Maker Town Hall

Thinking about participating for the first time at this year’s Vancouver Mini Maker Faire? Not sure if what you do makes you a Maker, or if anybody else would be interested in your project? Maybe you’ve participated at a past VMMF but have some questions that need answering before you do it again.


Then the Maker Town Hall is for you!


Join us for an evening of presentations, Q&As, socializing & meeting of fellow makers. Get your curiosity piqued, questions answered, and enthusiasm pumped.


Date: Saturday March 1, 2014
Time: Doors at 7:30pm, event from 8:00-10:30pm
Location: One Thousand Rivers, 54 E. 4th Ave., Vancouver
Cost: The Maker Town Hall is free but due to limited space pre-registration is strongly suggested.


*Please note: The Maker Town Hall is intended for people new to participating in a Mini Maker Faire, or past participants who are uncertain about their involvement this year. We will be having another event in a couple of months for veteran VMMF Makers who are already planning on participating.


photo by blue mollusc

photo by blue mollusc


Maker Green:

Green Jam and Kegs


Are you a maker interested in making Vancouver’s Mini Maker Faire the greenest anywhere?robot tiltThis is a call to all tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, artists, science clubs, students, authors, exhibitors and attendees. Help answer such questions as how we might target zero waste? Can we reduce the carbon emissions of everyone travelling to the faire? What can exhibitors do to reduce their environmental footprint? Let’s get together at the HiVE and jam over a beer!


Join the community, get Involved and help shape the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire!

Where: The HiVE @ 210 – 128 W. Hastings St.
When: Friday February 28, 2014, Gather at 6pm, start at 6:30pm
What: Maker Faire “Green Jam and Kegs”
Drinks by donation, potluck offerings welcome.  RSVP here.


Tiny House community project

Zee's tiny house project!
My name is Zee and I am facilitating a tiny house workshop project build. Using salvaged materials, you can learn basic construction skills and the final product will be used as a tiny mobile community centre for Makers to host workshops and share skills with the community.


I love tiny spaces!  Last year, along with a group of teachers and community leaders, I co-founded the MakerMobile:Workshop on Wheels, a traveling classroom, hackspace and art studio in a renovated Ford Econoline van.  While working on this project, I started researching alternative mobile spaces for living and working and came across tiny houses in the process.


Do you want to learn to build a house or help this project happen?  

Check out the rest of the article here. Email me to find out more!


Zee Kesler is an Community Based Artist and mentor for kids 3-18. She is the co founder of the MakerMobile:Workshop on Wheels and facilitates the Maker Education Initiative  Meetup alongside Vancouver Mini Maker Faire Director Emily Smith. 



Maker Show + Tell at the Rio Tuesday, September 24th

The Vancouver Maker Foundation is pleased to present Maker Show + Tell, an intimate and interactive evening featuring select speakers, their stories, live music, an interactive Q&A and more! Whether you’re already a part of Vancouver’s Maker community or are looking to learn more about it, join us for a fun and memorable evening that’s sure to leave you inspired.
Tuesday, September 24
Doors at 7:00
Music/Speakers start at 7:30
Tickets $10 advance or $12 at the door
19+ w/ bar service

Legion of Flying Monkeys Horn Orchestra
Brian Archer
Bilingual Intelligence Test
Brian Archer2
Brian Archer is an artist, philosopher and an ESL tutor who is is creating a wordless diagram/cartoon of human language. Turning research on a correlation between bilingualism and intelligence on its head, he has made a ‘bilingual intelligence test’. Brian is intending to bring this work to Maker Faire 2014.
John Beiler
3d Printing
John is a well-known Vancouver-based photographer, blogger, gadget geek, mobile phone nerd, teacher, traveler, 3D printer builder/operator, maker & all around curious person. He co-founded, an club of 3D printing enthusiasts who meet monthly and help share their knowledge of 3D printing at many events. When he’s not speaking at conferences including SXSW Interactive, Northern Voice and BarCamp, Biehler is a regular contributor to, the DottoTech radio show, the Province newspaper, London Drugs’ blog as well as the weekly Tech Tuesday segment on News 1130 radio. He’s currently writing his first book (about 3D printing) that will be published in 2014 by Pearson.
Reilly Yeo
Reilly Yeo is the Managing Director of Reilly is an organizer, facilitator and writer with ten years of experience in the not-for-profit sector. She joined in 2009 with a diverse professional and academic background including work with Amnesty International, The Walrus magazine and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. She led the organizing team for the first Vancouver ChangeCamp (an unconference on open government and participatory politics) and spent two years facilitating national in-person and online dialogues to rethink foreign policy through the SFU Centre for Dialogue. Reilly has MAs in Comparative Politics (McGill) and English Literature (UBC). She is a specialist in communications on complex issues.
Bunny Glue (aka Anna Bernhardt)
100 Blue Faces Painting Project
Anna Bernhardt
Bunny Glue (aka Anna Bernhardt) is a Vancouver-based artist, maker, and consultant. She has launched a Kickstarter Canada project, 100 Blue Faces, using the popular crowd funding platform to find homes for 100 Blue Faces, painted in acrylic on 12 inch square canvases. Find out why she is giving away half of the paintings free at
Victoria Gibson
Integrated Installation
Victoria Gibson
Victoria Gibson is an Integrated Media Artist blending sound + light + motion to create amazing art experiences. Creating magic using advanced techniques to spark curiosity and involve audiences with interactive gesture controls. She makes complex and experimental works that emerge from the nexus of art and technology, but remain accessible and fun. Based in Vancouver, Victoria has shown work internationally. Previous exhibits of Bandwidth, EMPAC Arts Center, Troy, NY; Guelph Jazz Festival Nuit Blanche, Lumen Festival, Staten Island, NY and the Mini Maker Faire, Vancouver.

Adam Barlev
Helix Installation (Burning Man)
Adam Barlev
Adam Barlev is a scientist, mathematician, hacker and burner. Born in the rich culture of the San Francisco Bay Area and influenced by the desert arts, Adam is one of the founding members of the Symmetry Group molecular origami design collective. In his day job as a PHD student at the SFU Chemistry Department, he shoots lasers at radioactive DNA.

Call for Speakers: Maker Show + Tell at the Rio is happening September 24


Do you make something that groundbreaking that you want to share with the world? Or, maybe you tried to make something and failed miserably. No matter what the outcome, we want to hear your stories. This coming September 24th, Maker Foundation is partnering with the Rio to put on a Maker show and tell so that Makers can share the stories behind the things that we make. If you are interested in getting involved, apply now (the 24th is in just a couple of weeks!)




We’re also looking for food vendors, musicians, jugglers, or anyone else that wants to share their skills!

VIVO Youth Courses This Summer



Want to put your kids in a week-long, educational (and fun!) course this summer? VIVO is hosting 2 workshops in early August including a media-oriented, documentary film-making series, Video Revolution! Making your message  and a Hacking the Home, Creative Electronics event. There are scholarships available to those that demonstrate a financial need. Registration info below:


Basic details:

  • More info on ‘Video Revolution! Making your message’ here.  Register via Eventbrite. To apply for a scholarship, download this form.
  • More information on Hacking the Home workshop available here. Here‘s the registration link and scholarship form available for download here.
  • Ages 13-18 welcome


For more information or to ask questions, email Emily at education(at)

Maker Education Meetup: July 4th at the Vancouver Hack Space

John shows off some 3D printed parts at our first meetup

John shows off some 3D printed parts at our first meetup


Always wanted to check out a hackspace, but never had the chance? Now is the perfect time! The Vancouver Hack Space is hosting the next Maker Education meetup on July 4th at 7:30pm.


They have just moved into a brand new 3000 square foot space, which they’ve filled with laser cutters, 3D printers, all kinds of electronics and a crew of hackers working on interesting things. Better yet, we will be joined by representatives from some of Vancouver’s other excellent makerspaces and DIY groups, such as: the Vancouver Community Lab, the Vancouver Design Nerds, 3D604 3D printing group, the Vancouver Tool Library, Mozilla and more!


We will start the night with short talks introducing the different organizations, then there will be lots of time to check out the hackspace, socialize, and connect with all of the other interesting people who attend the Maker Education meetups.


Food and drink has been generously sponsored by Mozilla! It is absolutely free to attend but, if you would like to give back, you can bring a small cash donation to support the Vancouver Hack Space and Maker Foundation.


Please RSVP at the link below:

Opening Soon: Laser Cutter Cafe in Chinatown

Laser Cutter Cafe 4
Ever had your tea with a side of laser cutting? You’ll soon be able to at Vancouver’s newest (red) hotspot, The Laser Cutter Cafe, popping up June 26 on Columbia Street in Chinatown.
Inspired by similar ideas in Tokyo and San Francisco, owner Derek Gaw wanted to bring the accessibility of public-space laser cutting to Vancouver. With his Full Spectrum Laser Cutter, Derek can make everything from business cards printed on wood veneer to etched glass, puzzles, sculpture and signage. He can take photos, text or graphics and etch them onto plywood or glass, and cut through wood, plastic or cardboard. Derek demonstrated The Laser Cutter Cart at Vancouver Mini Maker Faire this year, and had a slew of visitors come by to see just how easy it is to do their own laser cuts.


Intrigued, I caught up with Derek to find out more about this unique project that’s sure to bring a smile to our city.


Laser Cutter Cafe 2
Can you elaborate on what the laser cutter cafe is all about?
The Laser Cutter Cafe is a cafe (we serve tea and stuff) that has laser cutters for anybody to use. Come make something and have some tea while you’re at it. In addition to our namesake tool, we’ll also have other things to play with, like 3D printers, a CNC router, a vinyl cutter, a textiles lab, and an electronics lab.
Tea and lasers! Delicious combo. Where did the idea come from?
The Laser Cutter Cafe was inspired by equal parts FabCafe in Tokyo (above) and TechShop in San Francisco. When I moved back to Vancouver, I missed having ready access to laser cutters, so I decided to get some myself to share with everybody.
Can you describe what people can expect when they visit the cafe? Do you provide supplies?
When you walk in, you’ll probably see someone using a laser cutter right in front of you. You’ll smell a hint of of campfire from the plywood they’re cutting to make a coaster for their tea cup. And then you’ll notice a whole slew of laser cut products for sale and display. First time visitors can take a quick safety and usage tutorial, and be laser cutting their own stuff in half an hour. We’ll have an inventory of ready-to-laser materials, or you can bring in your own, assuming it’s safe and approved by us.
Laser Cutter Cafe 3
Why do you think the maker movement is going strong in Vancouver?
Vancouver’s maker movement is growing strongly in part because it has a ways to catch up to more established maker cities like San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland. Our west coast siblings are great role models, and we get to learn from their failures and successes.
Why’s it important to share skills and knowledge?  
It’s much easier than making all the mistakes for yourself (although sometime, that approach is quite educational).
So check them out on or after June 26! Until then, you can start plotting your newest laser-cut project. See you at the Cafe!
Laser Cutter Cafe 1
Photos courtesy of Derek Gaw, except Fab Cafe photo, courtesy of

Meet Your Makers: Cymata, 3D printing and Generative Coding with Music Analysis Data



Cool is a word that, perhaps by definition, resists definition. Cymata focuses on this adjective by restoring our lost physical and social interactions with the medium of music. The software initially produces physical objects from music by leveraging 3D printing and generative coding in processing. Songs are then interpreted using a combination of user input and music analysis data.


Music has lost many of the physical aspects of its experience. CDs, records and tapes all had a physical medium and album art that could be held and shared. But now, by experiencing music in its digital form, this appreciation has become fleeting. Our attention is spread thin in that space.


Active on Art Not Ads and Facebook, I spoke with Tim Rolls, one of the creators of this open-source project, which is available on Github if you’d like to experiment with its latest build.


How did you get started with making/creating for Art Not Ads?

It actually started as a street art project. I went to New York and witnessed the amazing/horrific site that is Times Square. I’d never really thought about how invasive advertising was in our lives. Public space is supposed to belong to everyone, so why is it illegal for most artists to use that space, while advertisers can use it for any message they choose? I have a history in graffiti and street art, so my initial concept was to engage local artists in a campaign to attack the ads directly, turning them into works of art that encouraged participation. At the same time, I realized this was all quite illegal, which was never a problem for me personally, but it starts to get sticky when you’re including others. Ultimately, I chose to go with more non-destructive routes that offset negative corporate messaging with positive, radically inclusive artistic ones.



How did you get started developing Cymata?

We went through at least a month of thrashing on ideas before Cymata started to take shape. Something we’ve wanted to explore more is generative code and data visualization. A lot of the work in that space takes place digitally, on screen so we knew early on that we wanted to bring those concepts to built objects. It wasn’t until a couple months later when we had a proof of concept working that music came into play. It was one of those rare “Eureka!” moments, and has been driving the project since.

Walk us through some of your creative process.

I’m a Designer, Artist, DJ, Producer and general technology nerd, plus I like to cook, ha ha. Those things probably seem unrelated, but it’s helped me realize that creative process is agnostic to what you’re creating.

Typically, the phases look something like:


    The main ingredient is always the concept. Having a central vision helps with making decisions and keeping focused as a project unfolds.
    Seeing what’s already out there, and being done well. Just be careful not to compare your work to others…that’s a slippery slope.
    Combining elements and ideas into something new, working towards the initial concept.
    Taking feedback or observations and applying them to the project to make the final product or next version better.

The whole thing is fairly loose, and doesn’t always happen in that order. That’s part of why I love creative work…it keeps you on your toes.



Is there anyone specific that inspires you?


So many people inspire me, and lots of them aren’t even artists, but I’ll try to keep this short.

  • Probably my favorite visual artist is Justin Maller. I’ve been following his work for years, and he never fails to make me feel like a beginner all over again.
  • Joshua Davis and Matt Pearson have both done a great job of practically applying generative art, and doing it well.
  • Daito Manabe is inspiring because he’s a tinkerer like me, and his Nike Music Shoe project is still one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.


Is there anyone specific that you would like to work with in the future?

Anyone who has the imagination and motivation to make ideas happen. We’re working on opening up Art Not Ads to collaboration by detailing our process on the new blog, and offering our code on github for anyone what wants to play with it.

In the future, we plan to organize creative meetups focused on constructive criticism and communication with like-minded people, which we crave but can be hard to come by in paid work. Combined, we hope those initiatives will help us build a community of passionate creators who are as excited as we are about creating positive change.




Cymata will experiment with turning your music into a 3D printable sculpture today at Maker Faire, so come on by and check them out!


Meet Your Crafters: Lisa Cinar, Draw Me a Lion

Like most of us, Lisa Cinar got her start as a maker at her family’s dining room table.  Armed with a crayon, colouring books, fresh white paper and her vivid imagination, she began to illustrate the stories in her young mind.  Seated next to her mother, she’d ask “Mom, can you draw me a horse?”, “Can you draw me a mermaid?” and “Can you draw me a lion?”



Fast-forward to 2008, when Lisa’s first children’s picture book The Day It All Blew Away was nominated for the Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize.  Her second book Paulina P. for Petersen was published in 2009, followed by a full-length comic called A Murder of Crows.  In 2011, she launched her shop Draw Me a Lion, offering up irresistible colouring books, art cards, colouring posters, stickers and limited edition prints.

Now, when she’s not writing picture books or dreaming up new designs for Draw Me a Lion, Lisa writes a blog on the art of picture book illustration – aptly titled I Heart Picture Books – and teaches a course on Illustration for the Continuing Education Department at Emily Carr University of Art and Design.


Draw Me a Lion is part of the mini Got Craft? at Maker Faire this weekend, so I asked Lisa for the scoop on her delightful creations and what we can expect to find at her booth.


Can you tell me a bit about the how and why you started Draw Me a Lion?

I have always loved Children’s products of all kinds from toys to activities to books. I noticed that I could have a lot of fun making things with kids in mind and that this was something that I was sort of naturally drawn to and good at. I wrote up a little business plan in 2011 and then launched the shop at the the end of that year. Now that I’ve been in business for over a year and a half I’m really happy with where I’m at. I love doing this!



Where do you find inspiration for your books, illustrations and stories?

I like to think back to my own childhood a lot when I come up with stories and images, and I don’t have to try hard to remember. There are a lot of things that just sort of stayed with me. You know how in Calvin and Hobbes Calvin always daydreams in math class about going to some alien planet? That was me sometimes, and…that is still me today sometimes too!


What advice would you share with the little makers and crafters who experience your work?

I always try to leave space for kids to really make the activities and items theirs. I leave lots of extra space in some of the Colouring Postcards for kids to add to the scene rather than just colour in. In my colouring posters there are speech bubble so that you can decided what animals are saying or to draw anything else you want in there. In the Colouring Mask Book the masks are two sided and one side is a more traditional colour-in-the-lines type of style while the other one is way more loose and open to interpretation and adding to.  So I guess my main message to kids is always that they are all artists just by way of being a child. I want them to know that there are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ ways to draw anything! What’s important is that they have Fun while they’re being creative.


What can we expect to find at Draw Me a Lion at Maker Faire next week?

I just finished making some brand new Flower Bouquet Button Packs that I’m pretty excited about. It’s Summer and I have a little bit of a thing for flowers so I thought it would be a cool idea to make a sort of ‘everlasting bouquet’. And they’re not just for kids by any means! There are two different sets of buttons to choose from as well as our also still pretty new  Colouring Party Invites and Colouring Stickers Packs! It’s always super nice to meet people who are interested in my work so yes, please come on up to the Mini Maker Faire and visit the Draw Me A Lion table! See you there!


For more treasures, visit the website and snag a free download, like Draw Me a Lion on Facebook or stop by Lisa’s personal site for a peek at her impressive portfolio. Or better yet, meet her at Maker Faire!


Haven’t bought your Vancouver Mini Maker Faire day tickets yet? They’re cheaper if you buy them in advance!


Stop by The Hackery and  Lee’s Electronics for a special promo code. The Hackery and Lee’s also still have paper ticket weekend passes available at EarlyBird prices. Get ‘em before they’re gone!

Lee’s Electronics  — 4522 Main Street
The Hackery  — 304 Victoria Drive @thehackery