Outgoing YuKonstruct Makerspace Society Co-Chair Colin presented the Report from the President at the Annual General Meeting on June 7, 2017:
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am pleased to present the President’s Report at this year’s Annual General meeting.
The YuKonstruct Makerspace Society was founded as a society in early 2014, and soon opened a makerspace under that name and then a coworking space in November 2015. Today we have passionate staff members, dedicated volunteers, a large and growing membership base, and funders and sponsors who believe in us
In 2016, we adopted a 3-year strategic plan. The strategic plan took stock of where things were at, considered what needed attention, and established goals and objective to move the organization forward.
It’s important for us to be clear as an organization about what it is we do, and why we do it. Our vision is to empower Yukoners to bring their ideas to life in a creative, innovative community.
One of our key goals for this year was working towards securing our financial future. In the past, we have been able to access a significant amount of funding to start-up the makerspace and co-working spaces. This same funding is unlikely to continue in the future at the same levels, and does not support the general operations and maintenance of the organization, such as rent, utilities, and staff positions.
We determined one of our best paths towards a stable financial future is to increase our earned revenue. This provides the highest levels of reliable and consistent funds to meet all our ongoing needs. This year, we systematically looked at all the ways we generate revenue and began looking and what needed further development and fixing.
To this end we renovated the 3rd floor of the Strickland Street building to greatly expand our co-working space. Many thanks to all the staff and volunteers who put countless hours into this project.
We also began offering more programming that generated revenue for the society. We offered a highly successful maker camp during spring break and hosted numerous profit-generating courses and workshops at both the makerpace and the coworking space.
This year we also secured new contribution agreements from our major partners, YG’s Department of Economic Development and CanNor. A major new development this year was entering into an agreement to host the Canada Business Network through (co)space. This agreement with will give the society a considerable measure of additional financial security while doing important work that directly fits into our mandate.
We were also able to add new sponsorships with the private sector. In addition to our existing sponsors, we were able to develop new partnerships with Home Hardware, Whitehorse Motors and Firebean Coffee Roasters.
Another key goal of the strategic plan is to clarify decision making structures within the organization. To this end, the Board has recommended that we establish a series of committees that will streamline and clarify the decision making processes among staff, the Board and regular members.
In our organization, both the makerspace and co-working space provide their members with the physical space, resources, and access to knowledge to support their passions. There are obvious links between the two spaces, and some important differences as well. A major consideration is that the current makerspace location at 135 Industrial Road is not suitable long-term due to space constraints, which impact members’ experience and the ability to pursue strategic partnerships.
Looking forward, I believe it is in our best interest to bring all aspects of our organization together. It is my personal recommendation that the new Board of Directors work towards unifying the co-working space and the makerspace under one roof, one name, one membership structure and one community.
I now wish to say a few thank-you’s. Our current regular staff are: Jaret, Logan, Lauren, Tanya. I wish to say a sincere and heart-felt thank-you for all your work. My experience working with you has been exceptionally positive and I believe you all bring a level of commitment to your work that is rarely seen. I also wish to acknowledge our contractors and past staff: Adria, Will, Adam, Barrett and Lee. You were all a huge part of our success in the past year.
I also want to thank all 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 thank my fellow Board members for your service over the past year. Amy, Bob, Glenn, Jody, Mary-Ellen and Tytus. 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.
I wish also to thank our sponsors from the business community: Northwestel, Home Hardware, Yukon Brewing, What’s Up Yukon, Firebean Coffee Roasters and Make IT.
I would like to thank our major funders: Yukon Government’s Department of Economic Development and the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency. The staff at these agencies have always believed in us and have provided us with a tremendous amount of support in becoming the incredible organization we are.
Here tonight, I am encouraged to see so many new faces. Thank you to those stepping up to the Board and other volunteer positions in the society. You will find this is an incredible community, doing amazing things. If you’ve been here for a while, stay active and keep up what you’ve been doing. You’re what makes us great.
Board of Directors Co-Chair