Former Petawawa soldier creates
inaugural tabletop convention in Ottawa

By Patricia Leboeuf

Posted on Thursday, May 2, 2019

Until now, there has never been a large multi-game system Canadian tabletop gaming convention.

So Major Joe Miedema, Project Director at the Directorate of Land Requirements (DLR), set out to create his own event: the Canadian Tabletop Championship Gaming Convention (CTCGC).

It will be held May 3, 4 and 5 at the Rideau Curling Club in downtown Ottawa.

This three-day event will welcome families, casual and professional gamers under one roof. It will showcase some of the more complex tabletop games such as Warhammer 40k, Magic: The Gathering and Star Wars X-Wing as well as some hobby games for kids. It will have some official championships, but will also include vendors, cosplayers, workshops, panellists and seminars, social events and much more.

“There are a very widespread styles within the tabletop community,” said Miedema, adding he ensured there is something for every interest.

“This is not for one specific game,” he added. “It’s for all tabletop games.”

Creating the CTCGC helped foster his love of tabletop games, something he has had for a long time. Even when posted in Petawawa, he would spend many hours at the local hobby shop, gaming with his friends. 

That love did not fade when he moved to Ottawa but rather transformed into a desire to create a nation-wide convention.

“I’m not trying to take away from what other organizers have already done,” said Miedema. “They certainly blazed a path for some awesome events, but many of them are very specialized for very small sections of the communities while this is for the whole community.”

It is huge for an inaugural event and there are 22 unique events in addition to the casual activities held concurrently. To ensure it runs smoothly is an army of volunteers who have made it possible, whether by helping with the fine details or creating connections with the different gaming groups.

“It is great to see so many Canadians join in together this year,” said Miedema.

“These people are amazing,” he added. “I couldn’t ask for a better group.”

Participants will be coming from all over Canada and parts of the United States to take part, and there is already demand for it to be held next year. For many tabletop gamers, this convention is a dream come true and over 220 people have pre-registered.

“It makes me both very excited and humbled,” said Miedema. “ The vision was bold to begin with. And we were happy just delivering on part of that vision, but we are all there.”

Part of their commitment is to give back to the community.

From the General Admission tickets, $5 will be going to Wounded Warriors, and already they have reached $1,100. A donation will also be made to the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). Both are charities close to his heart; he has served 17 years with the Canadian Armed Forces and used CHEO for his children.

“I couldn’t think of any better charities than that,” said Miedema.

General admission is $5 and kids under 12 are free. There are additional costs to participate in some of the events.

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