5 local events that offer lessons beyond the classroom

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      Education comes in many forms in Vancouver. Sometimes it takes place in classrooms. On other occasions, it’s available at public lectures, in local library branches, or at a weekend demonstration outside the Vancouver Art Gallery.

      Below, we’ve listed five ways in which people of all ages can expand their minds and their talents.

      Student-made fashion

      Students in Langara College’s design-formation program are giving new meaning to the phrase “paper bag princess” in Oakridge Centre’s third Brown Paper Couture installation.

      The exhibit showcases 27 student-made gowns that are handcrafted from ecofriendly materials like paper, cardboard, and coffee filters. From a Vivienne Westwood–inspired frock based on the voluptuous drama of Victorian-era garb to a 1950s Balenciaga ball gown, each dress is modelled after a famous designer piece that has graced runways in seasons past.

      “I’ve seen the displays in the last two years, and that was what kind of attracted me to the program,” says student designer Doris Ho by phone, referring to Langara’s design-formation courses. “It’s really exciting to see all of our work out there.”

      Brown Paper Couture is the culmination of the design students’ efforts in the postsecondary program’s retail-visual-presentation class, which emphasizes prop-building, aesthetics, and creative troubleshooting. The collection is on display at Oakridge Centre’s East Galleria until April 27.

      Discover students’ talents

      Langara students’ work is also on display at a pop-up gallery in Building A at the college until May 27. Different departments in the creative-arts division are featured on different weeks.

      Until next Friday (April 29), you can see a collection of drawings, paintings, sculpture, design, digital design, ceramics, and prints by fine-arts students. From May 2 to 6, check out student photography, which includes portraiture, architecture, food, editorial, and fashion imagery.

      From May 9 to 13, outstanding student publishing work is presented in the newest edition of Pacific Rim Magazine. May 16 to 20 showcases the work of students in the journalism program, followed by the best of creative arts, from May 24 to 27.

      All of the exhibits are free and are open to the public from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Langara College (100 West 49th Avenue), which is a short walk from the Canada Line’s Langara–49th Station.

      Voices of Elders

      What better way to learn about reconciliation than from some of the country’s leading indigenous elders?

      Walk for Reconciliation founder Chief Robert Joseph, Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs president Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, writer Lee Maracle, and tireless advocate Joan Phillip will be at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre at 8 p.m. on Friday (April 22) for an Earth Day summit.

      Expect an entertaining evening with CBC and APTN TV’s Lisa Charleyboy and comedian Ryan McMahon hosting the event. They’ll be joined by 2014 Juno winner George Leach and the Children of Takaya dancers.

      Tickets are $19 and $39 and can be obtained through Tickets Tonight or by phone (with additional fees) at 604-684-2787 or toll-free at 1-877-840-0457. Children and youths may attend for free.

      Proceeds from Voices of Elders will support Coast Salish youth programs of the Tsleil-Waututh, Kwi Awt Stelmexw, and Coast Salish Cultural Network. For more information, visit the Kwi Awt Stelmexw website.

      Summer tech camp

      Students from Grade 9 to Grade 12 can sign up for a course to learn how to create a playable digital-media product within three weeks. Offered by the Vancouver-based Centre for Digital Media from August 8 to 26, it offers tutorials to teenagers on different software programs required to create digital art, code apps, and make iterate designs.

      The Tomorrow’s Master of Digital Media course outline stresses building teamwork and project-management skills in the first two weeks, followed by a problem-solving project in the third week.

      “There will be field trips to a couple of digital media companies in Vancouver, who are also sponsors and supporters of the TMDM program,” the course outline states. “These trips are meant to inspire students with the kinds of opportunities that await them if they decide to pursue a professional career path in the interactive digital media industry.”

      For more information, visit the CDM website or attend an information session on from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on May 12 at the Centre for Digital Media (685 Great Northern Way).

      VanArts open house

      If you’re curious about a career in character animation, visual effects, photography, broadcasting, web development and design, or making art for video games, why not drop by VanArts (570 Dunsmuir Street) at 2 p.m. on Saturday (April 23)?

      That’s when the 20-year-old school is holding an open house. Last year, VanArts ranked eighth in the world in the Animation Career Review rating of the top 100 schools for animation, gaming, and design.

      In July, VanArts will also offer one-week summer intensive programs in a variety of areas, including 2-D and 3-D character animation, game art and design, visual effects, and acting for film and television. For more information, visit the VanArts website.