Edmonton’s Girl Geek Dinners bring geeks together to share interests

Geek never looked more chic than at the most recent Edmonton Girl Geek Dinner, an evening of food and geek-themed conversation, featuring a presentation on cosplay.

Edmonton Girl Geek Dinner
Vivian Binnema and cosplayer Vicky Lau at Edmonton’s Girl Geek Dinner in March

About Girl Geek Dinners

Girl Geek Dinners originated in London, England in 2005. Sarah Lamb, the event founder, wanted to create an event where women could meet other women who were interested in geeky topics. Although Girl Geek Dinners provide women with a forum to discuss all things geeky, men may attend as well if they come with a female friend.

Girl Geek Dinners in Edmonton

Currently in its fourth season, Edmonton’s Girl Geek Dinners launched in 2010. According to Brittney Le Blanc, one of the founders of Edmonton’s chapter of Girl Geek Dinners, Edmonton lacked events for geeks at the time. Le Blanc and another local girl geek started Girl Geek Dinners to bring male and female geeks together. Le Blanc said she feels that a small stigma against geeks remains today, and she said people like coming to Girl Geek Dinners because they have the chance to meet “their people.”

Each dinner features a topic with a guest speaker. Some guests are attracted by a particular topic, while others come simply because they love the event, and they may know very little to nothing about the topic. Le Blanc and her current co-organizer Bree Emmerson find their speakers and themes in a variety of ways. Sometimes they read about someone and decide they would like that person to serve as a guest speaker. Other times, they have a topic in mind and need to find a speaker to suit the topic. And sometimes they choose speakers based on recommendations from others. Past speakers have included Dr. Anny Sauvageau, forensic pathologist and current chief medical examiner of Alberta, and Cristina Stasia, a cultural studies expert who spoke about women in Hollywood action movies.

March’s Girl Geek Dinner at the Common offered an intimate, friendly atmosphere, as approximately 30 geeks shared delicious food in a family-style setting. Attendees met new people — or connected with people they already knew — first informally, and then through more formal introductions. Everyone had a chance to share their name and Twitter handle, what they do, what makes them a geek, and — in keeping with the theme of the event — what character they would cosplay as. Following the introductions and the meal, cosplayer and photographer Vicky Lau shared some tips about how to build an awesome cosplay costume.

Upcoming events with Girl Geek Dinners

Edmonton’s next Girl Geek Dinner will be May 27. The topic and location will be announced.

In the meantime, girl geeks can look forward to a comic book event on April 13. Girl Geek Dinners and Wizards Comics and Collectibles are co-organizing an event called Genres not Genders. At the event, people will have plenty of opportunity to talk about and swap comics. Just as with Girl Geek Dinners, men may attend as long as they are in the company of a woman. The event will take place at Wizards Comics and Collectibles’ Edmonton location (8619 109 St.).

Edmonton’s geeks no longer have to keep their passions to themselves, thanks to great events like Girl Geek Dinners, and comic book nights. Geeks can get involved by attending events, suggesting topics for Girl Geek Dinners, donating door prizes for the dinners, and following Edmonton Girl Geek Dinners on Facebook and Twitter.