of the games are still around in one form or another so my kids really got a kick out of identifying some of them. As their name states, Glitch turns digital pixels into a 3D analog artwork.
I could totally picture the classics like Donkey Kong or Super Mario Bros lovingly cherished in a kids room or a video game collector’s den. View all the different shadowboxes and purchase a favourite from your childhood here: https://glitchartwork.com/
Custom Game Bits
Steve Larkin from Custom Game Bits creates wooden board game box inserts, cool board game accessories, and even original wooden games too. His customizable and very affordable wooden dice towers makes rolling more fun and less frustrating (no more rolling dice off tables or knocking over game pieces).
And our kids really enjoyed playing with his Tower of Chairs Dexterity Game, where you free play and stack up 30 tiny wooden chairs in cool ways. At only $30 this game would make such a nice handcrafted gift for a friend or child’s birthday. Visit their website here to see their entire catalog of inserts, accessories and original games: https://www.customgamebits.com/collections/all
All the way from Montreal, Julie Lauzon, owner of Créations Lilipop loves to attend the Ottawa Geek Market and has participated now for many years along with her loyal sidekick/husband. Her jewellery creations are bright, cheeky, and oh so geeky.
I even spotted earrings inspired by my favourite alien quote from the best alien cult movie EVER, Mars Attacks. (If you didn’t know I was referring to “Ack Ack” you need to watch the movie right now.)
Plus it turns out that my daughter Zoé likes Sailor Moon now. How she got into it I have no idea, but that’s pretty cool considering that I was the biggest Sailor Moon fan in high school twenty-some years ago. She really wanted to buy Lilipop’s Luna Pin and is looking forward to rocking it at school.
Lilipop’s website has so many cute geeky and funky earrings you’re bound to fall in love with a few of them, and at $10 a pop, it’s easy to say yes to all of them. Visit Lilipop’s website shop here: https://www.lilipop.ca/
More than 6,000 unique visitors enjoyed this tenth installment of the Ottawa Geek Market, which helped the organization raise $5,000 for the Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health. Be sure to catch the next Ottawa Geek Market happening March 23-24, 2019 and enjoy the action while shopping for some geeky goodies with your family.
Janelle Tang is the Founder of Meeple & Sheep, a pop-up and online board game shop for families and casual players located in Ottawa. In a world overwhelmed with technology she hopes to encourage more families to disconnect and reconnect with one another through entertaining analog games. Janelle loves Star Wars and Star Trek almost equally, and also enjoys managing her Paint Nite business and spreading the love of art in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario where she used to live.