A maker space in Vernon, BC Okanagan with Startup Vernon

A makerspace for Vernon?

There’s a lot of interest in attracting tech talent and companies to Vernon. Truthfully, every municipality in the world is trying to do this right now. If Vernon wants to be successful, we have to focus on our uniqueness.

Vernon is a city of makers. We’re do-it-yourselfers, we’re people that create things from the ground up. We start small, and grow from there.

If we want to improve the local economy, we need to support the makers.

Here are some examples of the need:

  • There’s quite a few people who work in the film industry. This includes editors, voice-over talent, and videographers. I know a number of these people; they’re having a hard time finding studio space.
  • There are a number of local members interested in hardware technology, like the Raspberry Pi micro-computer. They’ve been looking for a meeting space, but haven’t found a venue.
  • Likewise, Startup Vernon has run a few programming workshops locally, but have always found the venues to be lacking. We need a regular “hack space” where we can meet every week.
  • 3D printing has become a global phenomena, with lots of local interest. But the equipment is expensive to purchase up-front.

Want to support makers? Give them a space.

I just came back from a visit to Edmonton. They have an awesome Makerspace that’s hosted by the downtown library. Here are some photos:

If Vernon wants to support the “maker economy” we could create a maker space. This would be a place where members could use a soldering iron, book a sound studio, rent equipment, or participate in a workshop.

It could become the central meeting place for people tech: software developers, hardware hackers, designers, and creatives.

The space would create economic activity by enabling members to bootstrap businesses, access equipment to make products, and empowering people to create partnerships.

What do you think? What would you like to see in a Vernon makerspace?

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