Creative Calgary Congress — Exploring ways that the arts and artists can play a leadership role in making Calgary a more curious, compassionate and creative place for all citizens.

Lauren Voisin

Youth Participant, Owner
The sky is not the limit any more…

Lauren Voisin | Photo: Calgary Arts Development

We live in an age of technology and there is technology in every single part of our lives. I think it’s important to bring kids the tools they need to understand how technology works and not just how to tap on the screen. That is why I created my kits. Because it’s important to understand how the principles behind technology work. The sky is not the limit any more.

When we are babies we’re very curious but as life goes on that curiosity tends to wither away because we’re scared to take risks. The mindset around failure needs to change.

My curiosity was encouraged by Maker Faire and MakeFashion. My most recent creation was a dress with ultrasonic sensors and laser cut fabric. At this year’s Maker Faire I made my own laser maze with a puzzle room at the end with my sister. And I wouldn’t have gotten to the point I am now if I hadn’t experience some failure. For example with my laser maze I experienced quite a few glitches but I got it done on time. And it forced me to be creative to solve those challenges.

Living a creative life helps you overcome failure. I dream of Calgary where makers and users come together to collaborate on some great things. The author Isaac Asimov had some predictions of what the world would look like in his future. He thought of these machines that would heat up water and you could turn it into coffee. And when you call someone you could see them! I have some younger cousins who expect to see someone when they call them and when they don’t see someone they think it’s so old fashioned. And he even predicted driverless cars.

Companies like Google think they know what future cities might look like. Cities might be orbiting the earth, or we might have cities on other planets. A first step in this would be accessible internet and technology for everyone. For example, Elon Musk just announced he would be launching 4,425 satellites to give the whole world reliable internet. Right now access to Internet is expensive. There’s a lot of free content online and if kids had access to Internet then they could explore their passions and interests. The Calgary Public Library is working hard towards those goals. But sometimes the library is hard to get to so I think we can all work to help improve these things.

Illustration: Sam Hester

Being creative teaches you how to accept failure and break down barriers and basically make your ideas become a reality. I imagine Calgary as a place that uses global advances to give technology to everyone and to encourage curiosity and help Calgarians to be more innovative. I think events like this can really help because it helps you network and be creative and it really encourages ideas.

Calgary is a creative city and there are organizations out there that are helping Calgarians reach their goals like Maker Faire and MakeFashion and ATB BoostR and Startup Calgary. Those are all organizations that are helping Calgary to become extremely innovative and creative.

Wouldn’t it be great for Calgary to have an innovation centre so that everyone could come together to innovate basically any time of the day? This is my dream for Calgary.

Lauren Voisin

Lauren Voisin started Robots Are Fun when she was eight. She regularly exhibits her projects at the Calgary Mini Maker Faire and Make Fashion.

Lauren enjoys sharing her ideas and has been a speaker at many events. She participated in a Google Edu Start Up weekend in the fall of 2013 and won the crowd favourite award. She has been featured in Owl Magazine and currently sits on the Board at the Werklund Youth Leadership Advisory Centre at the University of Calgary.

Lauren’s passion remains to encourage other kids to try robotics and see what they can create.

About the Creative Calgary Congress

Calgary Arts Development produced the first Arts Champions Congress in 2011 as a meeting place for people who make Calgary’s arts sector a vibrant and exciting place to work and our city a great place to live.

Renamed the Creative Calgary Congress in 2014, it returned on November 22, 2016 as a place to share ideas and explore ways that the arts and artists can play a leadership role in making Calgary a more curious, compassionate and creative place for all citizens.

Learn more about the day and add your voice

Like what you read? Give Calgary Arts Development a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.