HEADS UP: Ten Reasons To Hustle Over To Vancouver Mini Maker Faire This Weekend

May 31, 2013.

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Mini Maker Faire hits the PNE Forum this weekend. A cross between a science fair, community fair AND a farmers market, Maker Faire will have everything from Lego and architectural origami to textile art and all manner of weird and awesome robots. This is an event that celebrates our power to make, remake and create new things, so clear your schedule, snap up a few tickets and roll up your sleeves for two fun days of exhibits, demonstrations, performances and displays. From perfume and pyrotechnics to food-growing and book-making, pretty much every Vancouverite will be sure to find something within that inspires! There are many, many reasons to attend (for a complete list of Vancouver Mini Maker Faire participants click here), but we’ve put together our own a top 10 cheat sheet…

1. The Emperors Cabinet
You may have seen this stunner at 1000 Parker Street studios during The Eastside Culture Crawl or, more recently, displayed in the window of Hot Art Wet City Gallery & Shop up on Main. No matter how many times you see it, it just doesn’t get old. The genius of combining an iconic imperial snow walker (aka AT-AT from The Empire Strikes Back) with a mini bar is worthy of numerous visits and much respect. At Maker Faire, you can meet the mastermind behind it, Colin Johnson (aka The Woodbutcher). DETAILS

2. Got Craft?
The good folks at Got Craft? believe that MALL is a four letter word, and they have a pretty fair point. And with handmade and DIY culture growing, there are fewer and fewer reasons for Vancouverites to ever visit one. Swing by the Got Craft mini craft fair to meet over 30 local artisans selling their wares. DETAILS

3. Laser Cutter Cafe
Derek Gaw owns the coolest machine. With his Full Spectrum Laser Cutter, he can make everything from business cards printed on wood veneer to etched glass, puzzles, sculpture and signage. Give him a jpeg, word document or vector file and he can have it etched. Once you see what’s possible, you won’t be able to stop yourself from imagining the different things that you could do if you could get your hands on such a contraption. The lucky thing here is that after Maker Faire, Derek will be setting up at The Chinatown Experiment on Columbia Street, but more on that later. For now, make sure to stop by and say hi at Maker Faire. Be there at just the right time and he may even involve you in a demo. DETAILS

4. The Maker Mobile
A maker can transform just about anything. Broken pieces of machines into a robot, scraps of wood into jewellery, music into sculpture, even a cube van into a workspace for up to ten people. The Maker Mobile is such a van – or it will be shortly. Four teachers who want to inspire young people to create and get involved in Vancouver’s maker community are collaborating to build The Maker Mobile and now they need community help to finish the job. Visit the Maker Mobile team to find out how you can pitch in to make this roving classroom and workshop a functional reality. DETAILS

5. Homesteader’s Emporium
Homesteader’s Emporium is a DIY superstore that carries everything you might need to get started on a variety of home self-sufficiency projects (everything from growing and preserving your own food to making your own soap, beer or honey). Check out Homesteader’s booth to see composting worm bins, a demonstration on how to create natural dyes, and demos on how to grow mushrooms on straw. DETAILS

6. Architectural Origami
The Symmetry Group also uses laser cutters, but the scale of their creations is considerably larger than those of The Laser Cutter Cafe. With a laser to score folding lines on corrugated plastic called coroplast, they use techniques similar to those of the Japanese paper folding art of origami to create ‘architectural origami’.  Modules are reusable and beautiful. DETAILS

7. Blim
Blim is an arts and crafts facility located in Chinatown that often hosts workshops (think textile dying, sewing, card making). This weekend they are setting up a ‘Print Your Own Shirt’ station at Maker Faire. How amazing is that? DETAILS

8. Glass
The Terminal City Glass Co-op wants to promote glass as an art medium and they have spent a lot of energy to create a workshop environment to do just that. Check in with the TCG Team to find out how you can get involved with the co-op, either by taking classes, using their space and equipment, learning from their collective expertise or just dropping in to appreciate the art. DETAILS

9. Do-It-yourself
DIY or Die is a collective of makers who aim to “…rekindle your enthusiasm for all things “makey” by pairing some of Vancouver’s most interesting and talented makers, artists, and DIYers with venues throughout the city to offer a diverse range of classes and workshops.” The DIY or Die team will be at Maker Faire to teach people some needle-felting (they like to call it “painting with wool”). They say that it’s easy to learn and suitable for all ages and skill levels, so don’t be shy, get in there and get busy. You can also take a look at their DIY kits while you’re there. Stay on a roll. Take something home and keep making! DETAILS

10. The Hackery
The crew at The Hackery subscribe to the motto: “Fix more, buy less.”  Versed in Linux, Apple, and Microsoft systems, this is a team of makers and fixers that you want on speed dial whenever your laptop or LCD stops cooperating. We’ll be cruising by their booth to get acquainted because if — knock on wood — we ever need them, we want them to remember how nice and friendly we were so that they’ll drop everything and come to rescue our panicked asses. DETAILS

Maker Faire | June 1 + 2 | 10am-6pm | PNE Forum (2901 E Hastings St) | $15 | DETAILS

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