DemoCampGuelph and Improvised Community Making

Kyle Mackie

Educational Consultant. Community Builder. Technology Champion.

I reckon I’ve attended 17 out of 20 DemoCampGuelph nights. Why do I come? Community. I know, it can be a problematic term, but there is something to it that’s worth holding on to.

DemoCampGuelph is part of an important movement of improvised community-making, a new, responsive way of building networks of trust and respect, engaging in dialogue, negotiating differences, taking risks, celebrating successes and sharing responsibility.

DemoCampGuelph is a community that encourages communication through authentic storytelling, real stories of success and failure, of strengths and weaknesses, of hopes and fears. It’s a platform for learning, connecting, collaborating, and growing.

DemoCampGuelph is important and inspiring. A lot of good comes from it. I’ve never been on stage at DemoCampGuelph, but on Wednesday I will be. I’m not there to demo. I’m there to share a story, raise some awareness and (hopefully) some funds.

On Friday of Labour Day weekend, our 9-year-old daughter, Maeve was diagnosed with a brain tumour. We were rushed to MacMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton for surgery, returning home after 3 nights. Results of the pathology showed that the tumour was a benign astrocytoma. We’re happy to report that follow-up appointments and tests show no sign of re-growth and a full recovery. The care we received at MacMaster was incredible. The staff worked to ensure we were all very well taken care of and that we had all the information we needed.

There continues to be incredible advances in research around the causes and cures for brain tumours. Over time, this research has led to: improvements to technologies allowing doctors to view the brain, advances in surgical techniques, radiation practices and treatments; as well as improvements for paediatric patients.

On May 5, 2013, a team of friends and family members will be participating in the Spring Sprint at the Arboretum in Guelph, in support of the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada. Find out more, join the team, and donate at

See you on Wednesday.