Arts

Photo courtesy of Uniforge Inc.

If geeks are going to inherit the earth, there’s no better time to jump on board.

In only its second year, the Ottawa Geek Market—which brings the geek community together to meet up, buy hard-to-find geek items, and raise money for charity—will be taking place on October 19 and 20 at the Carleton University Fieldhouse.

The event covers a variety of subgenres, including anime, horror, comic books, fantasy, sci-fi, and board games. Similar to Comic Con in its range, the Geek Market is different in its focus on providing the community with opportunities to buy things they’re unlikely to find anywhere else.

For students who are interested in geek culture and are looking to meet up with like-minded people, this a is a great place to do it.

“I know that there’s a lot of geek-related clubs that are really active, but they don’t necessarily have spaces or visibility on campus,” said Ajà Besler, University of Ottawa alumnus and vendor at Geek Market.

Besler and her crafting partner have turned their love of geek culture and crafting into a small business, the Staja Artist Collective. Attending events with their business gives them an opportunity to interact with other geeks and watch the community grow.

“The geek community in Ottawa is starting to get very active,” Besler said. “I’d say the past couple of years, [it has] gone from being one or two geek events a year to dozens of big events of all varieties.”

Elizabeth Howell, the media coordinator for the Ottawa Geek Market said she’s surprised and impressed with the level of commitment from attendees.

“People not only have T-shirts on–which is what you would expect at an event like this,” Howell said, “but they’re actually getting into full Klingon gear. I’ve seen people with makeup all over their faces and it looks just like they came right off the Star Trek set.”

In addition to bringing a community together with common interests, the event is raising money for Kids Help Phone, Jer’s Vision, and the Distress Centre of Ottawa and Region.

“What we wanted to do was contribute to groups that were supporting the anti-bullying movement,” said Howell. “Because it is not a situation that affects just one group only, we wanted to make sure that we covered everybody.”

Volunteers from charities will be on site and Geek Mart attendees have an opportunity to not only support the organizations through ticket sales, but there will also be a photo booth to take costume photos in and a silent auction.

With a philanthropic goal, creative and talented cosplayers in attendance, and a wide range of geek subgenre products to choose from, the event provides attendees with everything they might need to geek out.

“The geek community in Ottawa is a really open and accepting place,” Besler said. “If you’re a beginner geek or if you’re a really hardcore geek, there’s room for everyone.”