Events and Shows - Future and Past
Hamfest, Shows, Festivals, and Events
In our area, there are many Amateur Radio hamfests, Maker shows, technology showcases, and special events. We attend many of these events as exhibitors, and others as guests. The listing illustrates some of the many activities which occur.
Are you aware of an event or show that we should attend as either a vendor or as a guest? Send us a comment to have your event included in the list and maybe the PCBoard.ca / Make-It.ca team can be an exhibitor as well.
What is a Hamfest?
A Hamfest is a convention of amateur radio enthusiasts, often combining a trade show, flea market, and various other activities of interest to amateur radio operators (hams).
Hamfests are events organized by amateur radio enthusiasts for social gathering and promotion of the amateur radio hobby. Typically annual events held over a weekend, they can last from several hours to days. Most feature a flea market where the attendees buy and sell radio and related equipment. The equipment found at a hamfest can vary significantly from the newest high-tech gear to used, refurbished, or even antique equipment. Haggling or bargaining is the most common means of sale.
Material that initially sold at great expense to commercial users (such as public safety agencies) can often be found at a fraction of the price. Likewise, accessories that are no longer available from manufacturers may be found, and many sales of complete systems are made to buyers who only need one or two components. Junk boxes are common, frequently containing scraps and remnants from finished projects or equipment long-since gone. Some hamfests feature demonstration and sales booths manned by vendors and manufacturers of commercial amateur radio equipment.
Hamfests may also include meetings of amateur radio clubs, seminars on technical, operational, or legal aspects of amateur radio, and license examination sessions.
What is a Maker Fair or Maker Festival?
Maker Faire or Maker Festivals are the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth. A family-friendly festival of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement.
Part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new, the events are an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, and commercial exhibitors.
The shows are primarily designed to be forward-looking, showcasing makers who are exploring new forms and new technologies. But it’s not just for the novel in technical fields; they feature innovation and experimentation across the spectrum of science, engineering, art, performance, and craft.
Each event is a gathering of fascinating, curious people who enjoy learning and who love sharing what they can do. It’s a venue for Makers to show examples of their work and interact with others about it. Many makers say they have no other place to share what they do. DIY (Do-It-Yourself) is often invisible in our communities, taking place in shops, garages and on kitchen tables. It’s typically out of the spotlight of traditional art or science or craft events. The shows make visible the projects and ideas that we don’t encounter every day.