DAILY NEWS Sep 18, 2013 7:00 AM - 0 comments

Toronto Mini Maker Faire celebrates the 'garage inventor'

One answer to Canada's abysmal national innovation report card

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4000 innovators, artists, hackers and entrepreneurs — adults and kids alike — will pack Toronto’s Wychwood Barns on September 21 & 22 for Toronto Mini Maker Faire: a weekendlong celebration of the city’s thriving tech and DIY (DoItYourself) culture. At a time when reports from the Conference Board of Canada and the World Economic Forum rate Canada poorly among peer nations for innovation, maker faires across Canada take on new importance, encouraging and enabling tens of thousands to participate in the growing movement of personal invention, innovation and commercialization.

Part science exhibition, part festival, this weekend’s Toronto Mini Maker Faire is an allages gathering of tech enthusiasts, engineers, tinkerers, hobbyists, science clubs, hackers, artists, students, and commercial exhibitors. Toronto joins over 60 cities around the world that host a Mini Maker Faire of their own, including Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Waterloo, Ottawa and Montreal.

For young Canadians, Maker Faire offers a rare opportunity to play with the tools of making and hacking. Soldering, toy hacking, and lockpicking workshops held throughout the weekend offer kids and teenagers tools and techniques to see the world as innovators and creators, not just endusers. 3D printers, flying quadcopters, and access to the engineers and the inventors that built them make the faire a gateway to the making community and a starting point for a lifelong habit of innovation.

Highlights for Toronto Mini Maker Faire 2013 include the Matterform 3D Scanner As the world’s first truly affordable 3D scanner for home use, the Matterform 3D Scanner allows anyone to take a physical object and turn it into a digital 3D model on their computer. From there, the file can be printed on a 3D printer or used in an animation or video game.

Sponsored by some of Toronto’s top creative agencies, startups, and tech organizations — George Brown Research & Innovation, Autodesk, Hyndman Law, TinEye, Shopify, Teehan + Lax, Warshawskis, Shoplocket, and (media partner) TVO — Toronto Mini Maker Faire is a major event in Toronto’s tech and innovation calendar.

“I have been attending Maker Faires in Silicon Valley for years now and am very excited to see it coming to Toronto,” said Leila Boujnane, CEO of TinEye. “We are supporting Maker Faire because it is an event that dares you to create and explore the world around you. Every visit to Maker Faire has left me in awe at the ingenuity surrounding me. I view it as the fire that drives our entrepreneurial passion.”

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