Introducing Curtis

Have you noticed how clean things have become lately? It has been almost two months since Curtis started work at the makerspace and (co)space.

Curtis came to the organization thanks to a new partnership with Challenge Disability Resource Group. (co)space & YuKonstruct gratefully accepted an invitation recently to be honored for the success of our partnership with Challenge at their upcoming Annual General Meeting on June 14th!

“We support and promote self-starters, entrepreneurship and innovation in the North and consider this success story as another win. Curtis graduated from Challenge’s Employ Ability Skills Program this spring and started with us the following week. THIS is what we do!” Says Lauren Manekin Beille, (co)space’s Director of Coworking.

We interviewed Curtis and here’s what had to say about his role:

Curtis, what is your role at (co)space & YuKonstuct?
I am a proud janitor for the spaces. The dirtier it is, the better I clean!

Why is this job important to you and the organization?
It keeps both spaces open, welcoming and immaculate. It’s working because I received a compliment last Wednesday. The person said, ‘Wow – since you’ve been here the place is so clean. I appreciate all the things you’ve been doing. You do great work and I appreciate you.” That made me feel really good. Also, everyone says hello and gives me high-fives here.

Tell us about your work ethic.
My father has been a strong influence. He works at his job and continues to work at home. He’s always kept busy and never sat around. My motto today is “Safety – no running on the job, Quality – always aim to do better work, and Quantity – do more work than the day before.”

What did you learn at Challenge to prepare you for your business venture?
They taught me to be articulate. Before I spoke with my hands and now I use my words. I did so well that I won the “Most Reliable” Award because I was never late.

Do you have any advice for people in making the leap to being a self-starter?
Keep busy, have a good frame of mind to push forward, commit to always showing up, and be better than the day before. Finally, always smile because it goes a long way.

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.



Sending Off the Summer Staff

As summer wraps up around here and school begins again, we are forced to say goodbye to our summer students.

Having Yza at the coworking space, and Rowan and Solvey at the makerspace has been hugely beneficial to YuKonstruct! They did so much work to improve the appearance, safety and community at both spaces. Check out the gallery of photos of just some of their contributions.

This was the first summer with staff positions and we know we loved having them! We wanted to know what it was like for the students to work here… Here’s what they said:

Yza: “Working at (co)space has been a great learning experience. I learned about the space, the people and how important it is to be a community. The members all have one thing common: their passion for work. Working at (co)space has helped me to get out of my comfort zone.”

Solvey: “Working at Yukonstruct was really rewarding because we were asked to contribute what we had to offer, rather than just told what was required of us. I was challenged and produced better work because members and colleagues at Yukonstruct treat each other with so much interest and respect.”

Rowan: “YuKonstruct has provided me the opportunity to meet and collaborate with an array of interesting people, and build a variety of projects using some very specialized tools. I can’t speak too highly of the people who make up this organization, and I hope the collective continues to grow and improve for years to come.”

Thanks again summer staff! 

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!



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