June 15 at Kitchener City Hall, a large group of folks (including myself) organized and ran the region’s first ever Maker Faire, the Waterloo Mini Maker Faire. For those of you unaware of the Maker Faire phenomena, they are basically large, creative, do-it-yourself festivals, where folks come together to show off their creations, share their passion for their hobbies and interests, and for some, to sell things and make some money. A quick Google image search shows just how crazy and imaginative Maker Faires can be.
Aside from the generosity and support received from the sponsors, volunteers, makers, and general public, the other thing that blows me away was that all of this started as a result of a tweet I sent out a year ago today:
#kwawesome needs a maker faire
— Jaymis Goertz (@jaymisgoertz) June 25, 2012
From that tweet, and in less than a year, myself, many of the hardworking folks at Kwartzlab, Diyode, and many other individuals from the #kwawesome community came together and pulled off a Maker Faire.
We had almost 50 tables as well as talks, workshops, demonstrations and live music. We had press coverage from The Record, The Kitchener Post, CBC KW, CTV News, to name a few. We had politicians come out and tour. Most importantly, we had 4-5,000 members of our amazing community come to Kitchener City Hall to tour the Maker Faire and interact with the exhibits.
Organizing it was a tiring, sometimes frustrating, but ultimately exhilarating experience. And I am crazy enough to try and do it again next year, but with two caveats: it will be bigger and better.