Creation Nation Maker Space Gives Back to the Community With Adapted Toys

November 16, 2023

A full house at a recent build event at the Creation Nation Maker Space.

Since 2019, the Creation Nation Maker Space (new window) in Brandon, Manitoba is a 6,000 square foot space where members can learn, access resources, and grow as creators. With tools ranging from 3D printers to laser engravers — there’s a full woodshop and even a recording studio for recording music and podcasts — there’s a little something for creators of all interests and skills in Brandon.

A big part of the space is giving back to the community, with a focus on members sharing their skills. More recently, the Creation Nation Maker Space has joined as a Makers Making Change (new window) chapter (new window), playing a big part in Neil Squire’s #HackingForTheHolidays campaign, adapting toys for children with disabilities in the community.

“We’re always making,” says Russ Mitchell, Maker Space Co-ordinator. “Being able to share the skills that we have — the electronics, the soldering, and those types of things — and give back to the community is great, because without the fantastic community, we wouldn’t be here.”

The Maker Space had first got involved with Neil Squire’s Makers Making Change program late last year when a couple of prospective members wanted to join the space to print assistive devices for MMC.

A room of volunteers make toys at the Creation Nation Makerspace.

“I was like, ‘No, you guys can’t do that here,’ and then they kind of blinked and looked at each other like, ‘Really?’” Russ laughs. “And we’re like, ‘Not without all of us, because this seems like an amazing project!’”

The Creation Nation Maker Space initially got involved hosting Clubs That Care events for youth in partnership with the City of Brandon, engaging youth makers in making 90 solderless switches.

This holiday season, their goal is to make 100 adapted toys for the #HackingForTheHolidays campaign, donating them to local community organizations in and around Brandon.

They’ve already hosted a number of build events, having adapted around 70 toys. Turnout has been huge, with 37 makers having attended their October 24th build despite a snowfall warning, with the ages of makers ranging from eight years old to 60-plus, and everywhere in-between.

Russ, wearing his "I am unstoppable" hoodie chats with Makers Making Change staff members Courtney and Shanelle at a booth.

While some of the attendees are returnees and Creation Nation regulars, a lot of the participants are new. Russ notes people came by who were told by friends they had to come check it out, and even one family who saw his hoodie at the grocery store with the Maker Space mascot — a cartoon T-rex with the phrase, “I am unstoppable” — and after talking with him came out the next day for the build event.

“We have such a range of people here, we have programmers, we’ve got the engineers, we’ve got the carpenters, we’ve got the hobbyists that are just kind of working on things,” he says. “It’s fun to watch everyone progress, whether it’s a member or just somebody from the community coming in.

“We’re working hard and having a lot of fun.” 

Their next #HackingForTheHolidays event (new window) is on Wednesday, November 29th from 7 pm to 9 pm at Brandon Public Library. Everyone is welcome, but children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. You can register with the library ahead of time by contacting or 204-727-6648.

This post originally appeared on the Makers Making Change (new window) website.