Ptarmicon is returning to Yellowknife this weekend.
Ptarmicon is the world’s northernmost nerd culture convention says board member and organizer Olivier Fortin.
“It’s basically a celebration of every geek and nerd culture that exists, from anime to gaming to board games to roleplaying, etcetera,” Fortin says.
“Everything that’s associated with geek and nerd culture, that’s what Ptarmicon is for. And to celebrate that culture and to give the opportunity to everybody to express themselves in that sense.”
This will be Ptarmicon’s sixth year running.
What’s new this year?
The community of people who enjoy the card game Magic: The Gathering is a growing population in Yellowknife says Fortin. So this year’s Ptarmicon will have an official Magic: The Gathering tournament, which will be a qualifier for a more advanced tournament, Fortin explains.
“There hasn’t been a tournament like that before at Ptarmicon,” says Fortin.
“So that’s one of the cool things that’s going on this year.”
Another thing to look forward to this year is the Saturday night trivia event “concerning everything geeky and nerd”, he says, with topics ranging from sci-fi to Disney, and manga to magic.
“It’s going to be a really fun event that we hope people enjoy as much as we enjoyed preparing it,” says Fortin. “I feel like those are the two big things that are going to happen that are kind of new this year.”
A returning event will be cosplay workshops, where cosplay specialists will show people how to make their own cosplay, he says.
“There’s another new thing where a special effects specialist will be doing an event where she teaches how to do, for example, a fake wound on the body,” Fortin explains.
Why is being a part of Ptarmicon important to you, personally?
Fortin says being part of Ptarmicon is important to him because of the community that surrounds it.
“When I arrived in Yellowknife two years ago, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to express that part of me, that geek,” says Fortin. “I always enjoyed playing video games, board games and roleplaying games, and I wasn’t sure how big or small the community was going to be in Yellowknife.”
But he was pleasantly surprised to find there were plenty of events in Yellowknife for people like him.
“And I’m playing more board games and roleplaying games than I ever did where I was before, in Quebec City, which is way bigger,” Fortin says. “I feel blessed that I’m able to participate in all those events and I want to be able to help other people participate in those events.”
He says it’s also important to him to share this knowledge with others.
“Especially for me, I’m a teacher,” he says. “So it’s important for me to share with kids and help show that it’s a positive thing to enjoy all of those things that are part of the nerd and geek culture.”
Ptarmicon will be held at the Chateau Nova Hotel this weekend.