Thursday is our fifth Annual General Meeting. I thought I’d take a moment to reflect on the year gone by.
Last summer and fall, we were going along pretty well, hosting workshops and Ubuntu parties and artist talks, a Ludum Dare and the Central Art Walk. And, of course, our second annual Hacky Hallowe’en event. Tuesday Open Nights were hopping and membership was growing. And the weather started to get colder, and we were wondering when the landlord was going to turn the heat on.
Then we heard that the landlord wasn’t sure if he could turn the heat on.
We toured maybe a dozen light industrial spaces in Kitchener-Waterloo in order to find a home. It was a connection we’d made through some of our friends in the community that landed us our new space at 33 Kent Ave. in Kitchener.
A lot of people put a lot of work into getting us there, but I need to especially thank and congratulate Ben Brown for making the move happen. Honestly, Ben is the heart and soul of Kwartzlab and we wouldn’t be nearly what we are without him.
Building out the new space was a solid six weeks of effort to make everything ready and (mostly) operational in time for our Grand Re-opening. A whole bunch of our amazing, talented members chipped in and got us up and running again. And we threw a hell of a party to celebrate.
Once the dust had (literally) settled, we found our routine again. Membership hasn’t stopped growing. We’re now at 45 members at last count and can easily cover our increased monthly expenses at our new home. Tuesday Open Nights are busier than ever. We hosted our first book launch in February, as well as Computer Science classes, crafting workshops, a Python coding dojo, the jam-packed LAN party and gaming marathon that is Headshots from the Heart and now a regular Sunday night Craft Jam.
And then, just this last weekend, we pulled off an utterly amazing Maker Faire Waterloo. Credit for that has to go to Jaymis Goertz and his organizing crew. It was Jaymis’ idea and his persistence that made it happen. He brought together a fantastic team of volunteers and made a musing in a tweet less than a year ago into a reality. A great day for everyone involved. I’m still blown away by how awesome it was.
Kwartzlab wouldn’t be anything at all without its brilliant, skilled and dedicated members. It’s to all of you I raise a glass and congratulate you on a fantastic year. Thank you all, for everything you do. And here’s to year 5.