New Parksville club provides space for hobbyists and artisans

Update: Open house set for July 1 at the MAC

Robotics will be among the many activities available through the new Makerspace club beginning July 1 in Parksville. — Black Press file photo

Robotics will be among the many activities available through the new Makerspace club beginning July 1 in Parksville. — Black Press file photo

Editor’s note: The print version of this story, published June 22, cited an incorrect location for the open house. It will be held at the MAC, 133 McMillan St., Parksville.

On July 1, Canada will turn 150 years old. The Oceanside Building Learning Together MakerSpace Club will be a newborn.

The Makerspace is a new membership club, created to provide a space that fosters creativity through sharing and developing expertise in a wide range of practical skills, for fun, personal interest and community enhancement,” according to its mission statement.

Makerspace will be introduced to the public with its first public open house on July 1, from 1-4 p.m. at the McMillan Arts Centre, 133 McMillan St. in Parksville.

Users are expected to represent a wide spectrum of hobbyists and artisans in computing, electronics, robotics, control systems, 3D printing, design-prototype-build, model-making, tool-making, use of small hand tools and woodwork-metalwork machines. The focus is on creativity and sharing, with some support for other related arts, crafts and hobbies, said organizer John Eyre.

The club has already received commitments from area artists, musicians, writers, radio hams, woodworkers, electronics engineers, model railway and model aircraft builders and teachers to attend and facilitate activities.

“The point of the club is to provide a space that allows people to discover and develop their interests and see how technologies are linked together,” said Eyre. “Just because you don’t have experience in a particular subject, that shouldn’t limit your project ideas – someone else in the community will know how to help.”

The club was created by Building Learning Together with the support of local volunteers and a startup grant from New Horizons for Seniors.

Although the club is an adult membership facility, it does include family memberships and parent and child options and Eyre said there will be a wide variety of events and programs that children and youth can get involved in. Soldering exercises, create a radio, build a robot, print a 3D model. The model railway members would like to set up a track for other members and visitors to see, operate and enhance with control systems, 3D printed models and scenery. Musicians could get together for Jam sessions or learn how to make an instrument and the Radio Ham members will provide expertise on how to access the airways to talk to people around the world.

To learn more, visit ocm.oblt.ca or phone BLT at 250-947-8258.

— NEWS Staff and Makerspace submission

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