We’ve got a great workshop series lined up this year, suitable for all skill levels and all ages! VMMF workshops have limited seating, so please register in advance. But don’t delay! Workshops that do not have the minimum number of participants registered before June 6th will be cancelled.
Please note that workshop registration fees do not include your admission to the fair (get tickets online here, or at the gate. Pay at the gate and get 2-for-1 admission if you’re wearing a DIY costume!).

All tools and materials required for the workshop will be provided by the instructor -you don’t need to bring anything except your creativity and enthusiasm!
If you have any questions about the workshop series, please email programming@makerfaire.ca.


Growing With Lego

Saturday, June 10th, 11:00-11:20; all ages; $15











Participants of all ages and skill levels get to build a small cotainer from Lego, line it with a special, organic, soil-free growing medium and plant a custom blend of mildly spicy microgreen seeds (kale, broccoli, mustard, cress, radishes etc). To help the seeds germinate more quickly, the container will be wrapped in a sealable bag to create a mini greenhouse. Participants get to take their Lego planter home where they can harvest their crop in 7-10 days. Microgreens offer excellent nutrition and are delicious in omelettes, sandwiches and salads.

About the instructor: Judy Kenzie is dedicated to promoting food sovereignty by engaging people in unique and inspiring small space gardening experiences. An avid experimental gardener she has grown food in everything from thimbles and shells, to the TruckFarm. Her Growing with Lego workshops were inspired by her Legomaniac son Ethan.

Judy believes that it is important for everyone to get their hands dirty every once in a while (or more). As the founder of Strathcona Urban Seed Collections and the main driver behind the Strathcona 1890 Truck Farm, her mission is to inspire more people to grow a little. She helped build and plant the vertical food wall at RayCam Community Centre as well as a vertical teaching garden at Lord Strathcona Elementary School.


Translating Between the Second and Third Dimensions with Fabric and Paper

Saturday, June 10th, 2:00-3:45; 16-adult, $20

Explore drafting and form manipulation in this workshop. Beginning with an introduction to patternmaking in a fashion context, we will then apply basic principles beyond the garment. Participants will learn to use intuitive and geometrical techniques to create and combine three-dimensional soft structures. At the close of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  • apply basic techniques in pattern manipulation
  • compare and contrast fabric and paper as structural mediums
  • combine 3-dimensional structures
  • flatten a 3-dimensional structure into 2 dimensions
  • consider seam allowances for fabric assembly
  • discuss options for structural support
  • consider applications for skills learned

About the instructors: Andrea and Allison are educators in VCC’s Fashion Design & Production program. Andrea is a creative problem solver with a love for making in all its forms. Allison is an artistic whirlwind who brings fresh perspective to any challenge. They enjoy collaborating on curriculum, and are excited to work together on a subject they are both passionate about.




Upcycle Like You Give a Damn

Saturday, June 10th, 4:15-5:45; 16-adult; $15










Basic Design has been Upcycling materials in the city for the last four years and has mastered the craft. Now, they would like to teach you how to do it yourself! If you are interested in any aspect of repair of electrical, mechanical, clothing or furniture items, come and join the workshop and pick up some new life skills. Inspired by initiatives like Repair Matters and the Repair Cafe, we’re exploring the next step in sustainability of use. This workshop will teach you about some of the tools of upcycling, skill sharing, building on your own ideas, and generally having fun with waste materials. There will be hand tools for upcycling, an industrial sewing machine, and free materials to play with.

About the instructor: Theunis Snyman is the Principal Industrial Designer at Basic Design, a materials re-designation hub at Makerlabs in Vancouver. Their clients have waste materials they can’t reuse, and don’t want to throw away, and Basic Design helps them redefine the value of these assets. The work is not glamorous, but Basic Design want the world to upcycle like they give a damn!




Video Game Design Challenge
Sunday, June 11th, 11:00-1:00; ages 7-15; $15

Be a game designer in this fun-filled workshop! In partnership with UME Academy, and guided by film and game industry veterans, students will use Unity3D, the software used to create PokemonGo and Mario Run, to create their own video game! Rooted in S.T.E.M challenges, students will create, iterate, and problem solve to customize mini-games with sound, art, and level design, and showcase their work in our arcade for family and friends. Within video games, students of all abilities can solve problems that suit their interests -art, engineering, sound or design. We invite them to be a game designer and maker in this fun class!

Joanne is an experienced  artist, technologist, educator and  life-long learner.  For over a decade Joanne taught Art and Drama to students from grades K-12, and her fascination with technology and storytelling inspired her to pursue a career in the 3D animation industry in Vancouver.  She work on the hit series ‘Beat Bugs’ as an animator before discovering UME Academy. Joanne is passionate about UME Academy’s approach to teaching digital literacy which fuses educational content with Inquiry-Based learning, play, exploration and game creation.  Joanne brings her passion and knowledge of technology, design, and education to the classroom while fostering creativity, communication skills, problem solving and team collaboration amongst students. She enjoys nurturing positivity and empowering young learners to become digitally literate and active creators of their own content.

Build A Bee Hotel

Sunday, June 11th, 1:30-3:00; all ages; $35









Bees are our friends! With the dwindling honeybee population these days and the devastating effects that this can have on the earth and its inhabitants, you’ll feel great building bee hotels and taking action! Did you know that 90% of bees live a solitary life and not in hives? These little buzzers need places to rest their weary heads after a long days work pollinating.
After a brief discussion on why bees are so important, what they do all day, and what we can do to help them, you’ll cut, fasten, and assemble a little bee hotel that you can place near a garden at your home. With increased urban growth, habitat destruction, pesticide use, and a host of other modern realities, bees are packing up and getting out of city. Let’s invite them to stay and help us! (Please note that kids under the age of 12 are welcome, but must be accompanied by and adult).

About the instructor: Chris Dunne is a carpenter, educator, enthusiast of outdoor adventure, and a lifetime ecologist. He holds a bachelors degree in physical geography as well as a bachelors degree in education. Over the past 15 years, he has taught woodworking, furniture making, wildlife ecology, and outdoor experiential education. He currently owns and operates Dunne Carpentry, based in Vancouver.




Watercolour Animal Art

Sunday, June 11th, 3:30-5:45; 13-adult; $80











Learn basic watercolour techniques, mix favourite colours from nature to create a beautiful and unique spirit animal watercolour for yourself or your loved one. Learn the basics of watercolor and go onto painting fun animal double-exposure design! Elena will first go over tools that the she prefers to use, then cover different watercolor techniques before practicing making watercolor strokes and washes, and then painting landscape in the shape of one of the animal of their choice – bear, wolf, orca whale, fox, owl or eagle. At the end of this class, you’ll be able to leave with their finished watercolor animal painting, your own set of painting supplies, and a fun new skill set that can be used for future projects!

About the Instructor: Elena Markelova is Russian-born artist now living in beautiful Vancouver, BC. After moving to Vancouver just five years ago, Elena can finally live her dream of being an artist, selling her artwork at art markets and shows, galleries, and retail stores around Greater Vancouver. She finds her inspiration in the beauty of city and nature, the power of the ocean, and the enchanted life of the creatures that inhabit her new home. Elena is most well known for her detailed maps and double exposure animal watercolours. She enjoys teaching art to help people see the beauty of the world.