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Where and When Is the Makers Rendezvous?

Join us this fall for a celebration of craftspeople and makers of all stripes! The Makers Rendezvous kicks off in Westport, Ontario on Sept. 14, 2019.

Jimmy DiResta's wooden canoe build Process images by Joel Kimmel Students of QCHS Tech Shop

Who Will Attend?

Tinkerers, metalworkers, woodturners, paddlers, builders, designers, 3D printers, suppliers, artists, writers, schools, woodshop cooperatives, filmmakers, historians, musicians, programmers, hackers, conservationists, educators, publishers — everyone is welcome.

Support this event and our hardworking presenters by purchasing a Supporter ticket for $10, available here. The dinner on Saturday night will be hosted at a local winery and requires tickets, as do a few of the workshops. Whether you're coming for a few drop-in workshops or the whole Rendezvous, just let us know you're coming by filling out the registration form.

We hope you'll join us for a lively weekend. Reconnect with old friends and make new ones. Get inspired to get on the water or into the workshop.

Jimmy Diresta Logo Scheuermann Winery Logo Lee Valley Logo

Interested in Presenting or Displaying Your Work?

We'd love to hear from from you, whether it's showcasing a personal project or representing your business at the Rendezvous. Send your ideas to and let's make it happen!

Celebrate with Us

We're capping off the day's events with dinner at Scheuermann Vineyard and Winery. This is a beautiful lakeside venue serving local food and in-house vintages. There will be a presentation by outdoor expert Kevin Callan and live music - the musically inclined might want to bring along an instrument for a campfire jam. An excellent opportunity to socialize and unwind after a day on the town.

The dinner is a ticketed event - book your spot now.

Interested in Volunteering?

Would you like to get involved in helping to promote or run the Rendezvous? We're a small team and appreciate any help you can offer. Contact for details. 

Special Workshops

Some workshops have limited space and use specialized materials. You'll need to book in advance and pay an additional fee to get in on these classes:

Watercolour by Joyce Burkholder
Woodwork by Frank Berinstein
Canoe coffee table by Roger Foster

Meet the Makers

Ted Moores is an author, teacher, and partner at Bear Mountain Boats. Ted will be on board his stunning electric fantail launch in the Westport Harbour and happy to take people on short cruises. 

Jimmy DiResta is a New York state based, designer, artist and video producer.  Jimmy produced an instructional DVD with woodworker actor Nick Offerman on how to build a Bear Mountain canoe. Jimmy's easy-to-follow project demonstrations will inspire accomplished and aspiring Makers alike, and his Q&A on building a YouTube channel will explore how to use digital platforms creatively.

Kevin Callan - aka the Happy Camper, author and paddler, is renowned for making the outdoors fun - one misadventure at a time! . He will give a presentation on cooking and trip planning and also entertain us during the Saturday night dinner at Schuermann Winery. 

Becky Mason and Reid McLachlan teach paddling skills, share canoeing advice, and continue the filmmaking tradition of iconic canoeist Bill Mason. They will be present on Saturday to offer canoeing demonstrations in Westport Harbour (schedule TBA – check back for details).

Lee Valley Tools has graciously sponsored the Makers Rendezvous, and representatives will be present to share expertise on topics from such as woodworking and hand tools.

Marty Schlosser is an avid woodworker, occasional writer for Canadian Woodworking, founder of the Kingston Woodworkers Association and past president of the Ottawa Woodworkers Association. His furniture is known for its bold, complex design and exceptional quality finishes. At the Rendezvous Marty will be offering a one-hour presentation on spray finishing, covering techniques, equipment, and more.

Rick Nash has been building, restoring, and documenting the history of birchbark canoes for decades. His work has garnered international renown, and an example of his craft hangs in the Canadian History Hall at The Canadian Museum of History. Rick will be on hand to discuss the history of birchbark canoes as well as his personal process.

Joyce Burkholder is a talented wilderness artist from Barry's Bay, Ontario.  She will offer a 3-hour watercolour workshop designed for all levels of experience, even those who have never painted before. Registration required - click here for details.

The Wooden Canoe Heritage Association (WCHA) is dedicated to preserving, studying, and building wooden and bark canoes. Members will be at the Rendezvous to display their craft and discuss the restoration, history, and upkeep of classic canoes.

The Kingston Woodturners are dedicated to the art of woodturning, and welcome newcomers and experts alike to their regular meetings. They will be on hand at the Rendezvous to talk shop, share advice, and offer lathe demonstrations.

Frank Berinstein is a veteran woodturner who often enhances his turned objects with burnt, painted, or carved embellishments. An Argentinian ex-pat, Frank has travelled widely and explored numerous different disciplines, including boat building, furniture design, architecture, and graphic design.

Andrew Szeto is a gifted workworker who documents his work in beautifully shot and edited short videos. His restless creativity has produced baseball bats, canoe paddles, a tambour table and more from recycled skateboard wood. He may also be persuaded to give an impromptu skateboard demonstration.

Ron and Pat Frenette of Canadian Canoes have been helping people build their own canoes for 40 years. They will bring their 26 ft Voyageur canoe for paddling excursions. This canoe has been on many canoe trips including one from Milan to Venice. a few years ago. Pat and Ron will set up their typical canoe camp with a very fancy wanigan and also teach a class on how to cane your own canoe seat. Registration required. 

The Q.C. Tech Shop has produced seven canoes to date. Now students from Quinte Christian High School, under the guidance of instructor Paul French, have expanded their repertoire with a thorough restoration of a vintage Farmall tractor. Representatives from the school's innovative program will be on hand to display and discuss their work.

Chris Guydis is a Belizean canoe builder and occasional helper in the Bear Mountain Boats workshop. Chris will discuss the design of the unique three-person canoes used to paddle La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge, a challenging four-day canoe race and Belize's biggest sporting event.

Kim Pressnail will teach the skills to carve a cherry paddle.

Brent Kirkham of Kirks Canoes in Perth, Ontario will demonstrate installing exotic inlays on canoes, canoe decks and paddles. 

Headwaters Canoes will display a mold and demonstrate steam bending ribs for cedar canvas canoes. Featuring Hugh Stewart, Jamie Bartle, and Kate Prince.

Roger Foster of Carlisle Canoes will lead a presentation on how to build a coffee table canoe. Click here to register.

Walt Sepic will show several canoes of differing materials and discuss typical damage, challenges of repair, problems to watch out for, suggestions for repair, and materials and techniques used. He'll also offer an introduction to harmonica playing for the musically inclined.

John Summers, author and canoe historian, will display and demonstrate his 1937 Old Town canoe with its authentic 1937 sailing rig.

Dennis Osmond will present a slideshow about the miners and sappers who constructed the Rideau Canal. He may also be persuaded to present the story of building a canoe with three generations of his family. 

Where Can You Stay?

Scenic Westport is the perfect place to spend a fall weekend. To help you find accommodations in the area, we've put together a list of recommendations to suit a variety of budgets.

The Victorian logo Cove Country Inn logo Westport Station Motel logo

Westport Harbour in fall

Westport in the morning

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