Meet the Puppets

Viktor Barkar

Saturday, June 10th, 11:30-12:00


This colourful musical puppet presentation was created as an introduction to the world of puppetry. 
The goal of the presentation is to tell children about the origins of puppetry and to demonstrate it’s applications in different cultures. They will show 5 different types of puppets and tell the story of each particular puppet style. The key to this presentation is a dialog with an audience – questions and comments will be welcomed and encouraged.

The presentation will include:
• hand puppet
• bunraku puppet
• table-top puppet
• full-body puppet
• marionette


Viktor Barkar founded our mobile Vancouver Puppet Theatre (VPT) in 2012. The notion for a permanent Canadian puppet theatre was developed in 1998 when Viktor and his family moved to Canada from Minsk, Belarus. Viktor has a background in 3- dimensional drawing and sculpture and came to theatre through study of classical forms of visual art. He also dedicated multiple years to the study of various forms of graphic arts, including photography, bindery, and computer graphics. The main goal of Vancouver Puppet Theatre is to introduce the Canadian public to the art of puppetry and to establish a close relationship between international puppet artists and the existing theatre community. During his stay on the west coast, Viktor has developed a wide network with local and international puppet-makers and puppeteers.

Progress Report on Building a Robot Arm

Dan Royer

Saturday, June 10th, 12:45-1:15

Dan has been making robots for about a decade. He’s made every mistake and also some really nice machines. He will be talking about one of his dream machines – a robot arm for everyone: what he’s tried, what he’s learned, and what he believes it will take to do it right.


Dan Royer used to build machines in grade school and write code in art class. Later he worked around the world, making video games and medical training simulators. Still later he started combining these experiences to make robots. Which brings us to now.

Merging Practices: When Classical Art, Science and Digital Technology Collide Panel

Theresa Lao

Saturday, June 10th, 1:30-2:30

When we blend classical art, science and digital technology, what remains the same and what becomes a hybrid? This panel explores how we collaborate to mix classical art, applied science and technology. We’ll dive into questions like:

  • Are alternate perspectives just inspiration?
  • What can science learn from classical art practices?
  • Is art evolving with applied science and technology? How? What will future art look like?
  • What are the challenges when artists and scientists collaborate and make together?

Join us for an interactive debate on the evolution of these merging practices.


Theresa Liao is the Communications Coordinator for the Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of British Columbia. She is usually busy planning science conferences and public events, writing/editing research stories, creating hands-on activities for physics summer camp kids, and managing the department’s website and social media channels. Through her work she became fascinated by different approaches to spark people’s curiosity about science. In 2015, she co-founded Curiosity Collider, a BC non-profit organization whose emphasis is on creating innovative ways to experience science. She has more than 10 years of experience in science outreach, and attended the Banff Science Communications Program in 2012. Before her Science Communication career, she studied biochemistry and did research about Type 1 Diabetes for her Master’s degree.


Making Tofu at Home Using Soybeans

Rashmi G C

Saturday, June 10th, 2:45-3:00

Learn the process of making tofu at home using soybeans. The entire process will be explained using a video with step-by-step pictures. You can prepare fresh tofu using the simple utensils in your kitchen and without having to buy any special equipment. We first make soy milk from soybeans and then make tofu from the soy milk. It is a fun and easy method to learn. Enrich your skills and also enjoy a vegan dish!


Rashmi is a DIY enthusiast. She is an engineer by qualification and loves doing things from scratch. She recently moved to Vancouver from India. Back in India, she started an artistic venture in 2010 and a food venture in 2014. In the past 15 years, she has explored many art forms and has conducted many craft workshops for both children and adults alike.





Makers Entering the Marketplace Panel

Saturday June 10th, 3:15-4:15

Details coming soon!


Makers Making Change: Creating Access for People with Disabilities

Chad Leaman

Sunday, June 11th, 1:00-1:45

Makers Making Change connects makers to people with disabilities who need assistive technologies.

  • Make A Build: Make a proven open source assistive technology from our library
  • Need A Build: Match a maker to a person with a disability to build assistive technology for you for the cost of the materials
  • Review or Suggest A Build: People can review open assistive technologies for our curated library.

In January, we ran the Access Makeathon in Vancouver BC. It had a person with a disability captain a team of Makers to create an access solution to their particular need over 48 hours. Of the ten Access Challenges, six were solved in the event and two more have continued development. It was a magical weekend and we crowd-sourced social media to capture the event: http://www.makersmakingchange.com/accessmakeathonsummary/. Our presentation will show finished projects made by makers, showcase work in development, and offer makers an opportunity to get involved to put their skills towards creating a more accessible world for people with disabilities.


Chad Leaman is the Director of Development for the Neil Squire Society and cofounder of Makers Making Change. The Neil Squire Society offers technology, computer literacy and employment programming for people with physical disabilities. Makers Making Change connects makers to people with disabilities to create assistive technologies. Chad is also a volunteer organizer of NetSquared Vancouver, which holds free workshops and an annual conference for non-profits to better use technology to further their mission. He also serves as Chair for BC Technology for Learning Society, which refurbishes over 8,000 computers a year for schools, non-profits and other at-need populations in BC. He’s a father of young twins which is the source of much joy, sleeplessness and scraped knees.


New Craft: Combining Legacy and New Technologies in Design, Research and Practice Panel

Sunday, June 11th, 2:00-3:00

Please join us for this panel discussion where we look at how designers and creatives combine craftsmanship and digital technologies in their various practices. Faculty, Researchers and Designers from Emily Carr University of Art + Design and the Material Matters Research Lab will be discussing their experiences and ways of working with new and legacy technologies.


Keith is an Assistant Professor Industry Design, Faculty of Design + Dynamic Media, and Faculty of Graduate Studies at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. He is a lead/co-lead Investigator on a few Emily Carr research initiatives including, applied partnerships enabled by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, National Research Council of Canada and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. He is a founding faculty member and a current Co-Director of Material Matters, a pragmatic material research centre within the Intersections Digital Studios at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Material Matters’ mandate is to explore sustainable yet innovative material practice through material practice, material research, co-operative partnerships, social forums and workshops for knowledge transfer. Keith has presented and exhibited nationally and abroad on collaborative research activities and material practice.


Productivity for Misfits, Makers & Other Creatives

Cathy Chiba

Sunday, June 11th, 3:15-4:00

*Everybody* wants more hours in a day. That’s what we’re told. But you, you want them more. You have more ideas than time. More interests than hours. And often, you find yourself stymied by the way people *think* you should work, versus the way you *actually* work. The real problem? It’s not about being more productive, hour by hour. It’s not really about being more “efficient” – however we might define it. It’s about brilliance. More brilliance, more of the time – translated into the things we make and the things we do. And yes, the brilliance includes the fun we have doing. *Whatever* it is we choose to do. Most conventional productivity systems don’t truly suit people who make or create things. To-do lists and checklists, specific and measurable targets, ninety-day plans: all these things are useful tools, but often they are incorporated into systems that don’t acknowledge the inherent messiness and recalcitrance of creative work. In this presentation, I’ll be presenting way of looking at productivity that will help you find a way of working that works for you and your projects. I’ll discuss different models of productivity, and focus especially upon models and strategies that are most useful for those of us engaged in creative work and creative performance.



Cathy Chiba helps humans create engaging conversations about complicated things. In various phases of her career, she has studied tiny nervous systems, slain dangerous patents, and coaxed small children into touching electrified devices. She’s fascinated by the inner lives of inanimate objects, and is endlessly curious about science, technology, and human nature. She has an MA in Biological Psychology and a Master’s in Library and Information Studies. She claims, however, that those degrees were eaten by the squirrels in her head. https://www.linkedin.com/in/cathychiba/