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 entering her fifth year of studies at the University of Waterloo, pursuing a Joint Honours Degree in Knowledge Integration and Psychology, as well as a Minor in Fine Arts, and a Collaborative Design Specialization.  She hopes to focus her studies on children and youth, and the influence of the arts on communication, confidence and wellbeing; eventually moving into the field of Child and Youth Art Therapy. 

Karissa 2.png

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 include designing a museum exhibit for her third year design project, 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.

Artboard 1.png

Kat Rooney

Kat currently studies at UWaterloo, majoring in Fine Arts, but not after 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.

Simran Dhaliwal

Simran is a third-year psychology student at Wilfrid Laurier University with a minor in biology. Her interests include graphic design and musical theatre. She is adamant that there are no mistakes in art and she looks forward to camp every summer. Simran can't wait to spend an entire summer of creating beautifully unique projects with equally enthusiastic children.


LiLa Lavereau

Lila is a local artist and student at the University of Waterloo, currently pursuing a joint honours in fine art studio practice and visual culture, with a minor in digital arts and communication. She is a multidisciplinary artist with a specialized focus on sculpture installation and digital time-based media.

Since joining the Mindful Makers team Lila has been continuously inspired by the enthusiasm of campers coming to expand their minds and artistic capabilities. As a developing artist it is an amazing environment to be a part of and she is excited to continue her artist practice alongside so many budding makers!

Kara Van Muyen

Kara is a University of Waterloo Fine Arts student and Hogwarts Ravenclaw alumni. When she is not making something, Kara is inevitably reading something. Currently it is the biography of the famous Harry Potter. Kara is excited to teach the next generation of Wizards skills useful for anyone who has a tangent for making.


AlistairArtboard 1@300x-8.png


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.

Meet Our Volunteers:



Kathryn is a grade 10 student at SJAM. She loves reading books and also likes building with LEGO, knitting, crocheting and sewing. She helped her brothers build their LED dance floor.

She enjoys going to maker events like Maker Expo and Discovery square and library maker programs, and has volunteered at Tricon, Hamfest and a number of other local events.