Makerspace woodshop instructor Dave Peel looks over a three-dimensional map of Salmon Arm created with a CNC machine by Mark Hinchliff. Peel, a former SAS shop instructor, helped build and set up the shop, and is providing courses there. (Lachlan Labere/Salmon Arm Observer)

Makerspace a place to learn, teach, work and play

Doors open to new community offering at Salmon Arm Innovation Centre

The grand opening of the Shuswap Makerspace was a mix of formality and fun, with an opportunity to explore and try out what this community-driven workshop has to offer.

In no time at all, the lobby of the Salmon Arm Innovation Centre – the unmissable rainbow-coloured, butterfly-adorned building on Shuswap Street – was packed with people on Wednesday evening, Dec. 5, for the opening of the Makerspace in the bottom level of the building.

Leading the opening were Salmon Arm Economic Development Society (SAEDS) manager Lana Fitt, SAEDS board director and Innovation Centre project chair Chad Shipmaker, and Innovation Centre executive director Thomas Briginshaw, who began by providing background about the Innovation Centre and the Makerspace and how the two came to be.

Shipmaker noted it was remarkable to be standing inside a Salmon Arm Innovation Centre, something that had only been an idea two years ago. As he continued, Shipmaker explained how, during the city branding exercise leading up to the formal Dec. 1 brand launch, what really jumped out were the number of tech-based businesses in the community. This eventually led to a feasibility study which involved communication with the school district, Okanagan College, businesses and community members.

Related: Salmon Arm’s story

“We heard there was huge demand from members of the community, from young to old, for a place to explore technology, a place to learn and to share ideas or to teach…” said Shipmaker. “So we heard all of this and thought there might be an idea to connect a number of these things. Conceptually we thought of the innovation centre as having multiple components, so we thought there could be a makerspace, which is defined as a collaborative learning space based on the premise of the shared economy. A diverse market with everyone from youth to seniors and hobbyists to inventors ––Makerspaces provide access to shared equipment, knowledge and expertise which may not otherwise be available to individuals.”

Shipmaker emphasized the offerings of the Makerspace would be community driven.

After this introduction, Fitt honoured the numerous volunteers and sponsors for their contributions, while Briginshaw announced the eight founding members of the Makerspace leadership team would receive lifetime memberships.

Related: Innovation centre sparks excitement

After stepping outside for the formal ribbon cutting, the crowd weaved their way throughout the Makerspace. And this is when the fun began, with people of all ages taking advantage of the opportunity to try out the Virtual Reality (VR) Room and receive a quick intro to robotics, view the digital and electronics labs, check out the 3D printers and spend some time in the well-equipped woodworking shop.

Briginshaw appeared to be having fun helping people try out the VR room and seeing people genuinely impressed with what the Makerspace has to offer, available to the public through workshops and memberships.

“Workshops are available to anyone and everyone and you don’t need a membership,” said Briginshaw. “There’s no commitment, anyone is welcome to use a workshop at any time. And if you think you’re going to spend more time here, or you want to be part of the community and build and collaborate and work together, we have memberships which gives you unlimited access to the space, as long as we’re open, which is from 9 am. to 8 p.m. So that allows you to come in and use the VR or use a 3D printer or make something in the woodshop… Members have unlimited access to play around and use the equipment and do something kind of cool.”

Related: Technology Meet Up showcases full range of tech-industry careers in the Shuswap

Briginshaw notes that before there can be unsupervised use of much of the Makerspace, individuals are required to complete mandatory certification courses – introductory classes available to members and non-members.

To learn more about Makerspace workshops, memberships and more, visit www.innovates.ca/makerspace/.

SAEDS business support co-ordinator Jocelyne Johnson welcomes public support for the Makerspace through the purchase of memberships that could be shared with those who might not otherwise be able to afford one. For more information, call 250-833-0608 or email info@saeds.ca.


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Salmon Arm Economic Development Society manager Lana Fitt, accompanied by Salmon Arm Innovation Centre executive director Thomas Briginshaw and Innovation Centre project chair Chad Shipmaker, pays tribute to all those who helped make the centre and Makerspace a reality. (Lachlan Labere/Salmon Arm Observer)

Just Posted

Photos: Sicamous braves the frigid lake waters for polar bear swim

Eager swimers lined the lakeside despite a frosty morning

Sparks fly off Steinway Grand during Vernon Valentine’s show

CONCERT REVIEW: NOCCA piano duo impresses

Fundraiser started for mother who had stroke while visiting Central Okanagan family

Tina Parry was visiting her daughter Rita Bruce Nanakeain and grandsons when she had a stroke

Salmon Arm students win province-wide Great Waters Challenge

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Nursing students bring their passion for helping the homeless to Salmon Arm

The need for an outreach worker is near the top of their wish list

VIDEO: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony features athletes from across Canada

Summerland’s Justin Kripps wins bobsleigh world cup event

Canadian team picks up their first four-man bobsleigh win on the world cup circuit

B.C. VIEWS: Power politics wins over rational energy policy

B.C Hydro continues to face interference on rates

PR firm suspends contract with former B.C. premier amid groping accusation

Edelman says in a statement that Campbell has served as a special adviser to the firm since last July

SilverStar Emergency Services Day raises funds for hospital

Over $20,000 was raised for the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation

James says B.C. budget puts priorities on NDP’s poverty, environment plans

She said she expected the government’s poverty reduction and climate change strategies to be priorities in the budget

PHOTOS: Day 1 of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer

Games kicked off in Red Deer this week

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Most Read