The Maker Garden is more than a place to learn & use tools. It's a community.
We want to share knowledge, bring innovation, and inspire creativity for everyone in Durham Region. The makerspace will be a membership organization with monthly dues (like a gym membership) that all are welcome to join. We'll have open shop days every week, as well as classes for learning new skills, and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) camps for kids.
We need your support!
There're lots of ways to be a part of this great social initiative.
Pledge to join our Makerspace!
Take advantage of some awesome early bird incentives! Choose the best membership program to fit your needs.
Donate making tools!
We are always looking for good working tools, computers, and equipment. Email us and we can pick it up!
We need funds to run our programs and keep costs as low as we can. Choose the "Thank you" pledge and donate any denomination you wish!
Become a Corporate Sponsor!
Give back to your community and help us grow innovative and inspired makers. Download a PDF copy of our Corporate Sponsorship Package
What is The Maker Garden?
The Maker Garden is a community innovation space equipped with the tools, equipment, and grass-roots education required to convert your idea into a reality. Think of it as a gym membership to exercise your creativity, hands, and brain.
Our community will serve artisans, technology creatives, and creative tinkerers with access to tools and equipment, training, and support for entrepreneurs. In our vision, our space will be equipped with a wood / metal working shop, electronic lab tools and supplies, a laser cutter, sewing machines, shared workspace and a variety of 3D printers giving The Maker Garden makers access to tools that would be cost prohibitive to own yourself.
Join The Maker Garden project: the movement to build the community and space for grass-roots innovation and art in Durham Region. Together, we will blend the best of art and technology innovation.
Why should you care?
We believe that supporting creativity and connection between the arts and technology is how we bring the next great ideas to life
Who are we?
A group of Durham residents, business and community leaders spent almost 10 months exploring the idea of putting a MakerSpace in Durham. From that smaller group, we shared our vision which grew into our larger group of founders that took the project on. These "Founders" represent many aspects of our community and the desire to bring together and create.
Why are we doing this?
Part of receiving this crowdfunding support assists us in the art of seeking community support from local sponsors. By showing local businesses there is a passionate community of Makers and innovators, it assists us in raising additional funds to improve the Makerspace offerings for our members and community. We also know that without your support this project will be short lived. We need members and community support from the start to succeed and that is where you come in.
What does your support mean to us?
With your support we hope to provide a home for the next generation of inventors and creators; support creative hobbies, and provide the resources for those individuals who are ready to create now.
What We Need & What You Get
We want everything we do with The Maker Garden to be a two-way street. We want members to both give and get from this effort and so should anyone willing to help fund the space. So here is some background on what we need and what we plan to provide:
- The space we are looking to secure will be approximately 3000 to 5000 square feet in size. We have looked at a number of spaces in both the Oshawa and Whitby area. If you have or know of anyone with a space that may suit our needs please contact us directly.
- While the initial funding will provide for many of the initial tools and resources the space will need, there are many that it won't. Funds from this campaign and sponsorship partners will go toward expanding our offering to address more needs that the community has outlined in our initial research.
- We hope we have provided perks at all levels for all people no matter their interest. But some of the cool ones are discounted memberships, an opportunity to be identified as a founding member, T-Shirts, and invitations to our private founding members if we reach our stretch goal. Not to mention inclusion on our donor walls inside the space.
- Anyone can join as a free online Member which will provide you access to a community of Artists, Makers and Innovators, free learning modules and up to date Calendar of Making events around Durham Region.
What are the workshops you ask?
First, we plan to hold workshops around 3D printing, laser engraving, woodworking, electronics and others that will cover safe use of our tools and resources inside the space.
Do you want to share your expertise? Do you want to get paid?
We have a portal for Teachers and Making Experts where they can log in and gain access to a variety of additional programs we are looking to offer. If you have an idea for a Workshop and feel people would sign up, submit your proposal and we will review your idea. If it is approved, we will work with you to come up with a compelling, interactive Workshop. We’ll assist in getting space to host, promote and deliver the program, and we offer a revenue share program to help cover each other's efforts.
Fostering a Maker Community:
Why should Toronto, Waterloo, or Silicon Valley have all the fun? We believe that Durham Region has an innovative history, vision, and talent to become a center of excellence in art and technology. We look forward to the day that members of our Maker Garden community assume leadership roles in our local economy and start new small businesses. Our Maker Garden community will provide the equipment, tools, and grass-roots training that you need to convert your idea into a reality. The Maker Garden will provide hands-on learning opportunities in 3D modeling, marketing, arts, shop skills, running your business, and training for the tools in the space. We believe that our space will help attract top technology talent to our communities. Many of these classes and meet-ups will be led by Maker Garden and regional community members.
Young Makers Program:
At Maker Garden, we believe it’s important to help our students be prepared and have the basic skill necessary for the unknown economy of the future. This economy will demand that our citizens be innovative, creative and use technology effectively. In our young maker's program, we will challenge students to envision and design their own projects. It could be a game, a toy, a mobile app, art, a website or anything they can imagine. Our maker mentors will support the students with coaching, tools training, and resources to help them bring their designs to life in a project-based learning experience. We hope to inspire the next generation of makers to love learning and help them be creative and curious.
Growing the Creative Economy:
Creativity is contagious. In The Maker Garden community, we encourage artists and artisans to support each other in their crafts. We believe that cross-discipline sharing between artists and technologists will inspire a bold movement of innovation in Durham. Funding and marketing are top concerns to all artists, technology makers, and business owners. Our community will need to grow a culture of leadership and entrepreneurship through education and social meet-ups. All great ideas are the result of extensive focus, ideation, prototyping, measurement and learning from wins and failures. Our space will provide the culture, space, and tools so that you can build, measure, and learn quickly.
Risks & Challenges
Since this effort is being done as a not-for-profit and for the community good, it is being run with very little room for operating below breakeven. Our biggest risk is a lack of interest from makers to become members or support from the community, which would result in a lack of funding to sustain the space.
- We have budgeted a small portion of our initial funding to use for operating expenses, which should allow us enough time to reach sustainability. A few members of our founding team spent time at other MakerSpaces and did financial reviews of this effort to ensure we understood our membership numbers.
- Our membership numbers that we need are estimated at 120 members based on expected expenses, but with support from the community that number could be less.
Other Ways You Can Help
We know not everyone can contribute financially to the effort and that is OK. If you are interested in contributing in a non-monetary way please consider:
- Join our online community of Makers. Share your stories, hacks, advice or ask questions about a making problem you are trying to overcome.
- Like and Follow-us on all our social channels.
- Post on any social media site you are part of about the space and this effort. The more people talking about it the better.
- Tell a friend or 10, who might be interested in becoming a member or contributing to our space and the effort. Tell them why you feel the space and the effort is important.
- Attend any of the community events we are hosting to show support. We can use hands too!
We are offering 4 types of Memberships including Student, Classic, Weekend Warrior and Family. You can join us by signing up for either 3 months or a full year with the greatest savings coming with a 1 year membership. To sweeten the deal for those early adopters we have an EARLY BIRD special on our Student, Classic, and Family memberships. We're practically giving these away!!
Don't miss your chance on the Early Bird and sign up right now!
Whether you sign up for Weekends, 3 months or 1 year, everyone who joins during our Campaign will receive the following bonus items:
- Be listed as a Founding Member
- Custom membership card identifying you as a ‘Founding Member’
- 1 Maker Garden T-Shirt for each member
- 1 Custom tile to be produced and displayed on-site identifying you as a ‘Founding Member’
- Access to our facility and all shared equipment
- Access to premium tools* including 3D Printers (10 Hrs), CNC Machine (4 Hrs), Laser Cutter (4 Hrs)
- Access to shared workspace
- Access to our community of Artists, Innovators, and Makers
- Opportunity to join various groups within our community of Makers
- 10% off our in-house workshops and seminar series
- 5% off at our The Maker Garden store
- 10% additional time required on premium tools
* Premium Tools require certification before using. Training classes are free of charge for pre-determined class times. If you wish to have private 1:1 training on the machines, we offer this for a nominal fee. Hrs listed on Premium tools are monthly. PLA filament included for 3D Printers.
You will need to bring and show your active student ID to The Maker Garden to redeem your membership. Any persons under the age of 18 would qualify for the Student rate for memberships.
Weekend Warrior Memberships
You will have full access to all of our facilities on Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays.
You will have full access to all of our facilities every day of the week.
Family memberships are good for up to four family members living at the same residence.
The Project FAQs
Will The Maker Garden use the money raised to open a space?
Yes. The money we are crowdfunding will go towards our goals, one of which is opening your space.
What will the money be used for?
We will be using our crowd funding and sponsorship funds to cover a variety of costs including initial expenses for leasing a space, building improvements and some administration costs. Although we have and will be seeking sponsorship for tools and equipment, some items will need to be purchased. Some of the remaining funds will be held back for cash flow and cover ongoing monthly costs.
Sounds like a great idea. Whats happens if you don't hit your goal?
There is a 100% refund guarantee if we miss our goal. Although we are passionate about The Maker Garden we understand raising the funds will be a challenge. We do not charge your credit card until we hit our goal. Once we hit our goal your payment will be submitted and then we start building the space!
When will you open the Makerspace?
Our target date is January 2017. We need to raise the funds necessary to begin our next phase of the project which will be the build. We will send out a call to all pledgers asking for volunteers to help us build your space. The more money we raise, the more volunteers we get the sooner open!
When will my membership begin?
Although we fully expect to have our space open prior to an official Grand Opening, all memberships acquired through the Funding Campaign will begin on our Grand Opening day. Further information including final registration instructions will be provided in advance.
Do I have to volunteer?
You are not required to volunteer, however we have been getting a number of requests to start early on building our community of Makers. This will be a great chance to meet other like minded people and be a part of 'our' first big making project!
What are The Maker Garden's other goals?
While our main goal is to open up a permanent location, if we reach our stretch goals we will also be setting up a mobile makerspace so that we can bring making culture to school kids around Durham at their schools.
Are there age limits at The Maker Garden?
Makers under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult while at The Maker Garden. Children under 5 are not permitted due to insurance limitations.
Update #1. September 19, 2016
We are working on setting up the crowdfunding software that will allow us to accept payments from interested makers!
Update #2. September 21, 2016
We are doing a soft launch of the campaign at UOIT and Durham College. Pledges can now be accepted!
Credit card details are securely transferred to Stripe and are not stored on our server. Your card will only be charged when we reach our goal of $15'000.
Update #3. October 3, 2016
We have officially started our campaign and are excited for it to be successful! Please spread the word if you know anyone who may be interested
Dillon Regimbal09/21/2016Thank You$1.00
Mags09/24/2016Student Maker Early Bird - 3 Months$55.00
Fin10/05/2016Student Maker Early Bird - 3 Months$55.00
Peter10/06/2016Classic Maker Early Bird - 3 Months$125.00
Dillon Regimbal10/06/2016Get a Maker Garden T-Shirt$30.00
Megan10/06/2016Get a Maker Garden T-Shirt$30.00
Kerry10/09/2016Student Maker Early Bird - 3 Months$55.00
Access to the makerspace Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for 3 months
Great for the maker who is too busy throughout the week to get hands-on.