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“Vancouver Hack Space (VHS) is an open source community of makers that create innovative projects while sharing ideas and educating others. Members create an environment that often spawns new projects, businesses, or community events. As a member, I have worked with the community to start craft nights and helped organize the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire which has proven to be a wonderful opportunity for numerous non-profits and collectives in the city to come together and share their projects to the general public.

I would have never been able to grapple with hosting such a large-scale event without the support and guidance of the VHS community. Due to my experience with VHS, I have become a more engaged community member, and become a much more active and engaged citizen of Vancouver. VHS cultivates an environment that is inclusive, co-operative and supportive, and I believe strongly that our city will only positively benefit from groups and collectives with a similar ethos to VHS.

The Maker Movement is one that will have worldwide impact, and it is important that Vancouver have a regional community of Makers so that we can take part in being active community members that make an impact by doing. I believe that if VHS were granted a larger community space, they would have what it takes to fix up the space, run regular programming and attract a broader demographic so that many can take part in the experience of learning and creating. ”

- Emily Smith (Director of Vancouver Maker Faire)

“The Vancouver Hackspace plays an important role in helping Science World achieve its mission to engage British Columbians in science and inspire future science and technology leadership. The VHS provides Vancouverites the opportunity to gather, exchange ideas and work on STEM (Science, Technological, Engineering and Maths) related projects. With a larger space, the VHS would be able to continue exposing science and technology to the greater community.”

- Erika Finlay (Science world)

 

“VHS are fantastic tenants. They’re good neighbours, easy to deal with, and are constantly improving the space they’re in. It’s such a diverse and talented group, they’ve been a great addition to the building.”

- Michael Bean (VHS’s landlord 2009-2012 )

“I joined VHS in Feb. 2011. There I found a community of people more than willing to share skills, knowledge and connections to help me on my projects. When I needed to learn how to use a certain tool or start a certain project, I could count on the VHS community to be there for me. Thank you VHS!!! Vancouver is a better place because of you”

- JF Brandon (VHS member since 2011)

“I joined VHS in 2009 in hopes of finding some other people to talk tech with and bounce some ideas off of. Immediately I found a community of welcoming knowledgeable people, that helped me with skills or advice to complete some of the projects I was working on. I have started to run my own courses, talks and workshops out of VHS to give back the community that has given so much to me. Thank you VHS”

- Steven Smethurst (VHS member since 2009 and director since 2010)

“When I decided to build a 3d printer this spring VHS was suggested by some of the local businesses. I didn’t know what to expect and was amazed by the place. Since then I’ve discovered that the members are an even more valuable resource than could be imagined. I’m now aiming to make a company producing my own design of 3d printers and VHS has been key for tools and expertise. This wouldn’t have been possible without them.”

- Loial Otter (VHS Member since 2011 )

“In 2009 when I discovered VHS, I was thrilled. I grew up making – building, creating, and rebuilding – but living in as densely populated a city as Vancouver makes these pursuits almost impossible; yet this is exactly what VHS enables by being a physical space with the equipment and resources at hand to make almost anything. It doesn’t end there, as the culture of sharing knowledge, learning, and spending time in constructive pursuits is at the heart of VHS, making it an invaluable asset for personal and professional growth. It’s impossible to not be inspired and motivated to achieve great things when you’re part of such a community.”

- Richard Sim (VHS member since 2009 and director since 2012)

“Since returning to Vancouver, I have been looking for a replacement for the intensely stimulating environment of graduate school. At VHS, I found a community of creative technologists, artists, engineers, designers, musicians, inventors and scientists who take great pride and joy in making things. VHS members will debate any topic at the drop of a hat, and love teaching and learning from one another — and they have deep knowledge to share. VHS is a lot like grad school at MIT. I strongly believe that small scale collective fabrication spaces like VHS represent the future of innovation, art, enterprise, civics and education. This space is an incubator for the future of the city.”

- Ian Wojtowicz (VHS member since 2012)

“I’ve been a member of VHS since the beginning, and have gained a tremendous amount by learning through projects that inspire me. I’ve learned about local fabrication techniques, electronics, community organizing, and safety techniques. VHS has been super valuable in helping me”

- Luke Closs (VHS Founding member, luk.ec)

“I’m a newcomer to VHS in 2012. I’m drawn to it by the attitude to technology of it’s members and stunning breadth of knowledge they represent. I would summarise this as “it’s within our ability to understand how anything works, how to stop it from working, make it work again or make it do something better”. This city is full of gyms for the body, VHS is a gym for my brain.”

- Tom Keddie ( VHS Member since 2012)

“I’ve been with VHS since the first email went out and we didn’t even have our own space yet. That date is fast approaching 5 years ago now. I’ve seen the group grow from half a dozen or so like minded individuals with an idea to the amazing group it is today. I’m still constantly reminded why I got involved in the first place; passion. VHS has given me new friends, new knowledge and new experiences that have made my life better. One thing that I’ve always said, and I still find it to be true, is that VHS is more than the space and the tools, it’s a real community.”

- Ryan Smith (VHS Founding member)

“When I first joined VHS, my motivation was to learn a bit about electronics. My reception was very welcoming, and in a short time I learned that VHS was about much more. It has become a place for learning, a place for teaching, a place for taking and a place for giving back. Ideas and laughs are exchanged there every single night. I’m honoured to be a part of it.

In addition to my personal experience with VHS, the group has also has been an amazing asset to the community. VHS has been the driving force behind many great events and workshops. Indeed, the concept of hosting a Maker Faire in Vancouver was born at VHS. It’s members were instrumental in cultivating the vision, and seeing it through to completion. This year, the second Maker Faire was wildly successful, drawing media attention from across North America Again, many members of VHS played pivotal roles. VHS has also provided many workshops in the areas of electronics, biology, horticulture, crafts, origami, music, and fashion. Events like these make Vancouver a richer city. VHS is a world class group of people. ”

- Tyson Haverkort (VHS Member since 2010, and director since 2012 )

“I do volunteer work with some software projects on the internet, and while the net can bring people together and support communication, sometimes it can be very antisocial. Which is why I love attending the Vancouver Hack Space. It’s this great community space full of excellent, engaged people, hacking on projects, inventing stuff, making life better and more fun. People teach, like Arduino for high school students, solar panels, and how to measure the size of an atom with parts from a CD-ROM. People share ideas and collaborate, I visit the space because it’s an inspiring place to work. I get fired up and motivated. And it’s a chance to get engaged in the local community, like civic open data projects. And when I can’t make it to the space, VHS is still a forum of excellent skills and wisdom, like right now I am in Rwanda in Africa for a year, and people at the hack space have volunteered expert advice on computer networking and electrical systems. Thanks!”

- Jack Bates (VHS Member)

“The VHS group is a collective that defies easy description. I suggest that a denser accumulation of talent and knowledge will not be found easily in Vancouver. The refreshingly open spirit of the group and their willingness to share knowledge and good times makes this group of people a rare and valuable resource for any city, community, or building. I’ve known of VHS since 2009, and have visited far too infrequently – but each time I’ve been wowed. They rock.”

- James Garry (www.redcore.ca)

“After the apocalypse, if you want to rebuild civilization, you’ll need people who are not merely *willing* to get their hands dirty, but can’t stop themselves from tinkering, experimenting and sharing. Today’s scientists and engineers are too willing to blindly trust the giants on whose shoulders they stand, but when you’re starting from scratch, you need to understand things all the way down–you need a hacker to really figure things out. But, the civilizational technology stack is just far too deep for any one human to completely understand, so you need a community of hackers to have any chance of rebuilding it all. The Vancouver HackSpace is exactly the community of hackers that our successor civilization will need.”

- Alex Cruise

“I joined VHS formally just this last month after hanging around the space for a few months upon my return to Vancouver. In my time away from the city, I’ve visited hackspaces in upwards of a dozen countries and three different continents. I am stretched to think of a hackspace more organized, welcoming, and with such an engaged, dedicated membership.”

- Jesse Scott (VHS member since 2012)

 

“I moved to Vancouver 8 years ago, and found it to be a very intimidating, cold, hard city to break into a new social circle and meet people. VHS changed that for me. I visited VHS in mid-2009 when I was looking for other people with similar interests, and joined the group after the first meeting. During the past three years, I have learned some great new skills ranging from arts, music, crafts, electronics, environmental, fabrication, prototyping, programming, and social networking. Many of these things were learned from the free workshops that have been hosted at VHS. I have also hosted some of my own workshops to enlighten, entertain, and encourage others, and to give back to the great community that VHS has built.”

- Paul Fisher (VHS member since 2009)

 

“The Vancouver Hack Space (VHS) is a superb incubator for projects; it’s a space to do work; it’s a lab for cutting edge product design using the latest technologies like laser cutting and 3D printing; it is somewhere where you will find expertise, knowledge and classes in all manner of creative endeavour The inclusive sharing culture, the equipment, and the collaboration that happens every single time I go to the space rewards me with more enthusiasm to innovate, and have fun. I was already a member of a world class hack space in Seattle and the first thing I did when I moved to Vancouver in 2011 was try to find or start a local organization of the same calibre. I was delighted to have found this place and the tremendous group of people who are the VHS.”

- David Galloway

“I originally visited VHS to access tools that I could not store or use in my cramped Vancouver apartment. Upon arriving, I was happily surprised at how vibrant the space is, as well as the diversity of backgrounds and the friendliness of the membership. Two years after becoming a member I feel the same way. I feel that membership in VHS has benefited me personally and professionally. The collective wisdom of the VHS community allows me to experiment in areas I am unfamiliar with while avoiding many common mistakes. I have used the skills learned at VHS for projects at my work, and have been able to take on more challenging projects there as a result. VHS gives people the resources necessary to learn new things in an informal, supportive environment. These skills are important to the overall health of our society, but are becoming ever more difficult to practice in urban areas such as Vancouver. Organizations like VHS let people create new things, rather than just consume what is already made.”

- James Gregson

 

“I first learned of VHS in 2009 – I was absolutely amazed that such a place existed (and was accessible to *anybody*). Despite the fact that I live an hour away & tend to be quite busy, I have a membership and make time to come out to the space whenever I can. I’m strongly considering moving back to Vancouver because there’s simply nothing like VHS anywhere in my area. VHS has given me both the opportunity and motivation to pursue projects and develop skills that I think are not only fun but practical as well.

Places like VHS are exceedingly rare, but when they flourish they truly enrich the people and communities around them. I strongly believe that the community that has grown around VHS over the past few years is an incredible asset to the City and an amazing resource for its people.”

- Dan Allard

“I recently discovered the Vancouver Hack Space to be a very welcoming community of people willing to share their knowledge and skills. Access to the tools and facilities is crucial as I would otherwise have no means to keep up my skills in CNC programming while I am looking for a position as an apprentice machinist. Not to mention exploring the mysteries of electronics, a new frontier for me. While the current location has a lot of character, it is getting overcrowded and its location near the downtown eastside, while conveniently accessible by public transit, is daunting to female members especially during dark evening hours in the winter. I look forward to the new location which would provide added space and a more secure access route and location which would hopefully draw more female members who are currently leery of walking down a back lane near the Hastings and Abbott intersection.”

- Frederica Panon