Absolut MakerFest Maker Studio 8

Absolut Vodka recently announced the launch of MakerFest, a new Canadian campaign that aims to connect with and inspire the next generation of Absolut enthusiasts through the shared language of art and contemporary culture. 
MakerFest is a new program created around Absolut’s support of Canada’s emerging maker community. Makers belong to a cultural movement made up of artists, inventors, tinkerers and entrepreneurs and combine traditional activities such as metalworking, woodworking, and craft with technology-driven creativity, including 3D printing, device hacking, electronics, and robotics.

“Absolut has always pushed the boundaries of contemporary culture through innovative collaborations and our new campaign is no exception,” says Chris Bhowmik, Senior Brand Manager for vodka at Corby Spirit and Wine Limited.

Absolut Massive Party; photo by Ryan Emberley
[Absolut Massive Party; photo by Ryan Emberley]

“With the maker movement, we saw a huge opportunity to bring Transform Today to life in a creative way that is completely unique to Canada. Both Absolut and the makers share similar values – a thirst for creativity and innovation and a passion for participation and getting hands-on.”
MakerFest is being brought to life together with maker spaces in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal. These partnerships will include events in each city during which Absolut will engage and promote makers nationwide, showcasing their works, celebrating their passion, and helping to drive excitement and interest in their craft.
The program launched April 10 in Toronto at the Art Gallery of Ontario’s Massive 10 party, with an installation designed in collaboration with up-and-coming maker, Jonathan Moneta, owner of Makelab – a company that designs large collaborative 3D printing experiences.

Absolut Massive Party; photo by Ryan Emberley
[Absolut Massive Party; photo by Ryan Emberley] 
“Makers are at the heart of the DIY movement that we’re seeing unfolding around us,” says Moneta. “The movement has been growing quietly over the last few years and there are a huge number of maker spaces – from Vancouver to Montreal – that have sprung up to bring these communities together. We’re all excited to be working with Absolut – a brand that has a history of supporting artists and creation – to bring some attention to the amazing work that our community is creating and to help drive this next era of innovation.”
Inspired by the brand’s legacy as an enabler of creativity, Moneta’s installation – the Absolut Maker Construction Set – celebrates the maker culture’s ethos of open play, participation, and digital fabrication. A duo of two-metre high sculptures will be brought to life using thousands of custom 3D printed connectors linked to hundreds of Absolut bottles. Fully interactive, the installation will be illuminated by hundreds of LEDs which can be colour-controlled by Massive10 party guests via Twitter. Guests tweet @AbsolutCanada with a hashtag colour of their choice, and the installation shines accordingly.

Absolut Massive Party; photo by JJ Thompson
[Absolut Massive Party; photo by JJ Thompson]
The Absolut Maker Construction Set will travel the country, visiting urban centres as part of an experiential campaign that includes regional make-a-thon challenges, bar bot competitions, and a central showcase event, all supported by an integrated campaign including social and digital communications, paid media, and public and influencer relations.
“Whether the focus is technology, design, fashion or music, Absolut wanted to help fuel the movement’s existing momentum by giving Canadians a chance to play with, discover and celebrate what maker culture has to offer,” continues Bhowmik. “This is at the core of our MakerFest campaign – helping to bring maker culture to the forefront so it will inspire the next era of makers and more people can get involved with the movement.”
Additional MakerFest campaign elements include:
Open Make-a-Thon Dispensing Device Challenge
To highlight the work of the maker community at large, Absolut is challenging makers to hack its cocktails by creating the ultimate Absolut dispenser. Creations will be showcased at Maker Fest exhibits across Canada.
“Bar Bot” Contest
Select makers will be challenged to team up and construct bar bots – drink-dispensing robots that mix and pour cocktails featuring Absolut Vodka. Gallery-style spaces will be created nationwide to showcase the inspiring works. Maker pieces from outside the Absolut partnership will also be on display at the exhibits, giving further opportunity to promote the community’s creations.
A culminating event held late summer will be the ultimate celebration of world-class inventions, creations, and mind-blowing works of art built by Canadian makers. The finale will showcase work from makers across the country, feature a chart-topping DJ, and custom Absolut cocktails.
“We’re particularly proud to be working with a community that is at the forefront of imaginative work in this country,” says Bhowmik. “Celebrating artistic expression is in the DNA of the Absolut brand, and our long-term investment with the maker movement will help align Absolut with the next generation of creative trailblazers in this country.”

Follow the Absolut MakerFest movement on Twitter with @AbsolutCanada, using the #TransformToday and #Absolut hashtags.

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