A new group in Quesnel is hoping to turn thinkers into makers by providing the tools, inspiration and sense of community one might need to turn an idea into a finished product.
Quesnel Maker Space, which is about a year old, is getting ready to hold its first Maker Monday workshop next week.
“A maker space is a bit of a community workshop,” explains Greg Webster, president and founder of the Quesnel Maker Space Society. “It basically allows the workshop to have tools that people wouldn’t normally have at home, such as a 3D printer. When I approached the community about this, the majority of them were women, and the majority of them were artists. A maker space becomes a reflection of the community, and they do really well.”
Webster says there are other Maker Spaces in Kamloops, Vancouver and Prince George, and the Prince George Maker Space is part of the art gallery there.
Quesnel Maker Space started about a year ago, working on getting the society together, and in November, the group began a partnership with the Quesnel and District Antique Machinery Park, which is offering space for the society’s workshops.
The first official Maker Monday workshop will take place Feb. 25 from 6-9 p.m. at 3055 Dragon Lake Rd.
Quesnel Maker Space has totes with materials related to a certain theme, such as scrapbooking, painting or electronics, and during a Maker Monday, people who come to the workshop can use whatever is in the totes to create something.
“Really, we want it to be a big community cultural thing here,” says Webster. “We have a lot of people in town who are makers by trade, and we want to expand it. We have a lot of skill here [at the Antique Machinery Park] with the blacksmith shop, and it’s connecting them with people who want to do it.”
It’s also about the energy and inspiration that comes from getting creative people together in one space, he noted.
“We provide a lot of things for people here, but, of course, we’ll help them with their projects as well,” says Webster.
A membership costs $25 per person per year for an individual membership or $50 per year per family, and there are drop-in rates as well. A drop-in is $5 per individual and $12 per family.
Webster says they would like to raise money for a laser cutter or a plasma printer, and they want to get more people interested in what they are doing. He says there is a lot of interest in the blacksmith shop at the Antique Machinery Park, which is an interesting merging of old and new, and there has been a lot of interest from artists.
“When I started this, it was really a thing about me being a giant geek and being into 3D printing and electronics, and it didn’t turn into that at all,” he said “We have a 3D printer here and a vertical CNC [computer numerical control] machine. There is lots of interest and lots of support.”
Webster says they are connecting with other groups in town, such as Scouts, and have been talking to clubs like the Tumbling Rivers Rock Club, and they have all expressed interest.
“We’re hoping to bring groups and people together,” he says.
Quesnel Maker Space is looking for more volunteers, and anybody who is interested is encouraged to visit Quesnel Maker Space on Facebook for more information.