Friday, June 9, 2023

East End Makerspace Announces Move (Just A Little) West

The industrial looking buildings off a parking lot just north of Nash North and Barton East may not look like much. But to creatives, they’ve been a haven for years. 

In 2017, Arts Aggregate moved in on the opposite sides of the parking lot as newly established tenant Clifford Brewing. The brainchild of Sean McCormack, Arts Aggregate was founded when his family of creators outgrew their workspace. Working in sculpture, McCormack’s education had provided access to tools, supplies and supports- all things that were lost when he graduated. In founding Arts Aggregate, he was able to build a similar community and supply and share tools with other like-minded creators. 

Over the last six years, the space established itself as a “coworking makerspace” where artists and innovators could handcraft products without owning a large studio or building space. The collective also offered private studios, shared spaces and pop up classes and events during their time on Nash Street. 

Most recently, the space has offered day-long charcuterie board classes, where participants choose the wood for a board to take home and go through the steps of preparing it. This includes carving and sanding the wood all the way through arranging meat and cheese on the board to enjoy with a glass of beer from nearby Clifford’s Brewery.

At the end of the month, Arts Aggregate’s time on Nash Street North will come to a close. 

“It feels like a lot of the businesses we work with and follow have been through this same scenario recently. If you’ve been through the studio lately you already know this, but. . .Art Aggregate will be leaving our Nash Rd. location at the end of this month.” A Facebook post on the organization’s page announced earlier this week. 

While the exact move date isn’t yet finalized, the collective won’t be moving far- just to the other side of the Red Hill Valley Parkway. Arts Aggregate is planning to move just a few minutes westward to a new location on Parkdale. 

The space currently operates on a membership-based model, including member levels that offer the support of instructors for projects in addition to space and equipment. There is no plan to change the membership model in the new location, although until the move is complete, Arts Aggregate will not be accepting new members and is putting on pause on its popular classes and workshops.

This flexible membership model has helped create a spirit of collaboration, with Arts Aggregate citing The Arkells, Toronto Rock, Tourism Hamilton and McMaster University among its many clients. 

And while there aren’t plans for a farewell party in their old space, Arts Aggregate does promise food and drinks on their Facebook page for those who are able to help them move. Once they are settled in a new space, the collective will host a grand opening party.

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