Pride Parade 2016

Saturday June 25th was the Pride Parade in Whitehorse and YuKonstruct was pleased to participate for the second year in a row.

YuKonstruct and (co)space’s contribution to the parade was a wonderfully whimsical float with rainbows, unicorns, truffula trees, bright colours, bubbles, and bikes! After winning “best float” in last years parade, YuKonstruct had a reputation to uphold!

A lot of awesome volunteer hours went into building the float and having fun, colourful, enthusiastic bubble blowers ride with us in the parade. THANK YOU to everyone that came out!

Next up: Canada Day! For anyone interested in joining our float for the parade, we will be re-decorating and riding down the streets with moose instead of unicorns and red and white replacing the rainbows. Here’s more info on the Canada Day Parade. You can also email questions to [email protected]

YuKonstruct at the VBY Golf Tournament

On June 4th Volunteer Benevoles Yukon and Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Society hosted their first ever fund-raising golf tournament.

It was the perfect match between these two amazing organizations.  Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous is an organization that relies largely on volunteers each year to contribute to its success, and Volunteer Benevoles Yukon is the “Go To” source for nurturing and growing Yukon volunteerism.

The golf tournament was a new way for Yukon non-profits to build relationships with the people they need – potential funders, sponsors, staff, and volunteers.

The tournament was a huge success.  Participating non-profits, including YuKonstruct and (co)space, each set up a display on a tee box on the course. The tee box (hole 3) was ours for the day to use as a platform to connect with people we may not otherwise have been able to reach.

We set up a fun game of Plinko at our hole. YuKonstruct used cards with makerspace and coworking success stories on the back.  Players were encouraged to read the cards out loud to earn an opportunity to play Plinko to win an advantage on the hole.  Prizes included a free mulligan and the ability to tee off from a closer tee.

With 40 volunteers and 56 players at the golf tournament, the word really spread and many players were pleasantly surprised to learn about YuKontruct and (co)space!

Meet the Makers: Yza

Meet the Makers is a series of interviews to help you get to know the people who are building our makerspace, and in this case, our coworking space! Yza has been hired to work at (co)space over the summer to help grow the coworking community in Whitehorse.

Yza, what is your role at (co)space?
My role at (co)space is community builder for the summer. I am a site moderator, I book the conferences rooms, and I give tours of both (co)space and Creative Lab. I also help organize (co)space’s files and keep the space tidy.

Why did you want to work with YuKonstruct?
I wanted to work at (co)space because I believe it will bring me lots of new learning opportunities and skills to help me with my schooling. I’m enjoying meeting different small business owners and learning how they got started as entrepreneurs.

What do you like most about (co)space?
The thing I like most about (co)space is being a part of a non-profit organization. And getting to know entrepreneurs! I’m impressed that they are always having to do something new and are able to teach themselves how to do it!

Was there anything about the coworking space that surprised you?
What surprised me the most is that it’s one big room that everyone shares.  I think one of our biggest challenges will be getting more promotion so more people to know about this beautiful space!

What do you enjoy most about your new position at (co)space?
The thing I enjoy most about (co)space, in fact about YuKonstruct as a whole, is that it feels like one big family. Everyone helps everyone. If anyone needs assistance, everyone tries their best to lend a hand.

What projects are you planning for this summer?
I’ve only been at (co)space for a little over a week now, so I don’t have any projects planned yet. I’m not too sure what the future holds but I believe it will be good, new and exciting!

 

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Yza at YuKonstruct table during the Volunteer Bénévoles Yukon Golf Tournament

YuKonstruct’s New Board of Directors

At our recent AGM, our members elected a new Board of Directions to serve for the next year. The purpose of YuKonstruct’s Board is for community members to provide our organization with big picture direction and ensure we continue to meet our mandate.

Recently, the new Board met for the first time and we chose what roles we would all fill. This year we decided to switch things up a bit: instead of having one person serve as President, we decided to go to a Co-Chair model where two people share that responsibility. This is what works for us this year, though future Boards can change how they organize themselves as they see fit..

Here’s who we are and what roles we are taking on as Board members:
Co-Chair: Colin MacDonald
Co-Chair: Amy Law
Secretary/Treasurer: Jody Woodland
Director: Bob Sharp
Director: Tytus Hardy
Director: Mary Ellen Read
Director: Glenn Piwowar

This year the Board will be providing direction on how we can best implement our new strategic plan. One of our immediate priorities is to ensure the financial stability of YuKonstuct. We will be working to ensure that we have reliable and diverse sources of funding that support our operating needs. To that end, we will soon begin the process of hiring a Financial Sustainability Project Manager.

Also, we will be working with our members to improve the way we make decisions in our organization. We will be trying to incorporate elements of holacracy: an inclusive management system that is designed to spread authority throughout the organization in clear ways, and allow for rapid adaptation.

Finally, we want YuKonstruct to continue to do what we do best: help makers and entrepreneurs bring their ideas to life. It’s going to be another great year!

 

YuKonstruct’s 2016 AGM

Thank you to all our members who attended this year’s Annual General Meeting of the YuKonstruct Makerspace Society!  About 30 members from the makerspace and (co)space came out to hear the staff, president and financial reports and elect a new Board of Directors. The strategic plan was also introduced! We wrapped up with a fabulous BBQ!

Because John stepped down as President of the Board this year, he left us with his wise thoughts, congratulations and words of encouragement. We sent him off with a fixer-upper bike (as a project piece to ensure he stays a member of the “makers”). It also came with a gift card to the bike shop.

JohnwithBike

Aside from John stepping down, we are also sad to see Board members Seamus Venasse and Andrew Kalek leave but are grateful for all their hard work.  We are pleased to welcome Tytus Hardy, Mary Ellen Read and Colin MacDonald as our newest Board members! Returning Board members include Jody Woodland, Amy Law, Bob Sharp and Glenn Piwowar.  Thank you all!

The coming year looks to be an exciting one.  In the coming months, the Board in conjunction with the CORE Team will focus on implementing the new stategic plan.

YuKonstruct has several funders and sponsors that make the continuing operations of the community spaces possible. Both the makerspace and the (co)space will continue to depend heavily on volunteers to remain meaningful to the community and function smoothly. Thank you to everyone that makes YuKonstruct what it is! The people are what make this community and we look forward to another exciting year!

Instructables Makerspace Contest!

YuKonstruct has entered the Instructables Makerspace Contest again this year!

dancing instructables robot

We are excited to have you join the team and help us potentially win a second laser cutter!  There are lots of great prizes to be won – and all that we need to do, is document our projects.

This competition involves makerspaces from around the world aiming to win great prizes including a laser cutter, 3D printer, CNC router and much more!  The goal is to post the most high quality instructables as possible before August 31, 2016.

An instructable is basically a written step-by-step guide which shows how-to do, or make, something.  These how-to’s are created and written on Instructables.com. This website has an almost limitless collection of fantastic instructables about almost any subject you can think of! For any maker, Instructables is a fantastic resource for ideas and inspiration.

How can you help?

Join our team and share your life hacks, recipes, or cool projects by writing step-by-step instructions and posting them on Instructables. If you’d like to participate we’ve put together a short guide below to help get you started!

Mini Hackathons

Need a little help getting your projects published? Join us on June 14th, July 12th or August 9th  for one of our Instructables Mini Hackathons! There, we will have lots of people happy to help get your projects photographed and written up as an instructable to be included in the competition.

 


How-to enter an Instructable in the Contest

Step zero:   

Have an idea you’d like to share, take lots of clear photos & remember how you made it / or did it.

Step one:   

Go to instructables.com and sign up with a free account (or sign-in, if you have one already). Email our team captain, Allison at [email protected] to get your account added to our list of team members.
Want a pro-account? We have the hook ups so please ask!

Step two:   

Once signed in, click on the “Publish” button at the top to the right of the search bar, and then click “New Instructable” in orange.

Step three:   

Write your “how-to” instructable by adding your instructions and pictures, using the handy editor.
YuKonstruct has a camera and photography lights to help you get the best quality images of your projects.
If you’re stuck: There is in fact an instructable on how to make an instructable here, and one specifically on how to use the editor, at this link here.

Step four:   

Click “Publish”. Add our team code (YuKonstruct2258) in the keywords and select the Makerspace Contest.

Instructables Screen Capture

You can enter some other useful keywords to help people find your instructable, and you can enter up to two others contests you think your project applies to.

Getting Featured

If you post a high quality instructable you’re likely to get “featured” (check out the criteria here). Getting featured means they want to showcase your well put together content. If you’re aiming to get your instructable featured you should try to include the following key things:

  • Clear title
  • Intro explaining the project and motivation (aka. why you did this?)
  • Original photos (bright, clear and in focus)
  • Information to make it replicable (using enough detail and/or links to resources if possible)
  • Materials list (usually at beginning with links where applicable)
  • Any files / patterns used, where possible

Step five:   

Share your new instructable with your friends!

Curious about the Instructables people have contributed so far?
Check out YuKonstruct’s current contest entries

YuKonstruct Instructables Team

Meet the Makers: Rowan and Solvey

Meet the Makers is a series of interviews to help you get to know the people who are building our makerspace. Rowan and Solvey are YuKonstruct’s new summer students – so if you’re hanging around during the daytime, you’ll likely see them working hard in the sunshine. 

Rowan and Solvey, what are your roles at YuKonstruct?
Rowan: I am a  working on creating and maintaining a positive makerspace environment, and introducing people to the site and the idea of a makerspace. I’m also helping to bring attention and recognition of what we do at YuKonstruct via social media, events, blogs, etc, helping members with any technical or logistical questions, and of course using this opportunity to learn and hopefully build enough of a skill set to eventually begin working on some of my own projects.

Solvey: My role is to get involved with community building and promotion, contribute to summer projects and initiatives for the makerspace, as well as help with general maintenance.

Why did you want to work at YuKonstruct?
Rowan: I joined YuKonstruct for the opportunity to learn, to connect with other like-minded people, and to develop a solid background using many of the tools available for future endeavors.

Solvey: I got involved with YuKonstruct mainly because I’m interested in sharing my material arts enthusiasm with the community that I grew up in. I’ve been studying art in Toronto for the last 4 years now, only coming back to visit Whitehorse periodically, so I feel the need to get caught up on what’s happening, and what’s possible in this amazing (new for me) community space.

What do you like most about the makerspace?
Rowan: What I like most about Yukonstruct is its ability to bring people together. Its communal setting creates bridges between like-minded people who may not have otherwise met. Ultimately, these bonds create a better sense of community and comradeship, which (I think) may be more lasting than most projects ever could be.

Solvey: The extent YuKonstruct has grown in such a short amount of time highlights the potential this initiative has for future growth. Seeing how much support YuKonstruct has received from sponsors and members is a constant reminder of the creative potential in the Yukon!

What do you think will be our biggest challenge?
Rowan: I think YuKonstruct’s biggest challenge will involve creating a more comprehensive, flowing, organized environment, where all tools are functional and have their own space, and all members are trained and knowledgeable in all the applications of the site. The end goal being aimed to maximize efficiency and usability of our site.

Solvey: I don’t think I’ve been here long enough to say overall. But a challenge for myself this summer will be to help attract and support the Yukon visual arts community. We have so much amazing tools and equipment here, but not a lot of open studio space to just set up and work in.

What do you like to make and what projects are you planning for this summer?
Rowan: I would like to build anything with metal. Not to say I’m not interested in other projects, it’s just I’ve always had a fascination with working metal but never the opportunity to really indulge it. Some metal related ideas I’ve had are: random 3D metal bird reliefs/sculptures, a new tire mount on the bottom of my pickup, tool boxes, maybe a small vehicle chassis, a pickup rack to carry canoes/ tools/wood, as well as just small trinkets and bits of art mostly to practice on.  I also would enjoy using the 3D printer to create sculptures with moving parts (adjustable wrench, maybe even a simple engine…). This also goes for the laser cutter- making small pieces of a larger project which hopefully has moving parts.

Solvey: The work I like to make is a combination of collage, painting, printmaking, and sculpture. I find a lot of my materials at the free store, and then I like to process the things I collect into something new.  This summer I am looking forward to lots of art projects around the space!

Welcome to the YuKonstruct team Rowan and Solvey!

 

Report from the President

Outgoing President, John, presented his President’s Report at the Annual General Meeting on June 1, 2016:

As a Society in good standing, our organization is required to have an AGM. There is often an over-looked aspect of an AGM that actually benefits the organization. It is a time to reflect and celebrate our collective success and embrace what lies ahead. For us, that means to “stop doing something and stand around”.

The idea for YuKonstruct started two and a half years ago. And look at what together we have have created. Today we have built a makerspace and a corworking space. We have built a community. That’s incredible. We have 6 passionate, motivated and highly skilled staff members. We have a legion of dedicated, diverse and resourceful volunteers: site moderators, workshop-leads, Board members, and volunteers who work at the many important little things that are often unseen. We have funders and sponsors who believe in us, even if we are a little weird. And we have community members who support us through membership, participating or running workshops, or who cheer from the sidelines.

About 6 months ago, I was on a plane coming back from Vancouver. In front of me were two middle aged women. Between reading the in-flight North of Ordinary magazine and bites from my warm Air North cookie, my ears were drifting in and out of their conversation. Until I heard “YuKonstruct”. I listened curious what they were talking about. One lady was talking about how her teenager had taken a workshop or something, and the other said she had heard about the organization but wasn’t sure what it was all about, but that it seemed to be such a positive thing.

A few months go, Logan, Amy and I were at a workshop for Boards. In attendance were other NFP’s. The workshop was an on-going series so the other organizations already knew each other whereas we were the party-crashers. When the 3 of us introduced ourselves as some of the motley crew from YuKonstruct and (co)space, an ED from another organization turned to us and asked in a kind-of rhetorical fashion: “who are you guys?” She meant who are WE? Or rather, WHAT are we? And ultimately, HOW have we created something so amazing and positive, so fast?

That’s a good question. Who are we? What do we believe? And why have we collectively created this thing despite many odds? I think there are many reasons, but at the core it’s because we are fulfilling basic human needs: the need to create and the need to belong.

We are part of a global movement that has arisen to give voice and encouragement to all seeking a sense of belonging to a larger spirit of creating and sharing the things we are passionate about, and expressing ourselves through those things we create. Whether it’s a prototype or a new business idea. This is not a fad that will fade away. What ‘we’ collectively represent is a path for a juicy and fulfilling life.

Perhaps the most significant change in the last year was opening (co)space, our coworking space and sister ‘function’. There have been some growing pains but barely seven months old, it is working. (co)space was another, albeit significant, genesis of who we are; a community of people passionate about making things which reflect who we are and what we believe. It was only natural that our members built (co)space.

I believe today marks the end of one chapter in the story that is ‘us’. Today, we chart a path with great purpose and clarity. Through what I would suggest as an inclusive and comprehensive process, we have developed a community-driven Strategic Plan that outlines our common future. Importantly, it addresses governance which isn’t sexy but critical to our existence. Also, the process clearly cemented (co)space to YuKonstruct. We have much in common and are better together.

As part of this new chapter, we are in the process of hiring an Executive Director for our organization. This ED will work with us to implement our Strategic Plan and help us develop from a start-up to a more sustainable organization. This will be new and I ask us to trust whoever this individual will be in their efforts and support them along the way. I don’t think it will be easy, but I am confident that if we trust each other, are patient, committed, and open to trying something new, this act will propel us to something even greater. The status quo is not an option. And really, trying things in the spirit of making something better is what we are all about.

We have an amazing brand based on a culture that is authentic, positive, and productive. Our brand has garnered a lot of interest particularly at the political level, be it for economic diversification, community health, or quality of life. Let us not be shy of this attention and over the summer and early fall, be proud of our place in the Yukon and be open about how we wish to contribute to a prosperous future for everyone.

I now wish to say a few thank-you’s. We have exceptional staff who are our backbone. Here at YuKonstruct, thank you Logan, Adria and Will. At (co)space, thank you Alessia, Vero and RP. And thank you Tanya, our dedicated bookkeeper. In your own ways, you have each been a big part of the story that is our success. And welcome to our summer-staff members!

I would like to highlight Logan and Alessia who have doggedly championed us at the tables of decision-makers and in the trenches of mundane tasks. Thank you.

I also want to thank our volunteers. You are the heart and soul of this organization and without you and your volunteer efforts, we would just be an organization but because of you we are an alive and thriving community. Thank you.

I would like to particularly thank 3 very special volunteers. Allison, Chris, and Michelle. Since the beginning, for literally years, you have gone above and beyond for this organization and we are the richer. Thank you.

I would like to thank my fellow board members for your service over the past year. Amy, Andrew, Bob, Glenn, Jody, and Seamus. As you know, being a Board member is not an easy task so I thank for the responsibility you accepted on behalf of the organization. Thank you.

Finally, I would like to thank our funders and sponsors: CanNor, Northwestel, Yukon College, MPIG Holdings, What’s Up Yukon, Yukon Brewing, Home Hardware, and others. Thank you.

I would like to make a special thank you to the team at T2D2 within Yukon Government’s Department of Economic Development. Steve, Ben, and Vero – thank you for your faith in us and our efforts. Folks, we are so lucky to have champions like these on the inside. Thank you.

Looking forward, I am encouraged to see so many new faces in our spaces! Thank you to those stepping up to the Board, site mods, and other volunteers. If you are new, welcome. Be part of this community, don’t be afraid to ask questions, and challenge the status quo (in a productive way). For smart growth, change, and adaptability is what will keep us alive.

On a personal note, thank you for trusting me as your president over the last several years. It has been a wild ride with highs and lows. This weird, wonderful and at times frustrating thing we have created together has been one of the highlights of my life. I am sad to move on from this role but believe there is a time for everything and change is important for me and the organization. And who knows, maybe this fall I will wow you all with my secret ninja maker skills!

I will leave you with a closing thought.

We are not about any one person. It’s about us. We are a community. To use a close-to-home metaphor, a makerspace isn’t really a makerspace if it only has one tool. There has to be lots of tools of different shapes, sizes, ages, uses….diverse but all with a singular purpose to help make things. And that goes the same for the people. For it is the people who are the true magic. And I don’t think it can ever be about any one person, or small group of people, but the collection of us all. And I hope that doesn’t change. It’s not about me, or you, or them. It’s about us.

Today we stand tall. Let us be proud of where we have come from and where we are going. And let us be reminded that with a ‘big tent’ for everyone, we keep the magic alive.

John Glynn-Morris
Board President

JohnwithBike
John with his new bike project