Meet the Makers: Jenn

Meet the Makers is a series of interviews to help you get to know the people who are building our makerspace. Jenn is president of YuKonstruct’s Board of Directors. She is creative and practical, and being part of and understanding the sharing economy a little more is important to her. 

Jenn, what’s your role at YuKonstruct?
President and co-chair of the board, I also sit on the Executive Committee and the Facility Task Force Committee.

Why did you join?
There are a few reasons, I am interested in and went to school for design and business I love that YuKonstruct marries those two so successfully. I am attracted to the NFP model and like to give back to my community. YuKonstruct has a great board, it is a privilege to serve the members at YuKonstruct and work with such a great team.

What do you like most about YuKonstruct being up and running?
What I like the most are the people and the community they represent, the passion exhibited by members and the inclusiveness. Our organization is growing and evolving and that process is never without challenges, we are at a pivotal stage and I am excited about where we are right now as an organization. Here are highlights of some of the of the great stuff that’s going on:

  • we won both the regional (across the north) and national awards from Startup Canada as the “Best Entrepreneur Support Organization”,
  • our members also won awards (plural!),
  • numerous organizations contact us monthly to get involved and help them with community building projects, we are recognized as the place to go to take an idea and turn it into something awesome;
  • partners like YWITT and local schools are working with us to access our space, tools and our community.

Our funders look forward to the future of the organization, we have great members making big contributions, we have a lot to be proud of!

What do you think will be our biggest challenge?
Adapting to change and all that goes with it as the organization and board matures and as we define what it is to be a member, a volunteer, staff member and board member, we are all in it together.

Why should people become YuKonstruct members?
People should join the community because they want to be part of a cutting edge, award winning, enthusiastic organization where members collaborate by sharing ideas and expertise. Where else are they going to get a chance at all that?

Meet the Makers: Graeme

Meet the Makers is a series of interviews to help you get to know the people who are building our makerspace. Graeme is a member of YuKonstruct’s Board of Directors. Read on to find out what got him involved and what inspires him to create. 

Graeme, what’s your role at YuKonstruct?
I am one of the Directors on the Board of Directors. I am currently volunteering as the Secretary. I have been a general member of YuKonstruct in the past and when I heard that the organization was looking for volunteers to be on the Board I put my name forward.

I joined YuKonstruct because I had never been involved in a makerspace before and I wanted to learn more about them and to ensure that the organization here in the Yukon got off to a strong start.

What do you like to make?
I am actually a writer. So I love to write stories. I am an avid reader, always have been. As a kid I was always lost inside a book. Even today, much of my living room floor is covered in stacks of books.

What inspires you to make things? 
I love the act of creating. I love the aspect of creating something outside of yourself. There is enormous satisfaction in taking something from a kernel of an idea embedded in your mind, prying it loose and bringing it to fruition.

What do you want to build at the makerspace?
I am fascinated by the laser cutters at YuKonstruct. Why you may ask? Because lasers people!

I am looking forward to trying to make a Gysin Dream Machine at the makerspace this spring. I watched a documentary about this device awhile ago and if nothing else it looks like it could be a great conversation starter.

What advice do you have for other makers and entrepreneurs in the Yukon?
My advice for other makers and enterpreneurs is to follow your passion. Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today. There are great resources and volunteers here at YuKonstruct that share the same drive and passions as you and will be more than happy to help out.

Meet the Makers: Mary Ellen

Meet the Makers is a series of interviews to help you get to know the people who are building our makerspace.  Mary Ellen is a member of YuKonstruct’s Board of Directors and has worked in architectural design and project management since 2005. 

Mary Ellen, what’s your role at YuKonstruct?
I’ve been a member since 2015, and a director for a year and a half.

How did you get involved with the makerspace?
I had an intern working for me who got our office involved. (I run a small architectural practice here in Whitehorse called Northern Front Studio). We did some training sessions on the laser cutter and CNC router. We were then able to experiment with making models of our building designs, directly from the drafting software we use. It is pretty exciting to play with the tools that YuKonstruct has access to.

What do you want to build at YuKonstruct?
I’m always interested in the connection from 3D modelling on the computer to ways to realize large scale projects. 3D printing has so many possibilities in construction. Lately i’m looking at furniture designs made on the CNC router, and hopefully that will also lead into lighting fixture design.

What are you working on now?
We have a few custom designed homes and a large multi-family project in the early stages, so I will be back to try another scale model, to help our clients visualize what the buildings will look like.

What advice do you have for other makers and entrepreneurs in the Yukon?
My best advice is to keep experimenting, to see what you can make the tools do for you. And expect to do everything at least twice, (and I do mean everything).

Meet the Makers: Bob

Meet the Makers is a series of interviews to help you get to know the people who are building our makerspace.  Bob is a member of YuKonstruct’s Board of Directors and an experienced maker. Read on to learn about his thoughts on the makerspace and be sure to check out some of the inspiring projects on his Instructables account.

Bob, what’s your role at YuKonstruct?
I have been a member, an instructor for a number of workshops and have been on the Board for three years.

Why did you join YuKonstruct?
I like to make things, try new things and work with others so Yukonstruct is the kind of place for me.

What do you like to make?
I like to make things that that serve a useful purpose and provide value to others.

What has been your favourite project so far?
Possibly the greenhouse assembly or the bent shaft paddles. Both provided challenges and both had many positive outcomes! Bob making good use of one of his bent shaft canoe paddles[/caption]

Meet the Makers: Julie

Meet the Makers is a series of interviews to help you get to know the people who are building our YuKonstruct Makerspace Society. Julie recently started as our Director of Programing and Communications.

Julie, what’s your role at YuKonstruct?

I am responsible for Programing and Communications. Before I worked in the industrial marketing field, training development and programing implementation. I am passionate about web design and software in general. Geeky? Yep!

Some programing we will be putting into place include workshops on technical, aesthetic and 3D design, robotics and electronics. We would like to ensure we are using our equipment to their full capacity. More workshops for kids, too!

Why did you join YuKonstruct?

After 3 years of running my own consulting and training company between Yukon and Quebec, I wanted to get involved in a community that imagines, creates and develops and at YuKonstruct that happens! As an engineering graduate registered in France, I have always loved to create new solutions, concepts and prototypes.

What do you like most about YuKonstruct being up and running?

I love how YuKonstruct acts as a pioneer being the first maker community in the North. The positive energy, the ‘repair-reuse-recreate’ attitude and DIY culture running in the Makerspace is amazing and inspiring. I have a lot to learn from our members and volunteers. I am proud to be involved in the adventure and to contribute to spread this energy through the entire Yukon community.

What do you want to build at YuKonstruct?

Wooden toys, baby clothes, baby furniture… all for my baby boy!


Join us on Tuesdays for our Open House from 7:00 to 9:00 pm to meet other makers and take a tour of YuKonstruct!


Meet the Makers: Lea-Ann

Meet the Makers is a series of interviews to help you get to know the people who are building our makerspace. Lea-Ann, an artist who specializes in mixing new media technology with traditional handcrafting methods, recently signed on to be a volunteer YuKonstruct site moderator. 

Lea-Ann, how did you get involved with YuKonstruct?
I have been excited to get involved with YuKonstruct since before I moved back to the Yukon from Quebec April 2016! The first workshop I attended was on coding.

Why did you join YuKonstruct?
I wanted to join because it gives me a place to work on large scale projects. And I have access to the wide range of tools that I otherwise would not have access to/can’t afford.

What do you like most about the makerspace?
YuKonstruct is a game changer for me as a multidisciplinary artist. I like the plethora of tools available to use. From traditional construction, welding, industrial sewing machine all the way to the laser cutter and 3D printer.

Why should other people become YuKonstruct members?
I think that people should become a member because it allows you to create professional work without having to purchase the specialty tools or rent a space to work in, as well as the great community and environment.

What do you like to make?
I am a visual artist, lately my work has been installation based. I love incorporating electronics into my art.
My favourite project so far was working for Pivot Theatre Festival on set design. We basically lived in the laser cutter room for 2 weeks in January.

What are you working on now?
A video installation series for my upcoming exhibition in the Yukon Arts Centre Community gallery happening in June!

What future projects do you want to build at YuKonstruct?
Fingers crossed that I will be helping create a prototype with an AR (augmented reality) aspect for a language revitalisation project.

What advice do you have for other makers in the Yukon?
Go check out the open house that happens weekly at YuKonstruct so you yourself can get a tour and hear about what is available to members!

Meet the Makers: Ksenia

Meet the Makers is a series of interviews to help you get to know the people who are building our makerspace. Ksenia recently started as our Thursday night site moderator, but you might have seen her around previously, lending a hand at various makerspace events. 

Ksenia, what’s your role at YuKonstruct?
I have, and have had, a few roles at Yukonstruct. Right now I’m the Thursday evening site moderator and occasional blog-post writer, but I’ve also co-taught Laser Cutter 101, organized workshops, promoted an event on air, and been involved in a number of different maker projects, like the Winterval lanterns.

How did you get involved with YuKonstruct?
A few months after I arrived in Yukon I realized that my apartment has very limited space to store projects and power tools. Also, I wanted to meet other makers in the area. I set out looking for a place with space, tools, and other makers with whom to collaborate, create, and learn. In a nutshell, this is Yukonstruct. So, I reached out and the following day found myself on a beautiful fall walk with the volunteer coordinator deep in a conversation that swung between mushroom harvesting and the various volunteer opportunities at Yukonstruct. I’ve been hooked ever since.

What do you like most about YuKonstruct?
Yukonstruct is special for many reasons – it is unique in the resources it offers members. If I had to name one thing that I like most about Yukonstruct, however, it would be the people and the energy that they bring to the space. Everyone, of all skill levels, is welcome. Each member is interested in different things – this makes for magic when a few start talking, get together, and create something incredible out of a collaboration. If you’re having a problem with a project, or see someone who is stuck with theirs, it is the most natural thing to put your heads together and hash it out. It’s a great place to be.

Why should people become YuKonstruct members?
Well, in addition to access to the space and the tools and the experts, membership gives you an extra push to get out the door and go make something. I’m a pretty busy person, and it is easy to leave no time in the week for making ‘fun’ projects. Having a membership reminds me that I need to make time in my schedule to do these fun, creative activities. It is great to walk in the door and see what others are making – it gives you so many ideas for your own projects. It makes you want to come back and keep making, learning, collaborating. It is a dedicated creation space.

What are you working on now?
Right now, I’m in love with the laser cutters. Before joining Yukonstruct, I had never worked with them. So far I’ve made signs, a nameplate for my niece, a wedding gift, and countless types of coasters and ornaments for Christmas gifts. It was really great to give something that I’d designed, cut with a laser, polished, and varnished.

I’m also learning to bead in the single-needle and double-needle styles and am looking into small-scale mushroom (shiitake and oyster) cultivation on logs and in boxes. The boxes would have to be insulated but also allow for air circulation, so it is a bit of an adventure figuring out how to approach it.

New Year with New Positions

Happy New Year from the whole team at YuKonstruct!

We have contractors hired for the next three months. Some are familiar faces in new roles and some are new to the community. Check out the full page of our team. For our individual roles, check out what we are up to:

Jaret will remain in the role of Executive Director and Financial Sustainability Manager. He will be focusing on grants, partnerships, sponsorship, operational development, vision coordination, funding, invoicing and more. He is doing a lot!

Logan will be working at the makerspace alongside Adam. These guys are in charge of creating self-training, resources for training, safety of the shops, facilities maintenance and equipment upkeep.

Adria’s role is now focused on Programming at the makerspace including a spring break camp in March.

Lauren has taken on the Volunteer Coordination and Member Relations at both spaces. She’ll also be helping out with sponsorship, event bookings and marketing for the organization.

Barrett and Lee (interview to come) will be working together on Programming mainly at (co)space and some at the makerspace as well. The focus of these workshops will be on entrepreneurial development.

Please introduce yourself if you see them in either space and feel free to connect via email as well.

Meet the Makers: Adam

Meet the Makers is a series of interviews to help you get to know the awesome folks who are building our makerspace. You might be familiar with Adam in his role as volunteer site moderator at YuKonstruct, but he will soon be starting a new contract position to help further improve our facilities.

Adam, what’s your role at YuKonstruct?
I am doing a short term contract to upgrade signage and training material, and support Logan in facilities maintenance. I am also a very active member and volunteer, mostly in the wood shop.

Why did you first join YuKonstruct?
I signed up because I am building my house, and I saw it as an opportunity to do higher quality finishing work on Yukonstruct’s excellent equipment.

What do you like most about the makerspace?
Hands down, it’s the community. It’s been a real pleasure working somewhere where other people are working on their own projects around me. Everyone is really helpful and keen to share their knowledge. A lot of my time is spent helping others and being helped by others, whether by helping haul something or learning a great tip about woodworking.

What has been your favourite project so far?
Recently I’ve been getting into making Christmas presents on the laser cutter. I’m making coasters, etched inlays for woodworking projects, and earrings out of recycled skateboard decks. It’s pretty amazing how you can precisely cut and etch complex shapes at the touch of a button.

Why should people become YuKonstruct members?
Besides it being an amazing deal for the amount and quality of equipment you get to use, it is a fun place to work on your projects. There are great staff, volunteers, and members. As you get to know the space and the people involved, you will fall in love with this community.



(co)space’s coworkers: Jenna

Meet the Makers is a series of interviews to help you get to know the people who are building YuKonstruct’s makerspace. With lots of interesting members at (co)space, we wanted to broaden our interviews to include them!  We now have the (co)space’s coworkers interviews. Here’s Jenna’s.

Jenna, what do you work on while at (co)space? (what is your business/studies)
I work a lot on business development, networking, and social media. I own two companies, Frozen Beach Music, Inc. and Dynamics Intelligence Inc. Frozen Beach Music is a music production company and Dynamics Intelligence is a technology software company.

How did you get involved with (co)space?
I conducted a web search for co-location/virtual offices.  After touring (co)space, I knew it was for me, a perfect fit.

Why did you join (co)space?
To be able to operate my business in a place with reliable internet access, a place that was away from home, and a place where I could meet and interact with other business community members.

What do you like most about (co)space being up and running? 
The staff is clearly the best to work with. They are very reliable and get things resolved quickly.

Why do you think other people should become (co)space members?
Anyone that is looking for a place to work that is not in their home, a place to socialize with other business people, and a place with reliable high speed internet should become a member.

What inspires you to work?
I love statistics and being involved with social media is exciting if you like statistics, charts, reports, and graphs.  It’s really exciting to see something go viral and it is challenging to constantly find new content to keep the traffic levels up.

What advice to you have for other members?
My advice would be to get more involved. Host an event or simply invite colleagues to (co)space.


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