Agnes Niewiadomski - Camp Director

Agnes graduated from OCAD University’s Sculpture/Installation program in 2008 and hasn’t stopped making things since. She has many years of experience working at arts focused summer camps, as both instructor and administrator. Agnes is very excited to be running her own camp because she honestly cannot think of a more meaningful way to spend her time.

Agnes's desire to share her wealth of knowledge has led her down the path to create Mindful Makers. Her aspirations are to spread the joy of maker culture, and to empower people with skills to lead life with a DIY ethic.

Agnes has a deep interest in materials and processes, and a love-affair with CNC fabrication and meticulous repetitive tasks. She always seems to have an impressive project in the works, whether it’s laser cutting over-sized flowers for a scenic display, or meticulously shaping delicate sugar flowers for a wedding cake.

Agnes serves on the Board of Directors for kwartzlab makerspace, and is the President of Maker Expo

Participating in community events is a big part of why Agnes loves living in Kitchener-Waterloo. She has been involved in many fantastic events such as: NIGHT\SHIFT, Summer Lights Festival, Steel Rails, Family Hack Jam, Nerd Fest, King Streatery, Final Fridays Duels, Open Streets Waterloo and Maker Expo.

You can check out her portfolio online at and get the latest updates on Twitter and Instagram by following @agnesmakes.

Meet Our Instructors:

All of our staff are First Aid and CPR Certified and have passed a Vulnerable Sector Screening.

Karissa Manning

Karissa is a recent grad of the University of Waterloo, receiving a Joint Honours Degree in Knowledge Integration and Psychology, as well as a Minor in Fine Arts, and a Collaborative Design Specialization in June. She has been exploring professional development as a User Experience Designer and Workplace Innovation Partner working with KidsAbility since September. She aspires to pursue a professional path as an Art Therapist or Occupational Therapist, to continue bridging her passion for working with youth and her passions for creativity and problem solving.

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Her love for learning, creating, and learning about creativity have long fueled her educational and recreational pursuits. Her passion for making extends beyond visual arts and crafting projects to also include museum exhibit and experience design, choreographing dance routines, and writing, well… anything!

Karissa believes in the innate creativity and potential for greatness within all of us. She hopes to guide campers in discovering what they can do, becoming proud of what they create, and realizing how great they, and their unique abilities, really are.

Kat Rooney

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Kat currently is working on opening her own business, but not before hopping around from interest to interest, from opera to cooking to woodworking. She is a hands on artist who loves getting messy and throwing herself into her projects. Her primary love is costuming, and she has her own business sewing and crafting armour and period clothing for her favourite hobby, Live Action Role Play (LARP). A child at heart, Kat integrates play and craft into her life and job. She’s thrilled to be working with creative kids who aren’t afraid to take risks and make something amazing.

julia mathers


Julia is returning for her third year of studies at Queen's University, majoring in Art History with a certificate in International Studies. Her passion for art extends beyond academics, and she is an avid creator. She loves to paint, sculpt, and build! Julia has volunteered at Mindful Makers in earlier years, and is beyond excited to be returning for the entire summer! She is eager to begin working alongside and encouraging young and passionate makers in an environment that supports creativity and individuality!

Rashyka Ford


Rashyka is a third year Communication student at Wilfrid Laurier University.  She is double minoring in Community Engagement and Women and Gender Studies. Rashyka loves to work with children/ youth and believes that each child is special in their own way.  In her spare time, she does photography and is an avid knot tyer. She believes that art is a tool that is fundamental for creativity and that each individual possesses.


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Alistair is a journalist and entrepreneur from Waterloo who specializes in fusing pre-industrial manufacturing techniques with 21st century technology. An avid cook, he has written about the local food scene in KW for The Community Edition and is part of the Steel Rails volunteer staff.

Having spent 5 years at Apple Inc. in various capacities, he crafted his teaching skills doing software workshops, internal employee development, and helping launch 4 retail stores across Canada. He believes the best way to learn is by diving in and doing. This approach helped him crowd-fund his current venture, MB Publishing House, which makes notebooks right here in Waterloo Region. You can read some of his writing and learn more about projects he is working on his blog or follow him on Twitter @aiMacLellan.