The sixth annual Ptarmicon saw a record turnout as the festival turned the third floor of the Chateau Nova Hotel into a destination for ‘nerd and geek culture’.Over 350 people attended the weekend festival that dubs itself as “the world’s most Northern gaming and popular culture convention.”

A group of Ptarmicon attendants set up to play one of the many rounds of Magic: The Gathering that took place throughout the weekend. Dylan Short/NNSL photo

This year’s convention featured Magic: The Gathering card game tournaments, cosplay workshops and competitions, trivia, video game trials and anime viewings.

Brett Trimble, the president of this year’s ‘con’ said that there was an increased emphasis on both the cosplay workshops and the Magic: The Gathering tournaments.

“The cosplay workshops have been amazing, they are currently running a cosplay weapons and foam workshop.

We had a workshop yesterday where they did a duct tape workshop,” said Trimble.

“You basically smother yourself in duct tape, cut it off and it allows you to do a custom fit design for anything you want to wear.”

Those workshops were run by professional cosplay artists ‘Silver Lining and Devouring Dark Cosplay’ a husband and wife duo based out of Edmonton, Alta. Trimble said it was their second time coming to the Yellowknife con and he hopes that they will help grow the cosplay scene north of 60.

The Magic: the Gathering tournament was also ramped up this, as it was the first time that it served as a pro tour qualifying tournament, which means the winner of this weekend’s tournament will be taking the next step towards making the Magic: The Gathering World Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“It’s the first time everyone in the North have a chance at a world’s qualifier, and this is the first stage in order to get to the worlds qualifications, the world tournaments. That’s where the professionals play, these are the guys that play magic full time for money, so this is a stepping stone for that,” said Trimble.

The prize for coming first place at this year’s Ptarmicon tournament, which will be awarded to local resident Matt Hicks, is a travel voucher that will fly him down to Edmonton, whenever he has the time to attend a qualifying tournament in Alberta’s capital, which will serve as the next step towards facing off against those professional players.

Ptarmicon is the largest popular culture convention in the NWT however, the Ptarmicon association runs a number of smaller cons throughout the year.

They also run a games night every second weekend at Northern United Place.

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