Columbia Valley MakerSpace co-founder Brian McIntosh at a MakerSpace event in Invermere. File photo

Valley Makerspace finds its place

Columbia Valley MakerSpace takes over garage and basement by Summit Youth Centre

The Columbia Valley MakerSpace Society is setting foot on a solid foundation.

The society has been mobile since it started a few years ago, transporting tools for workshops in a trailer throughout the Columbia Valley. Now, the District of Invermere has offered space for the local non-profit society, leasing out the garage next to the Summit Youth Centre Hub as well as the basement.

The five-year lease will open up opportunities for the MakerSpace Society, says cofounder Brian McIntosh.

“This is really the tipping point. Because now we can do those longer projects; we have a place you can work on stuff, leave it there, lock it up. Now we can have proper memberships, we can give people access to the facility outside of hours,” says Mr. McIntosh.

The Columbia Valley MakerSpace Society brings together people with a passion for learning, making, and working together to problem solve. The society has hosted soldering classes, household item repair events, wearable tech workshops, computer programming, stained glass, and mechanical building events. They have worked with area businesses and individuals, and have offered clinics in Invermere, Radium Hot Springs and Canal Flats.

“It’s very much a think tank, and the tools that we have at our disposal are physical tools, but we also have all the brain power, the resources, of all those brains that are floating around, driving golf carts,” Mr. McIntosh comments. He speculates that retired professionals in the Valley likely have an interest in helping others still and this society is a way to tangibly connect knowledge holders with learners.

Mr. McIntosh’s son Ryan graduated from DTSS in 2018 and is currently in film school. Ryan says MakerSpace is a huge asset in the community for youth like him who want to have a more in-depth, hands-on experience with skills.

“When something like this comes, I think it’s really exciting for people interested in technology because they have a place to go now. And a place to actually learn,” Ryan says.

The Makerspace Society takes over the lease November 1st for the garage, which has not been used by the Summit Youth Centre Hub. They will also occupy the basement, left empty with the Columbia Valley Food Bank moving into new digs next door.

Mr. McIntosh says “kudos and a thousand thanks” to the District of Invermere for the use of the building. To learn more, visit http://www.cvmakerspace.ca/. The society is also looking to fill some volunteer positions. If you are interested in supporting the MakerSpace society with your time, see the open positions at www.volunteercv.ca.

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