Volunteers Wanted

The VGFA needs Volunteers for the following:

Community Outreach Coordination:

We have 2 projects for which we need a coordinator:

EWMA – the Enterprising Women Making Art effort has been getting the help of a few Board members to help them organize the donations they’ve received so they can be accessed. The next step is to start offering workshops in their space for them.

STORIQUILTURE – this Mosaic project in Burnaby helps refugee women get together and get to learn a little English while sewing. The ongoing work is to simply have a steady supply of 1 or 2 Guild members go to the Burnaby Neighbourhood House at 12:45 on Thursdays to help with the sewing projects the women are doing.

One coordinator for both projects would be required. It will involve getting to know what is happening currently with each of these and then creating a plan for continuing to interest volunteers to go to each place and providing information on how people can step in – either to volunteer to do a workshop or volunteer to go to the Burnaby Neighbourhood House.

Workshop Coordinator

            We currently have an opportunity to schedule workshops on Granville Island.   We need someone who will work with the BC Craft Council at Craft House to schedule workshops and advertise them through the Craft Council website. The number and type of workshops would be left up to the person doing this job. Attendance at only 2 Guild Board Meetings would be required annually.

Website Blog writer

We need a VGFA member to keep the blog up-to-date. The Board would not dictate the content, but we do need someone who will be willing to write 1 short blog post every month. If you needed ideas or help for what to write about, Board members would be happy to help.

Piggy Bank Table

            At monthly meetings the “piggy bank table” has become a popular way to shed stash and to gain stash. The table needs to be set-up prior to meetings and then taken down at the end of the meetings. Often there is fabric, yarns, magazines and other things left over that need to be dealt with. How to run and maintain the Piggy Bank table would be this volunteers responsibility.

Basement organization

We need a volunteer who will organize the basement organization. We have a great deal of ‘stuff’ in the basement. Much of it needs to be thrown out, but other things can be donated and a great deal of it needs to be preserved for the archive. This volunteer would have to work with the archivist, Elizabeth, to set a date for a work party to organize the basement. The task here is a one-time involvement to pick a date, bring bags and bins (any purchased containers would be paid for by the Guild) and get a commitment from up to 6 members to do the work.

If you are interested in any of these please email: info@vgfa.org and let us know what you are willing to do.

A Busy Summer

Call for Workshop Instructors

Guild members have a new opportunity to share their skills and passion for textiles with others. The Craft House on Granville Island would like to help promote our workshops. If any Guild member would like to offer a workshop, the Craft House will help us by promoting it on their website and they will schedule the event on Granville Island at either the False Creek Community Centre or the Carousel Theatre, extending their reduced rate for the space to us.

If you have a Workshop you would like to offer, until we have a workshop committee chair:

Contact Katherine McManus (email: kmcmanus@cartodesign.com) with your workshop idea and with details such as:

  • desired number of participants,
  • do you need water,
  • electrical outlets,
  • natural light, etc.
  • What month would you prefer to offer it.

We don’t want to scare off the Craft House people by inundating them with phone calls and questions. I will be the go-between for now.

You might also consider, if you are proposing a workshop for doll-making, dying, surface design or other type using embellishments, the Guild now has had donated to it the following materials:

  • Silk screen screens
  • Opulence dyes
  • Fabric paint
  • Beads
  • Buttons
  • And a small amount of fabric

These will be available at Aberthau for workshops.

Request for Storage Shelves

Our things in the basement of Aberthau are in poor shape. We need a donation of shelving—either closed or open—in order to better organize our archives, social supplies, donation fabrics and the donated materials listed above.

Enterprising Women Making Art

We were told by Angela Kruger who came to the June Guild meeting to talk about the Enterprising Women Making Art program that the materials and supplies we donated to them are in a disorganized state. We are taking steps to organize specific hours within a day or two during the month that will be VGFA time when members can go to the EWMA space and sort and organize materials. We’ll announce when this is once it is decided.

Dress for Success

This organization provides women with resume coaching, interview etiquette and clothing. Often the clothing has small things wrong with it – especially when it comes from stores that are donating in order to rid themselves of clothing that is missing buttons or has a tear or unstitched hem.

We are wondering if Guild members will lend a hand to help women attain their first job. We can either:

  • Pick up items from Aberthau, mend them and bring them back, OR
  • Get together in small groups to turn it into an opportunity to socialize from time to time.

We will bring this up at the September meeting to see who is interested and how we should organize it.


Soon after January I mentioned in a monthly meeting that there was a request for Guild involvement with refugee women. The Burnaby Neighbourhood House and Mosaic were hoping to involve newly arriving women in a community-building program that had sewing at its centre. The idea is that sewing is something all cultures share and that through sewing we tell stories about ourselves. From that Storiquilture was born.

I asked for volunteers and there were six. I know that at least two have completed the Mosaic orientation and training that is required. Mosaic training occurs monthly.

The program is now beginning to take shape. There will be an organizational meeting September 14th at 2:00 pm in Burnaby at the Neighbourhood House for planning the first meeting with the refugee women. The project itself and the weekly meetings with the women will follow. It will be an on-going project so if you are interested, there is still time to get involved. This will be an afternoon activity.

If you are interested in participating in this program and have not had an orientation through Mosaic, go to this link: https://www.mosaicbc.org/about/volunteer/ for information about becoming a volunteer. If you have questions about this program, please contact me.

by Katherine

The May Meeting and Workshop

On May 12th and 13th Susan Purney Mark was hosted by the VGFA.  On May 12th we enjoyed a presentation about how small moments of inspiration and a willingness to play can create beautiful objects.


Using an example of her grandchildren’s interest in working side-by-side with her in her studio and their subsequent creations and her ability to see interesting shapes and designs in everything, she was able to show us how new designs can spring from everything–if you are observant and willing to experiment.

She also showed how a technique called “ice dyeing” using a shibori method can produce incredible designs and shades of colour.


On May 13, Purney Mark facilitated a “Taster’s Choice” workshop of surface design techniques.  She took participants through the process for carving stamps, stamping, acrylic painting, foil applications and other processes.  The participants were exhausted by the end of the very interesting and eye-opening day.