Geek Culture

Get your geek on: 4 places to go in Halifax

Conventions aren't the only place for geeks to gather

There's more to geek life in Halifax than sporadic events.
There’s more to geek life in Halifax than sporadic events.   Grace Kennedy

Geeks don’t just sit at home reading comic books and playing video games – especially not in Halifax.

Every year the geek community joins together for Hal-Con, a three-day-long convention celebrating science fiction, fantasy, anime and more. There are monthly cosplay dances at Menz and Mollyz Bar on Gottingen Street. Geeks versus Nerds has a monthly comedy debate at Bubba Rays Too.

But sometimes it’s nice to have a place that will always cater to geeks, not just occasionally. These four places are just a few of the geek-centric destinations on the peninsula.


The Board Room Game Café

Kris Moulton got inspiration for the Board Room from Snakes and Lattes in Toronto.
Kris Moulton got inspiration for the Board Room from Snakes and Lattes in Toronto.   Grace Kennedy

Feeling like a board game with that coffee?

The Board Room Game Café has been open since 2014, and since then has become a beacon for board gamers.

“We’ve been pretty well embraced by the geek community around here, and even the casual community,” said Kris Moulton, the owner of the café.

It costs $5 to come in, but you can stay as long as you like. It’s open until midnight most days, and 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Since beer is served, the café is 19 plus: minors are only allowed if they are with a parent or guardian and buy an afternoon meal deal.

The café also hosts monthly trivia nights and tournaments for games like Settlers of Catan, King of Tokyo and Carcassonne.


Monster Comics Lounge

Mike Crossman said a lot of comic books shops have a "mom and pop" atmosphere.
Mike Crossman said a lot of comic books shops have a “mom and pop” atmosphere.   Grace Kennedy

Where do you go when you have a hankering for a comic, a board game, a Magic the Gathering card and a collectible Kiss action figure? Monster Comics Lounge.

Monster Comics has been around almost 16 years, and has a lot of used product – comic books and otherwise.

“I’ve always wanted to have good selection of the products we carry,” said owner Mike Crossman.

“You go into a Walmart, you can find 10 new Star Wars figures, or you can come here and there’s 300 different ones to choose from.”

Monster Comics also has regular weekly events for people looking for a space to play different games.

Dungeons and Dragons happens in the shop on Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoons – War Machine, a steampunk miniatures game, also happens on Wednesday evenings.

Thursday night is the X-wing miniatures night, Friday night is general board games, and Sunday is for Pathfinder.


The Library

The library has a good collection of manga (Japanese comic books) for older readers.
The library has a good collection of manga (Japanese comic books) for older readers.   Grace Kennedy

For the young geeks in Halifax, the library is the place to be.

Callum Bosman is a 12-year-old geek who goes to the Halifax Central Library for an anime club and Alderney Gate Library for the Doctor Who Fan Club.

“I don’t really get teased a lot at school for liking sci-fi, but almost nobody at my school likes anime,” he said.

“So it’s really nice to be able to come here and be with people that are like me.”

The anime club and the Doctor Who club meet on Wednesdays in the evening.

Alderney Gate has the only Doctor Who club, but other libraries have anime clubs.

In the past, the libraries have hosted mini comic-book conventions. The Keshen Goodman Library in Clayton Park hosted one in January 2015, and the Central Library hosted another in May.

The Central Library isn’t just a place for social gatherings – it also has video games teens and kids can use in the library, as well as a collection of board games.


Strange Adventures

Mackenzie Belfour said Strange Adventures' layout makes it easy to find new comics you'll like.
Mackenzie Belfour said Strange Adventures’ layout makes it easy to find new comics you’ll like.   Grace Kennedy

The way to woo a geek with OCD? Categorized comics in alphabetical order.

Strange Adventures is one of the oldest comic book stores in Halifax. The original store opened in Fredericton 25 years ago and the one in Halifax opened five years later.

Strange Adventures doesn’t hold regular events like Monster Comics or the Board Room Café, but it does have some activities.

The store occasionally brings in artists to do book signings. And this March, Strange Adventures is hosting a Ladies’ Night to help make comics more accessible to women.

“Sometimes there’s the stigma that comics are for guys,” employee Mackenzie Belfour said.

“Comics really are for everybody and everybody loves to read them and needs to be included.”


Where else?

Halifax has other geeky shops and gathering spots, shown in the map below. Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments.

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