Wednesday 30 July 2014

Meet Ottawa Geek Social Club!

By Angela Hartwick

When I say geek, you say social! Wait, what? 

Geeks aren’t best known for their social skills but social geeks do exist, as do introverted geeks that want to expand their horizons. I run a group called the Ottawa Geek Social Club. The club strives to build the local community of adults with geeky interests. Since 2010 we’ve been providing a menu of local geeky fare and space to socialize with the like-minded. 

The group’s homebase is, a social networking hub that focuses on getting people together based on their location and common interests. There are currently almost 300 meetup groups in the Ottawa area, based on interests such as politics, food, sports, singles, and parenting. There’s something for everyone and I encourage anyone who likes people plus anything else to browse the site. We’ve recently been making ourselves more visible by creating a website page, a Facebook page, and twitter, but of course most of the fun is in the meets themselves.

Meetup events can be created by any group member, they can be small or large, exclusive to the club or open to the public, recurring or one-offs, and related to a myriad of geeky interests. We’ve hosted movie nights in members’ homes, board game nights, geocaching, lan parties, and Magic: the Gathering leagues. Our signature meetup is the bi-annual Meet & Geek, where members gather en masse to socialize over the many facets of geekdom, play games, and enjoy snacks and drinks.

We also schedules meetups to attend bigger events such as WonderGeeks Activate parties, Comic Con, geeky triple bills at the Mayfair, lightspeed dating, Doors Open Ottawa, nerdlesque shows, and astronomy nights at the museum. This way, OGSC members can attend as part of a small group. If there’s an event that’s geeky and in Ottawa let us know about it and we’ll likely promote it!

Most of my friends I’ve met in one of five ways: growing up in the same neighbourhood, attending the same high school, joining the same parenting group, working together (formerly or presently), and through the OGSC. Until OGSC I had few friends who wanted to play Arkham Horror on a Friday night, check out the opening of a new Pinball venue, or meet Peter S. Beagle. Many members have made lifelong friends. A dozen members were near and dear to me enough to invite to my wedding two years ago, and Assistant Organizer Sara met her husband Will at an OGSC event in its early days. 

We’ve recently started publishing event reviews where members can share their thoughts and experiences. This is an exciting step in supporting the local community (in addition to publicizing and attending events). And in October, the Ottawa Geek Social Club will be partnering with the Ottawa Geek Market to run their very first "Geek Social" evening event: a networking/trivia night/pizza party.

If you’re interested in meeting people and finding out about interesting events you may otherwise have missed you should check us out at 

Angela is a 30-something year old mom of three kids - a baby, a school-aged kid and a teenager – and a furbaby, living in Orleans with her geek soul mate husband. She studied English Literature and Social Work but took an unexpected turn somewhere and ended up working as a policy analyst for the feds. Hobbies include reading, playing boardgames and Magic: the Gathering, cooking healthy foods, blogging, and discussing favourite tv shows and movies. She is the proud organizer of the Ottawa Geek Social Club, which strives to provide meetup opportunities that reflect the many facets of geekdom and beyond!

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