It’s basically a place where you go to make things, David Olsson says over breakfast at the Zephyr Café.
“It’s an open source group, a makers’ event.”
As Olsson talks, a man in line for coffee eavesdrops.
“You were at the Vancouver Hack Space,” he says. “We were making solar panels.”
Started four years ago, the Vancouver Hack Space on Hastings Street dubs itself a “brain gym.” It’s a place where people can work on personal projects, attend workshops and learn new skills. The centre provides the equipment and the classes are driven by participants’ interests.
As of March, Vancouver Hack Space had 50 members, most of whom have hardware and software backgrounds. But really it’s open to anyone with a curiosity about how things work and the drive to experiment, the eavesdropper who has introduced himself as Doug Hamilton says.
“There are a number of people who bring their kids in,” he adds, noting the crowd consisted of everyone from artists to computer programmers. “Whole families were there.”
Olsson is on a mission to open such a place in Squamish. The interest is here, he says, noting he’s already got 40 people wanting to sign up for memberships. Money from a membership fee will be put toward purchasing equipment and rent, Olsson says, noting he’s looking for a light industrial space.
“This is all grassroots,” he says, adding that he has enough equipment committed to the project to fill a shop.
With two universities in town, the “makers space” would serve as a good in-between place for students learning about technology, Olsson says. Workshops can be held on everything from making robots to yarn bombing, in which people create graffiti art by knitting or crocheting.
“It’s about the culture of innovation,” Olsson says.
For more information or to join the Squamish Makers, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit squamishmakersspace.ca. Olsson’s immediate goal is to build an interested community. He also plans to create a curriculum for schools to introduce “making” to students.