Do-it-yourself movement invades Edge Gallery

Have you ever thought about where the things you buy come from? The packaged food in the grocery store: salt n’ vinegar chips, frozen beef patties, green tea? What about shampoo, conditioner, gel and soap? What about the books that line your walls, or the computer that you have propped up across your legs, or the acoustic guitar that you love to play? What about your shirts and skirts and scarves and socks?

If you look around your house, apartment, or your room, you will likely see hundreds and thousands of products. Of the countless things that you have purchased, do you know where any of them came from?

In our fast-paced capitalist economy, it’s difficult for the do-it-yourself mentality to flourish. Things are just so cheap and readily available. We do not have to raise and slaughter cows; all we have to do is find a Safeway. We do not need to darn our own socks when they tear, or make our own clothing. Instead, we have shopping malls.

I am an active participant in this spectacularly convenient world we all live in. I am not condemning the machines that make paintballs and wax candles. I believe, instead, that a brief exploration into the world of doing-it-yourself is merited. And I know exactly where to find such an experience.

From March 30 – April 1, the Edge Art Gallery, in association with Cat Haus, will be host to a DIY fest! For three days, visitors will be able to partake in a hand-made sale, attend several do-it-yourself workshops and take in some talk from a huge variety of presenters.

In an interview with the Manitoban, curator of the event Kara Passey helped to shed some light on all of the fun DIY stuff that will be going on at the end of March.

Manitoban: Where did this idea for a DIY fest come from? When you say DIY, what do you mean, exactly?

Kara: The idea started with crafts and handmade things, products that people would normally buy, but was also something that you could do yourself. Things like self-publishing, event coordinating, shampoo, soap and cooking. There will even be a workshop on how to make your own homemade menstrual pads.

Manitoban: The event is slated to have an art sale and DIY workshops. What kinds of things can someone expect to experience or purchase?

Kara: For the workshops, people can drop by, pay a couple of bucks and just make something. There will be pottery workshops, encaustic painting workshops, printmaking workshops and even a workshop on dying fabric with natural materials. This entire event started as a craft sale, so there will be local vendors there as well.

Manitoban: What about the presenters? What kinds of things will people be talking about?

Kara: The talks and DIY demos are really about sharing ideas just by talking! There will be talks on self-publishing, on puppet making, Winnipeg’s DIY art zine, self recording and making music videos. In the art world, there are a whole bunch of bits and pieces. This event is about pulling all of it together.  

DIY Fest will begin March 30 with a kick-off party including slam poetry, acoustic music and a book reading by Sheldon Birnie from his new release Down in the Flood. March 31 will continue the event with a full day of DIY demos, talks and presentations from a wide variety of local artists, musicians, event planners and gallery representatives.

Cat Haus DIY Fest will be held at the Edge Art Gallery, 611 Main Street just past the Disraeli turn off, from March 30-April 1. For more information, Kara Passey can be reached at [RH3] The event’s Facebook page is available at