The Canadian Judge Experience – Bringing it All Together

Written by William Van Veen

Written by William Van Veen

Last winter, I was approached by the Canadian RC to help organize a country-wide Judge Event. The goal was to find leaders across the country that were willing and able to host a Judge Party in their city. They could run it how they wanted and we would do our best to support them. 

Through the RC’s canvassing, I was able to work with 14 judges that were willing to host a party in their cities across 7 different provinces! I worked with these amazing folks over a month or two, doing what I could to make sure their events would be successful.

What was the end result? The Canadian Judge Program was able to sponsor a cross country Judge Party involving over ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY JUDGES! There were drafts, house parties, escape rooms, bar room EDH, board gaming, rules/policy discussions and more!

Bottom line: Canadian Judges came together all across Canada to have fun and enjoy each other’s company (during the holiday season I must add!)

Each organizer deserves to be mentioned, without their outstanding support none of this would have been possible:

Flora Li
Alex Larente
Rob Langmaid
Mike Gyssels
Joseph Saffron
Jeremy Sivaneswaran
Jon Silva
Charles Trottier
Zak Turchansky
Trey McLean
Ryan Carroll
Jeremy White
Kentaro Guthrie
Jan de Vlaming

Canadian judges often look at ourselves as unique in the judging atmosphere, and in a lot of ways we are. One thing that is brought up often, and was a major catalyst as to why this country-wide event was initiated by the RC, is that we are so few judges covering such a large area. This type of environment requires vigilance to ensure judges aren’t “left out in the cold” (Ottawa is currently the coldest capital in the world as I write this.)

Honestly, though, I can’t help but think there are many places in the world where judges feel similarly. We as a world-wide judge program can take inspiration from these amazing Canadian Judges.

>It only takes a few, sometimes even a single person to bring people together in a positive way. 

For any judge that feels left out, alone, or forgotten, or heck, if you just want to get your judge buddies together for a good time remember it’s HOW YOU MAKE IT!! Reach out, maybe try to initiate a similar event in your city/country, and come together with your fellow judges (and even players!). It doesn’t have to be MTG but if you stay motivated to bring happiness to others it’s definitely going to be magic. 🙂

If you’re interested in bringing judges together for a gathering, apply here.

And stay tuned for a review of the most recent wide-scale initiative, the Cross-Canada Day Judge Party! The lessons learned from my experience, and those from July 1 will help us continue to improve the Canadian judge experience in new and exciting ways.

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