5 Highlights from Maker Festival 2015

September 1, 2015 | Ab. Velasco

Comments (4)

Maker festival Robot
A Maker Festival visitor interacts with a robot creation.

The library welcomed 9,000 visitors to the Maker Festival hosted again at Toronto Reference Library over the recent August long weekend.

Over 100 exhibitors showcased a wide array of technology and creative projects, including 3D printers, laser cutters, robots, wearables, virtual reality, origami, crafts, and even monsters in the lake.

Audience feedback was positive. BetaKit writer Igor Bonifacic wrote: “With two floors of the (library) given over to a variety of exhibits and stations, there was so much to see and do. On the same floor, it was possible to see the future of fashion, have an artist from OCAD draw a portrait of you, and make cupcakes. Best of all, a working replica of Star Wars' most loved droid, R2-D2, made a triumphant return this year.”

The library is looking forward to hosting Maker Festival again next summer. Look for a date announcement and details later this fall.

In the meantime, check out five festival highlights – of many highlights – below.


Pottery Demo at Maker Festival

Creative Making on Asquith Avenue

In its second year at the Reference Library, the festival expanded its footprint – adding a slew of great exhibitors and activities along Asquith Avenue, including this interactive pottery demonstration by festival sponsor OCAD University.


21 Toys Empathy Toy

Teaching Empathy Through Playing

Another new addition this year was the Makers and Games section, which featured a variety of game creations – from old school console games to virtual reality. One unique item was the Empathy Toy, created by 21 Toys, which is a blindfolded puzzle game that can only be solved when players learn to better understand each other.


STEAMLabs Woodworking Activity

Wood Working Boat Creations

The Festival featured talks and workshops on many high tech topics including robotics, coding, and 3D printing. But making comes in many forms and that spirit was in full display at the library. STEAMLabs hosted a wood-working activity that taught attendees – including children - how to use saws and drills to create their own boats. The best part? They got to test run their boats in the library fountain!


Giant Praying Mantis Puppet
A Mantis Preys The Stacks

Robots weren't the only special other worldly creatures at the festival. This giant praying mantis created by multi-disciplinary artist, maker and puppet designer Andrew Lamb also made a special visit to the Reference Library and made quite the impression on library visitors and staff.


Mayor Tory at Maker Festival

Presenting A 3D Printed Toronto Skyline

Among the many festival guests was Mayor John Tory. His visit included a tour of the Digital Innovation Hub with City Librarian Vickery Bowles (above left), where he received a 3D printed gift – a Toronto skyline with the Pan Am Toronto sign downloaded from Thingiverse – prepared by Hub staff (above right).


Electric Runway show

Bonus: Wearable Tech Dazzles the Electric Runway

Maker Festival hosted an exciting lineup of satellite events. One of the highlights was their launch party, which featured a wearable technology fashion show curated by Electric Runway, which explored the intersection between fashion and technology. You can read more via Betakit.