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 finally start up 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 is an active member of kwartzlab makerspace, and 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, FUNtario Fridays 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.

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.


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!


Karissa Manning

Karissa is entering her fourth  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. 

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.



Jen is a local artist / maker. She shares her art through In Paper Dreams, her whimsical papercut greeting card and art business. 

She also loves building community. You can find her at events throughout the region, making awesome stuff, usually out of cardboard or paper. 

Jen's excited to share her love of making with kids at Mindful Makers this summer.

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

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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.

Meet Our Volunteers:

Vanessa Moniz

Vanessa is a maker, teacher, and lover of all things arts and crafts. She has several years of experience developing art and STEM based programs for youth and families at THEMUSEUM, the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery, and Waterloo Community Arts Centre.

She currently works at the Waterloo Public Library as a Library Programmer where she loves playing, singing, and reading with families and kids of all ages. Her hope is to keep inspiring people to use their imagination and to make meaningful connections with the tools and resources around them. Vanessa is super excited to get creative and have some fun with our mindful makers this summer!



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.