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Maker Expo is a diverse family-friendly showcase of makers, artists & organizations who create amazing things in celebration of the do-it-yourself spirit.
Our exhibitors are individuals, groups, teams and organizations sharing their ideas and creations through interactive exhibits, demos and workshops.
Our three tenets are inclusivity, diversity and interactivity. We want to have something for everyone to check out – young and old, from a wide range of disciplines and walks of life.
The Maker movement is a loose-knit community of individuals, teams and organizations who are all creating things – whether it’s something physical (like Robots, crafts or art installations) or virtual (Internet-based, software or services). The community is largely based on the free sharing of knowledge and skills, enabling others to turn their ideas into a reality.
The ‘Maker’ term was originally popularised by Make Magazine (and by extension Maker Faire), however it’s taken on a life of its own as a global movement, catering to an infinite variety of interests and fields.
Agnes Niewiadomski graduated from OCAD University’s Sculpture/Installation program in 2008 and hasn’t stopped making things since. She has a deep interest in materials and processes, and a love-affair with CNC fabrication. Agnes always seems to have an impressive project in the works, whether it’s laser cutting over-sized flowers for a scenic display, or meticulously shaping delicate sugar flowers for a wedding cake.
Agnes’ desire to share her wealth of knowledge has led her down the path to create Mindful Makers, a camp for the curious and creative. Her educational programs teach hands-on maker skills to children (and adult classes coming soon). Her aspirations are to spread the joy of maker culture, and to empower people with skills to lead life with a DIY ethic.
Check out her online portfolio at agnesmakes.com
A Kitchener-born maker in an epic quest for truth and fun.
Ben is a computer guy, web developer, community volunteer and organizer – but not necessarily in that order. He likes to see awesome things happen in Waterloo Region and does his best to help make them a reality.
He’s a co-founder and was a longtime director of Kwartzlab Makerspace in Kitchener, and has helped organize other local maker events in the past, including SoOnCon and Waterloo Mini Maker Faire 2013. He was also a Trustee with the KW Awesome Foundation, who gives away $1,000 every couple months to cool and interesting local projects.
Cam Turner & Tanya Morose
Cam and Tanya are the co-founders of MakerClub for Kids at THEMUSEUM in downtown Kitchener and also a new venture called Tinker Truck. Both Cam and Tanya grew up with hammers in their hands and dirt under their fingernails and enjoyed families that always strived for a do-it-yourself approach. They’ve tried everything from making preserves in the summer to undertaking multi-year major additions at the cottage.
In 2013, with kids of their own, they decided to form MakerClub as an organization of equally adventurous parents who wanted their kids to grow up with a confidence for “trying anything.” The club currently meets once a month to teach kids as young as five how to use real tools like power saws and soldering irons. Meetings now regularly sells-out days in advance and topics have included robotics, 3D modelling and screen printing. In 2015 they expanded on the club into a full time business called Tinker Truck serving community events (like Maker Expo!), schools, libraries and even birthday parties. Their goal is to expand the availability of Science and Engineering based children’s programming in Ontario.
Jennifer van Overbeeke
Jen is a local artist / maker. She shares her art through In Paper Dreams, her whimsical papercut greeting card and art business. She also loves building community. You can find her at events throughout the region, making awesome stuff, usually out of cardboard or paper.
You can check out her work online at inpaperdreams.com and get the latest updates on Twitter and Instagram by following @inpaperdreams.
Former Kwartzlab president, community contact for Ubuntu Canada and professional software developer, Darcy is passionate about making Waterloo Region even more awesome than it already is. He’s managed Kwartzlab’s social media accounts since its inception and will be coordinating Maker Expo’s social media presence through the event.
Neil’s dad handed him a hammer to keep him quiet when he was 4. It didn’t work, but it did start a lifelong love of making, fixing and modifying things. He works in wood and metal as a hobby and in electronics and software professionally. He enjoys 3D printing, robotics, photography, home renovation, reading and learning new skills. For the last year or so Neil has been an active member of Kwartzlab where he tries valiantly, if not always successfully, to reign in the chaos in the lab’s woodworking and metal shop.
Neil is an engineer who works as an independent consultant out of Waterloo. He is married and has 3 sons.
At a young age, Ravi saw some robots fighting on TV and thought to himself ‘Man that’s cool’ and suddenly became a maker! That day served to push him into the world of robotics and thus maker life. At age 12 he began building robots, learning the skills of the trade. The robots started small and soft but soon grew to new levels seeking competitions in Toronto as well as the United States. At age 15 he started working at a paintball field, repairing equipment and building a name for himself as one of Toronto’s master tech’s. He finds great personal satisfaction to compete with something he’s built with his own two hands.
Ravi’s education and career path were molded 14 years ago, in front of that TV. Now at 26 years old he is still building and fighting robots that are even bigger and deadlier, competing annually throughout the USA proudly representing Team Canada. During the day he makes waves in the foundry industry as an Mechanical Engineer pushing the envelope of an ancient industry with new technology and radical ideas. Additionally he works closely with the maker community as one of Kwartzlab’s directors and dedicated member. As a heavily involved maker, he seeks new and exciting ways to expand, strengthen, and connect the maker community.
Ravi finds that if you can wash your hands clean at the end of a project it’s because you just weren’t being creative enough — at the very least some scrubbing should be required.
Maker Expo 2018 - Waterloo Region, Ontario