What is FabZone?
Provide students, artisans, entrepreneurs and makers of all ages and skill level access to workspace, tooling and training in a fun and collaborative atmosphere.
FabZone provides a space with regular opening hours where students (high school and post secondary), adults and seniors can meet, make, learn and share.
FabZone provides a combination of training workshops, events and drop-in times where tools and workspace will be available to work on projects.
Trained staff and volunteers will provide guidance on how to use tools, and how to proceed with a project.
FabZone facilities and training workshops can be accessed by the community.
FabZone is a welcoming space, for teens through seniors, of any skill level.
FabZone will work in concert with other community groups to complement services already in place. FabZone will tailor workshops to provide stimulating activities that meet the needs of the participants based on their skills, interests or limitations.
Singer Heavy Duty Sewing machines
Brother industrial straight stitch sewing machine
4 Prusa i3 MK3+ 3D printers (one with MMU2 to allow 5 color prints)
2 Cricut Makers
GCC Expert II LX 24" vinyl cutter
Thunder Laser Nova 35 80W
Compound miter saw
Soldering stations with ventilation
Meet - Make - Learn - Share
Katy Johnston – Executive director
Katy currently runs the Fab Lab at Cavelier-De Lasalle high school where she is building a curriculum and culture that is being shared with all FabLabs in the Centre de Service Scolaire Marguerite Bourgeoys. Her favorite projects are those that develop multiple skills, including design, use of technology and some manual skills such as assembly, sewing or painting. These projects can be adapted to suit the abilities of different groups of students, including those with special needs (dexterity, fine motor, intellectual, etc).
Katy encourages staff and students to use the FabLab for in-house projects such as signage, T-shirts and trophies. This develops the students’ entrepreneurial skills, and provides meaningful volunteer opportunities. She has also stated a pilot project with the schools’ special educators that allows students who are struggling academically to have time in the FabLab as a reward or motivator. This program shows these students new skills that are not available as part of the regular curriculum, and can often motivate them to work harder in school.
Katy has a degree in Mechanical Engineering, a minor in Management and a certificate in sustainable development. She has 15 years’ industry experience in aerospace. Katy has many years’ experience in sewing, 3D printing, digital tooling, home repairs. She is very involved in community and volunteer activities, including Covid vaccine clinic, PPE production and distribution and event organization at Cedar Park pool and ecole Pointe-Claire.
When FabZone opens, Katy will take care of day to day activities at FabZone, hire and organize staff and volunteers, and promote FabZone to other organizations on the West Island.
Marta Slanik – Secretary
Marta has bachelor and master’s degrees in Mechanical engineering and is an accomplished artist. She is an active member of various boards and committees including Bluefins swimming and Beaconsfield traffic committee.
Marta keeps our meetings on topic, distributes agendas and minutes and ensures all documents are retained and filed.
Tara Lee Gooding – Social media coordinator (non-voting board member)
Tara is a longtime resident of Ste-Anne de Bellevue. She is a Social Media Content Creator & Event Planner specializing in fundraisers and craft, artisan and vendor fairs in Montreal’s west island. She is also an artisan and instructor.
Kathryn McCreath – President
Kathryn is a self-employed entrepreneur. With two degrees, one in Social work and the other in Computer Sciences, her work background has included multiple not for profit organizations, IT consulting firms, and education. Her free time is filled with craft and repurposing adventures, as well as helping out at On Rock’s Thrift-it Charity store.
Kathryn’s background will help FabZone be the creative and “think outside the box” place it can be.
James ( Jim ) Laberge - Board Member
Jim was a community pharmacist for 10 years before making a career switch to the teaching profession. Following the Certificate program at McGill University, he taught mainly Mathematics, Chemistry and General Science at the High School level.
Later, he was drawn to the “Dark Side “ and became a High School administrator. He retired from that role in 2001 and returned to the classroom, mainly in Mathematics. He became involved in the Technology aspect of the Science programmes and presently serves as a part-time lab technician at Westwood Senior High School.
His hobbies include woodworking and woodturning. He was the vice president of the West Island Woodturners Club for 7 years.
Chris Olive – Technical advisor
Chris is a science teacher at Lower Canada College. Before becoming a teacher Chris earned a B.Sc. in computer science and worked as a programmer. He is coach of the LCC robotics team and frequent user of the LCC FabLab (part of the inspiration for FabZone).
Chris helps keep anything hooked up to a computer up and running. As the executive director’s spouse, Chris’s position on the board is non-voting.
Mark Falvo – Board Member
Mark works as a programme manager for various UN agencies. He has a B.Sc. in Computer science and an MBA. He has 20+ years of international experience helping businesses innovate and grow through the use of technology. Mark has been an early supporter of the Maker movement and an avid retrogamer with experience in electronics, CNC, 3D printing, woodworking and home renovations.
Omar Ramsaran - Webmaster
Omar has close to 25 years of I.T. support experience, managing computer networks and helpdesk teams. Before joining Royal LePage as a Real Estate Broker, Omar managed support teams for both internal and external customer support at various SMBs in a mix of industries, from transportation logistics to software developers.
Omar is an avid DIYer and technophile.
Don Field - Treasurer
Don Field is a former professional accountant and currently works as a business manager in the real estate industry. Over the years, Don has acted as Treasurer for the Glenmore Curling Club, the West Island Lakers Basketball Association, Valois Pool and the Association of Lakeshore Pools (ALPs). When he’s not working or volunteering, Don spends his time rebuilding older mechanical watches or ripping up the stage behind a bass guitar in local hard rock bands Blind Masquerade and Born With Horns.
Connor Millburn - Intern
Connor was born in Moldova but has lived in Montreal since he was a year old. He attends Pierrefonds Community High School and is in his second year of the three-year Work Oriented Training Program (WOTP). As part of his program, he must complete a work stage which is how he began working at Fabzone. It’s the perfect fit for him as loves woodworking and computers. He’s done many woodworking projects with his Dad including building a flat bottom boat, a new deck and a new shed. He loves the variety of work at Fabzone and is amazed by all the tools. He says that working with Katy is a lot of fun and that he is constantly learning new things.
In his spare time, Connor likes to bike, skate, swim and kayak. Since he enjoys being outdoors, you’ll often find him raking in the summer or shoveling in the winter. Like a true Montrealer, he’s a huge Habs fan and is a walking encyclopedia of hockey statistics. Connor also has a creative side and is quite an accomplished artist. Over the years, he has impressed friends and family with many of his paintings.