This week 65 enthusiastic makers attended our first ever Special General Meeting!
The directors delivered the state of the union, outlining how far we’ve come and where we need to go from here.
One of the goals of the meeting was to bring new people into YuKonstruct, so we were thrilled to see lots of new faces and sign up 6 new members! Two new directors were also elected; welcome and thank you Lisa and Seamus!
After a quick break for pizza, there was a ‘big ideas’ brainstorming session. We generated, as one participant said, “a galaxy of cool ideas!” John, one of the directors, described the night as a watershed moment in our evolution.
All the ideas from the brainstorming session are currently on the whiteboard. Come check ’em out! Next week the directors and core team will start figuring out the next steps towards bringing some of those ideas to life.
Looking forward to workshops at YuKonstruct this fall? So are we! We will officially be open to our membership after our Grand Ribbon Cutting Event on September 16, 2014, after which time we plan to host a number of fun and interesting workshops.
We are still finalizing the course plan, but will have workshops in a variety of disciplines to allow you to learn to use new tools, and explore all our space has to offer. These would include machining, fabric arts, digital fabrication, woodworking and more. We will be posting our workshop schedule on our EVENTS page in the next couple of weeks – stay tuned!
If you are interested in teaching a workshop, please get in touch with our coordinator by emailing [email protected]
YuKonstruct was proud to be one of several official host sites for this inaugural event. We showcased the Groundwork Sessions Crew offering 12 hours of free breakdance workshops, film screenings, live graffiti and on site performances.
Check out the CBC Radio Interview with Yukon Radio Dave and the Whitehorse Nuit Blanche organizers here. You can also see more photos of the event by Alistar Maitland here.
Thank you for all those who joined in!
If you don’t know: Whitehorse Nuit Blanche is an all night roaming art experience which features and celebrates local artists. This fantastic evening included delicious food, and various performances and art installations all throughout Whitehorse. In support of our local artists, YuKonstruct served as one of several official host sites for this inaugural event.
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 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!
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!
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.
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:
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.
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!)
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:
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.
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!
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.
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.
**So now that you’re up to date, how can YOU help?**
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: [email protected]
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.
Whether it is the old wood shop, the garage where you tinker, the spare room that doubles as a sewing room, or that desk in the basement, any space which allows your creativity to flow is a magical one. You might be a famous local talent. Perhaps you are an everyday Do-It-Yourself-er, a painter, a lego master or inventor of cool gadgets. All of us have that one creative space where you go to listen to your muse! It’s where you create beautiful works of art, invent interesting things, or spend many happy hours developing your ideas. It is your “makerspace”.
For me, there’s never been just one creative space. There have been however, common features that made all of those spaces a great place to create. Inspiration is always nearby. There is always a good source of natural light, maybe a nice view and great colours on the walls. There is a place to store, organize and easily access supplies, even if only a small shelf or box. Resources such as books, the Internet, magazine clippings, are readily available to both inspire and help me learn and try new things.
All of the spaces which inspired me were great but I occasionally wondered if having like-minded people in my favourite creative spaces could make them even better. Would I find inspiration in their work, could I learn even more?
A small group of Yukoners seemed to think so, and they wanted to do something about it. I for one am so glad they did! In early 2014, YuKonstruct was born.
The idea of a makerspace is not a new one. A Makerspace (also known as a hackerspace) is a community-operated workspace incorporating elements of machine shops, workshops, and / or studios where makers (also known as builders) come together to share resources and knowledge to build and make things happen. These makerspaces evolved because would-be entrepreneurs were either missing space, tools, or expertise needed to get their ideas off the ground. Interests generally include computers, technology, science, art, and other hands-on endeavours. There are 30+ makerspaces in Canada and 900+ around the world and they come in many forms. The largest makerspaces in Canada (AssentWorks) and USA (TechShop) have both have helped launch new prototypes and many new businesses.
When the idea of YuKonstruct was put forth to the Yukon community during a Kick-off Open House on January 14, 2014 there was a resounding and overwhelming affirmation from the over 220 people in attendance, that this would be a welcome addition to the north.
I know I am not alone in saying that I can’t wait to see how this unfolds!