Show and Tell

At Calgary's first Mini Maker Faire, close to 50 Makers (those awesome folks who know how to do stuff) demonstrated creations as futuristic as 3-D printers and as back-to-basics as spinning wheels and looms.

A fabulously motley crew of tinkerers, hackers and hobbyists showed off mind-bending inventions to nearly 1,000 tech fans and innovation enthusiasts along RiverWalk on September 8.

Aspiring Makers of all ages crowded into workshops to learn to solder, build motorized armchairs or get a zombie makeover, complete with uber-realistic latex wounds. While Bass Bus spun some chill tunes, repurposed record players scratched out spirograph art. The Calgary Steampunk Assemblage showed off Victorian hats and jewellery made from gears and cogs. Bad Portraits created some surprisingly good portraits. demonstrated that liquid nitrogen wasn't just for science experiments and horror movies anymore, using the frosty stuff to create their signature molecular cocktails.

Naturally, the robot population was well represented. While a roving band of living robots from Swallow-a-Bicycle Theatre composed impromptu poetry, drawing bots documented the day with scribblings and bot-art. Even alpha geek Jay Ingram (who is not a robot) showed up to deliver the keynote speech.

“I've fallen in love with the maker community today,” sighed Arielle Land, as Makers dismantled their booths at the end of the afternoon and moved their amazing projects out of East Village and back into their backyards, basements and garages. Clinton Blackmore, who didn't let a little distance interfere with his celebration of Maker creativity, agreed: “It was worth the eight hours of travel.”

Here in East Village, we like to think of ourselves as neighbourhood Makers, so we were thrilled to host this celebration of like-minded creative thinkers, and look forward to next year.