This weekend I pried myself from the computer and made my way to the fifth installment of the bi-annual Ottawa Geek Market. I figured that in all of the years that I’d been in Ottawa I’d yet to attend, so now was as good a time as ever.
In Winnipeg we had the Comic & Toy Expo, and I figured the Geek Market would be similar. Although, that is hard to determine what my expectations should be because of the extreme growth that C4-Lite experienced while I lived there. The first year I attended the Winnipeg Comic & Toy Expo it had almost a craft show / flea market feel. It was fun, and unique, because it was a place where you knew you would connect with local vendors and crafters (unlike the bigger Con, where international vendors set up shop). By the last year I was in Winnipeg though, the Comic & Toy Expo was pretty much a mini Comic Con, complete with celebrity guests and everything.
Ottawa Geek Market is interesting, and presents a weekend of fun for people of all ages. There were vendors, artists and crafters with booths and tables full of fun collectibles. There was also a great showing of local social and fan clubs. There were not celebrity guests, but there was plenty of attractions and entertainment, including game areas (tabletop and video games), stage activities, and a geeky scavenger hunt. There was also a gaming tournament and costume contest.
I would highly recommend this event for families. I saw plenty of kids dressed up and as excited as though they were at Disneyland. They got to play in a bouncy castle and a craft area, and the video game area was chock full of kids when I walked by. Even the swag bags seemed to communicate that the event was targeted for families based on the “goodies” and coupons inside, including a free child’s meal at Boston Pizza and a Child’s movie ticket for Ottawa family cinema. There was also an Ottawa Family Living Magazine and a Parenting Times magazine.
The cover charge was very high, in my opinion, considering the lack of activities for adults. I paid $20 at the door. They do offer free entry to “Real Life Superheros” (police/RCMP, 911 dispatchers, fire fighters, paramedics, military personnel and veterans, parole officers, probation officers and correctional services staff). They also offer free entry to kids 12 and under (with the purchase of an adult ticket). Advance tickets are about $5 off, if you happen to be around one of the advanced sales locations. They also advertise that $2 off of each ticket goes to local charities (this year, Heroes are Human). They also offer special admission for the last hour of each day (just $2).
The next Geek Market is scheduled for October 3-4, 2015 at the Nepean Sportsplex. Geekmarket.ca
Ottawa Comic Con will be May 8-10, 2015