Tuesdays at YuKonstruct!

Time to celebrate!

On Tuesday May 13, 2014 we opened the doors to show everyone our new space for the first time.  Over 80 people attended to check it out and celebrate this accomplishment with us. There was Yukon Brewing beer, delicious food from Garlic A GoGo, and great music thanks to The Midnight Sons and the Brass Knuckle Society.

YuKonstruct Sneak Peak Party
YuKonstruct Sneak Peak Party

But the fun doesn’t stop there! We have the space, now it is up to our community of makers to help build it into something great. There is still a lot to do before we have a makerspace.

Join us on a Tuesday!

If you want to see what’s going on and lend a hand, stop by any Tuesday after 7pm at 135 Industrial Road. You can check out the space, learn about how we intend to use it, and donate your skills or resources to help us build this into a community space.


Hacking Health North Event Summary

To all those who joined us at the Hacking Health North weekend – Thank You!

Hacking Health North was such a phenomenal success. We appreciate all the participants, observers, sponsors, partners, organizers, and volunteers who gave their time or services during the weekend – it would not have been possible without your help.

In total, 8 projects were built during the weekend and we’ve had some follow up discussions with the teams and several have plans to continue to develop their projects. We wish them lots of success!

For a full look at the projects go to the Sparkboard.

For a snapshot summary check out the infographic below:

A busy week! Hacking Health (May 9-11) and YuKonstruct Sneak Peak (May 13)

Hacking Health North is THIS WEEKEND (May 9 – 11, 2014) – Join us!

We are in the last phase of preparing for this weekends hackathon – Hacking Health North!  It is going to be a fantastic event and we hope you can come as a participant for the weekend or stop by as an observer on Friday evening (6:00pm) and Sunday afternoon (2:30pm).

We encourage you to put your fantastic ideas on our Sparkboard! So far, some great ideas have been posted, like a rural services app, a 3D printed custom temporary spare dentures, or even a doctor magnet to help bring and keep doctors in the north!

Want to learn more – listen to our recent CBC Radio North interview with Tara McCarthy!CBC North

Can’t join us in person? You can pitch an idea, join a team and participate remotely! We will be streaming this event LIVE on YouTube from Whitehorse starting Friday 6pm PDT.

You will also get the opportunity to vote on what you think is the best idea! You must have a Sparkboard login to vote (sign up today!).


What is happening with YuKonstruct?

Don’t worry, while we have been preparing for Hacking Health North we have still been moving forward with YuKonstruct!

There have been some exciting developments that we want to share with you!

Our initial funding is processed, and as of May 6, 2014 we have a signed lease agreement for our new space!  We have spent the past few weeks doing our due diligence, bringing in inspectors, negotiating with realtors, and all the things which come along with this type of commitment. But now we have the keys and we are so excited to officially be able to share this!

We have a YuKonstruct space!! We are so excited!

We have keys!
We have keys!

Now, this is not yet a full makerspace. This is a shell, a place we can build from, and grow into. This is where we need your help, your time, your ideas, and your energy to really make it a community space. We are giving ourselves the summer to do it, and want to officially open our doors and have a functional makerspace by September.  


But that doesn’t stop us from having you come visit to check it out!

We will be hosting a little gathering on Tuesday May 13 from 7-9pm and we invite you to see the new (but empty) space at 135 Industrial Road. You can enjoy some music, food, a beer or two an maybe you can meet an astronaut!

We will also be contacting volunteers as time goes by based on their survey responses to the volunteer section. There will be painting, space planning and lots of exciting things coming up!

If you didn’t get a chance fill out our survey please do so here! This way we can know where to contact you if you have tools to donate or time/skills to share.


Bring your ideas to life!

Hacking Health and YuKonstruct

If you didn’t know already, YuKonstruct is hosting Hacking Health from May 9-11, 2014 (more details here). YuKonstruct chose to host this event because it aligns well with a part of our mission to help empower Yukoners to bring their ideas to life!

While we work to get our makerspace underway, this hackathon style event is essentially a portable hackerspace / makerspace. It all comes down to creative makers coming together and create solutions and prototypes with the tools they have available!

It is going to be an exciting event and we are looking forward to having you there! Both observers and participants are suggested to REGISTER IN ADVANCE to ensure we have enough food over the weekend! Participants registering before May 4, 2014 can use the code yukonstruct10 to take $10 of the price of their ticket! Come for a weekend of food, fun, collaboration (and fast internet)!

Hacking Health & YuKonstruct


Did we mention there will be an astronaut?! Yes! Canadian Space Agency astronaut Dr. David Saint-Jacques will be presenting on Sunday May 11 at 4pm in the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre following the conclusion of the Hacking Health event. This special event will be free to the public so please stop by and bring your mum (it will be Mother’s Day)!

Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques
Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques presenting May 11 @ 4pm KDCC


We’re curious – what are your health ideas?!

Would you like to see an app developed to keep track of your children’s vaccination records? Or one that tells you when your UV exposure is getting high? Are you looking for a means to better communicate with out of town specialists? Something to help you smoke less? Eat better? Get outside and enjoy the trails? Ideas may be inspired by traditional healthcare, alternative health, social health, mental health, or preventative approaches to health and those that promote physical activity or a healthy mindset!

Whatever you can think of to improve health and wellness – share your ideas here on the Sparkboard!

We want to get as many ideas as possible, from as many people as possible. It is the best way to create change!

Bring your ideas - let's turn them into reality!
Bring your ideas to Hacking Health – together we can make them come to life!



Do you have an idea for a 3D prototype? Check out this event!

Or maybe your idea for Hacking Health needs a physical prototype? Perhaps you want to 3D print a better prosthesis like this. Or maybe you have just have an idea that you want to bring to life with a CNC mill or laser-cutter!

Can we suggest you head to the Yukon Trade Show this weekend (May 2-4) at the Canada Games Centre for a chance to win Design and CAD services from the Yukon Research Centre and a 3D prototype (3D printed, CNC milled or laser cut) from Arctic Automate to help you on your way to making your ideas a reality!

When: May 2-4, 2014
What: Yukon Trade Show
Where: Canada Games Centre, Whitehorse YT
Booth: YRC – Mid Arctic Booth
Contact: info@arcticau.com

We thought you makers and inventors out there would be excited about this opportunity and wanted to share!

Hacking Health North – May 9 – 11, 2014

Mark May 9 – 11, 2014 in your calendars!

YuKonstruct is teaming up with Hacking Health to host a weekend hackathon. Here’s a little video about the concept:

If you think there are inefficiencies in the healthcare space and want to be part of the solution then REGISTER HERE

(Tickets cover the cost of food for the weekend and participants can get $10 off before April 30 with discount code yukonstruct10)

YuKonstruct and Hacking Health would like to invite healthcare professionals and patients who have ideas for health tech solutions to collaborate with developers, designers, researchers, administrators, managers and other creative minds to develop realistic solutions to healthcare problems. This weekend-long hackathon (May 9 – 11, 2014) allows those with ideas, who are unsure how to make them happen, to connect with talented technology experts and designers. In these small teams, these ideas can be further refined and materialize into working prototypes. Take a look at the projects from the last Hacking Health event in Montreal.

A team working at Hacking Health to develop rapid prosthetics prototyping
A team working at Hacking Health to develop rapid prosthetics prototyping

What is Hacking Health?

Hacking Health is an international movement with a goal to improve healthcare by connecting technology experts and healthcare professionals to collaboratively develop real solutions. Learn more about Hacking Health here.

Event Info

Goal: To provide an opportunity to make a difference in healthcare through co-operative participation and rapid creation/testing of ideas.
Patients, healthcare professionals, technology focused developers, designers, entrepreneurs and creative thinkers.
When: May 9-11, 2014
Where: Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre on 1st Avenue, Whitehorse*
*Remote participation will also be possible from Yellowknife, Iqaluit and various communities across the Yukon.
Cost: $40 to participate; Free to observe (Friday and/or Sunday attendance)**
**This is to cover food costs for the weekend (healthy options available)

How can I participate?

  1. Registration is now open! Register here or below and select the participant group which suits you best. Participants who register before May 4th can get a $10 discount by using this code: yukonstruct10

  2. Visit our Sparkboard and post your idea, comment on other ideas and begin to build teams before the hackathon. (This is a quick and easy process and we would love to hear your ideas even if you can’t join us for the weekend!)

Prefer to just be an observer?

No problem! You can attend to see all the idea pitches (Friday May 9 @ 6pm) and final prototypes (Sunday May 11 @ 2pm).
Register here and select the Observer category (Cost: FREE).

A team presenting their idea at Hacking Health
A team demonstrating their prototype app at Hacking Health

Can’t attend in Whitehorse? Join us remotely!

You can still participate remotely! You can provide a 1-minute video of your idea and / or contribute to developing solutions to ideas all through live streaming and remote collaboration. We hope to extend participation across the communities in the Yukon, to Yellowknife and Iqaluit.

Remote participants can sign up for free registration – (registering will allow us to send the details you need to let you participate from afar.)


Want to meet an Astronaut?

Come to the free public event directly after Hacking Health – Sunday May 11 at 4pm at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre. More details in this post.

If you’re interested in learning more, or volunteering to help make Hacking Health a success, please email north@hackinghealth.ca

Survey Results – What a response!

Thanks for taking the survey!  All one hundred and one of you!

Now the Core Team has lots of useful information on membership pricing, hours, and people to contact for specific volunteer tasks. People who indicated they want to volunteer Event Coordination will be contacted soon, as Hacking Health North (May 9-11, 2014) is our next big event. Stay tuned for details!

This survey also gives us the proof we need to show funders that we have an engaged community of makers, 84% of you volunteered to help make the space happen faster! Amazing!

For those of you who asked specific questions at the end of the survey, I will be responding over the next few days. In the meantime check out this infographic which summarizes the results.


As for what you want to learn – check out this word cloud:

What you want to learn
What you want to learn

Here’s what you said you can teach:

What can you teach?
What can you teach?

We need YOUR input – take our 5 minute survey

Hey everyone!

I’m Amelia and I have been excited to work with the core team to develop this important survey. Before I talk about that, I wanted to give you a little update.

YuKonstruct has come so far since January 14 when we had the Kick-Off Open House and asked the Yukon community if they would want a makerspace. The answer was yes! Since then, the core team have been hard at work to make it happen.

In Allison’s last update she mentioned that the team has been working hard on a number of fronts, the most exciting of which is a potential space. Since then, the outreach team has put together this blog to keep you informed. There was also a funding proposal submitted for review last week, so that we can get the money needed to hopefully sign a lease. It has been busy!


We recently got some initial feedback from the funders which lets us know that we need to start establishing the details of membership fees, and the tools we will need to purchase, so we can ensure our budget is accurate. To do this, I have created a short survey for you to fill out so we can better understand HOW and WHEN you want to use the makerspace. I am also using this as part of my thesis project for my degree in Community Development, with a concentration in Community Research. This survey is designed to keep the momentum of YuKonstruct going in a community-based way, by encouraging skill-sharing, seeking enthusiastic volunteers and asking what you think is best.


PLEASE FILL OUT THIS SURVEY BEFORE APRIL 14, 2014 – Without this feedback we will have a difficult time making our case that YuKonstruct will be an important community space.

It should only take you 5 minutes to complete, but it will provide us with the key information we need to make decisions as we move forward.

Also, please feel free to share this post with anyone who you think might want to be a YuKonstruct member. We really appreciate it!

If you’re wondering what will we do with the survey data, it will be this:

  • Establish membership pricing, choose what tools to purchase and confirm our proposed budget.
  • Publish a summary of results on our website and send you an email too!
  • I will also use the survey in my coursework to examine the possibilities of makerspaces as community development tools in the North.

At no time will your personal details be shared. Any information and responses we post will be anonymous.

If you have any difficulties with the survey please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Thanks so much!


We’re making progress

Hi, my name is Allison. If your story is anything like mine, you went to the YuKonstruct Kick-Off in January, enjoyed some pizza, checked out the cool projects, and maybe you even attended the follow-up planning session on January 28th. But by now you’ve started to wonder what’s going on and what can you do to help, right?

Is this Makerspace really going to get off the ground? Well that balloon sure did, but I wanted to find out more on the progress of YuKonstruct itself, so I attended a team meeting this week and, as it turns out, there’s A LOT going on! (and a lot of people too!)

Team hard at work
Team hard at work

Fifteen builders met for 2.5 hours (as they have been doing weekly since the kick-off) and I was impressed by their skills, energy, and dedication to this project.

Here’s a recap:

Space Team
The most exciting development is the fact that the space team has found a possible venue. It’s a cool, industrial space, easily accessible, and has lots of room. It will need some work to meet makers’ needs, but that’s going to be half the fun. And this is just one of many suitable options we’ve been scouting.

Even if this one doesn’t work out the space team is confident they’ll find us a great home.

A potential space
The potential location

Org(anization) Team
The bulk of this meeting focused on building a sophisticated and exhaustive budget line-by-line. The core team has been looking into the real costs for a start-up like this and they have done a lot of research into how other Makerspaces are run.

The full business plan is almost done, so stay tuned for more!

Outreach Team
The outreach team is working hard to get a blog up and running to keep everyone informed. They also invited me to share my story with you.

Support Team
The support team is helping build tools to support the team’s efforts. For example, one of the things they’re researching are the ways to allow member access and ensure security too.

Possible locking mechanism
Possible locking mechanism

**So now that you’re up to date, how can YOU help?**

Membership Survey
The outreach team will be sending out a survey to get a better idea of how many potential members are out there and what sort of memberships they might be interested in (monthly, annual, day passes, 24 hour access, etc). Please fill it out!

Once the core team has a better picture of the level of interest and the sort of memberships Yukoners want, they will start signing members up. The more who sign up in advance, the easier it will be to get YuKonstruct up and running. More info soon.

Looking at the numbers, it’s pretty clear that a Makerspace can’t easily be supported by membership fees alone.

Lucky for us, several companies have already come forward to pledge sponsorship and the donation of products and services (in-kind). If you have a connection with anyone who might be willing to donate funds, services or equipment, please send an email to: ben@yukonstruct.com

Let’s keep the momentum going
Some fun events are in the works to keep people interested and engaged. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to hear about all the upcoming activities and then spread the word!

I hope you’re as excited about this as I am! You should reach out and get involved. I’m sure glad I did.


Allison (maker and wannabe YuKonstruct member)

That's me!
That’s me!

Balloon Launch Event

We did it !  We went to SPACE!

On January 30, 2014 @ 10:20am PST we launched a balloon with cameras & GPS into the sky above Whitehorse, Yukon.

Payload ready to launch
Payload ready to launch
Final preparations for balloon launch
Final preparations for balloon launch
Balloon Up and Away
Balloon up and away

Once launched, it floated +100,000 ft up into the stratosphere, popped, and returned to Earth safely via parachute. That was the easy part. Getting it back was a whole other adventure!

The moment the balloon popped
The moment the balloon popped and parachute deployed
Balloon Recovery
Balloon recovery mission

YuKonstruct Balloon off the ground Cold Climate InnovationTemesco HelicoptersAir North

What a Kick Off Event!

THANK YOU for making the Kick-Off to YuKonstruct such a big success! Your ideas, input, and feedback are invaluable and will help shape Yukon’s very first makerspace.

We’ve compiled a summary of the evening below.

  • 220+ makers showed up (Thats you!)
  • 42 Pizza’s eaten (436 slices!)
  • 30+ projects displayed (Thank you inventors!)
What a great turnout!
What a great turnout!

Here’s how you imagined YuKonstruct:

Word cloud

Word wall

Here’s how you voted:

Vote pie chart


  2180, 2nd Avenue, Whitehorse
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