The Commodore 64 computer in action at the MAC. (Submitted photo)

Throwback: Parksville Makerspace shows off old Commodore 64 computer

Open house takes place Aug. 8, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Those of a certain vintage may remember the deep blue and purple startup screen on the venerable Commodore 64 computer.

The 1980s rig, listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the highest-selling computer model ever, isn’t easy to come by these days. However, you can catch one on display at Parksville’s McMillan Arts Centre, in their Makerspace. You can see it in action on Aug. 8 at their free open house.

The space is gearing up for their fall programming, which will take place with a mix of social distancing activities and online learning.

“Creative minds of adult age are invited to become involved in such new areas as participating in a new sewing circle, reliving the excitement of the early computer revolution age ‘Commodore 64’ home computer, signing up for the new REPAIR CAFE or possibly helping plan the current demonstration project where the goal is to create energy from the rainwater off the MAC roof,” read a release.

“Youth may choose to work with Mecanno and space-age LEGO kits, to learn about electricity via a Canadian-designed special battery storage unit that utilizes electrolytes that move around in sustainable sources, using 3D printers to create miniatures for their new Thursday Evening Games Night, or to build electronic circuits to name a few of the new activities.”

READ MORE: Parksville MakerSpace members ride the rails

READ MORE: Parksville’s McMillan Arts Centre set to reopen on June 18

Makerspace president Jim Bennett said the space had to change how they do things after COVID-19 hit, but that they’ve managed to adapt.

“One of the things we are also boldly doing that should attract renewed memberships and new members is our new fall package rate based on a $10 monthly rate for family and individual memberships in our facility,” he said. “We’d rather lower our fees and have more people using our space and taking our programmes this Fall as we think we can fill a need right now that many people are looking for to get out of the house to safe environments or find more to do online that has meaningful outcomes.”

They also have a brand new teen group, with membership fees supported by the Nanaimo Regional District Recreation Commission. More information can be found on it and other programs at

The open house is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday at 133 McMillan St. in Parksville, with visitors being asked to adhere to health and safety guidelines, which includes mask-wearing.

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