The Bricks & Drinks Mixer: Green Month Style – Science World After Dark – April 25, 2014


What’s going on here? Our version of Dark Table? Nope. Partner Blind Builds.

So who attended the Science World After Dark: Bricks and Drinks Mixer Part 1 in February?   What do you mean Part 1, there’s a Part 2?   Yup…

If you missed out on the legendary and massively sold out Part 1, have no fear, Science World is doing another LEGO based After Dark again.   The Vancouver LEGO Club intends to be there to provide the entertainment once again.   Some of our popular activities will be brought back using different sets and we’ll add some new ones that will challenge you, so even if you came last time, there will be new things to do.

Many of you also said that you couldn’t get to all of our LEGO Brick activities, so we’ll be a little bit more spread out which means it should be easier to try everything.  And the warmer weather means the outdoor Ken Spencer Science Park should be open and in play!

Celebrate Green Month with us in style and join us for another Bricks & Drinks Mixer featuring LEGO® Travel Adventure and some exclusive green programming. Mix, mingle and explore science like a kid—without the kids!

Friday, April 25  7pm–10pm
Early bird: $18 / Regular: $25.50*

Get your tickets
Or start the night off with dinner—upgrade your ticket to include a Triple O’s burger + fries combo (your choice of beef, chicken or veggie) for only $10 more.

Get a dinner combo
19+ only. Beer and wine will be served. Doors open at 6:30pm for dinner guests.

*Early bird pricing ends Wednesday, April 23. Prices are subject to tax. No refunds or exchanges.

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From Britannia Mines blog: What Does LEGO Have to Do with Mining?

I missed posting about this earlier, but it’s a great blog entry for our recently closed Britannia Mining Museum.  It’s been lifted from their blog which can be found here.


What Does Lego Have to do with Mining?

Posted on Monday, March 10, 2014 by Michelle Chan, Exhibit & Program Coordinator

People love Lego – it’s fun, simple, creative, and reminds many of their childhood. I was excited to seeThe History and Future of Mining, a custom-created exhibit by the Vancouver Lego Club come to life at the Museum a week ago and even had a chance to help piece together a couple walls to help with the set up.

But why is the Museum displaying an exhibit made out of LEGO? Isn’t it just a toy for kids?

As the adult builders who are part of the Vancouver Lego Club will tell you, Lego is a building material for all ages. It’s a great way to learn the basics of structural engineering, and many teaching institutions use Mindstorms (a kit that enables builders to assemble robots, program with computers, and control them via Bluetooth, apps and even voice command) to teach about robotics and movement.

This all sounds great for a science centre, how does it fit with the Britannia Mine Museum?

Britannia and Lego share the same spirit of creativity and innovation. Although the principle behind the techniques used in mining and milling have remained more or less the same over decades, Britannia was a place of invention and experimentation. This drive and desire to maximize efficiency pushed Britannia to be a leader with its gravity-fed Mill 3 and use of froth flotation to separate chalcopyrite from waste rock.

Lego means “I put together” in Latin. Each brick by itself is just that – a single brick – but the sum of its parts can result in amazing creations like vehicles, cranes, and furniture. The success of Britannia also lay in the sum of its parts as employees and machines worked together to mine and mill raw ore and make the Britannia Mine the largest producer of copper in the British Commonwealth in 1929.

For a lot of people, mining may not seem the most accessible subject and the Museum (indeed, ANY museum) is always looking for new ways to capture the imagination and attention of every visitor, no matter their enthusiasm. As a visual medium, Lego can make a subject fun and relatable for all ages.The History and Future of Mining display is split into four quadrants that are briefly explained in less than 100 words, but the beauty of the display is that visitors can easily learn the different methods used in each time period by simply examining it – no reading required.

The display extends beyond the table and the Vancouver Lego Club has “hidden” 20 minifigures around the Museum site as an interactive “scavenger hunt”. Visitors are encouraged to find the minifigures and identify them on a ballot sheet for a chance to win a special prize supplied by the VLC. The customizable nature of Lego allows its users to create anything they can imagine and it means that the minifigures often relate to the place they were hidden. Here’s a freebie: a minifigure getting dressed for work is hidden in our Copper Sulphate building where there is a display of miners’ lockers containing clothes and hard hats.

While this display may not be 100% true to reality (the presence of an alien and a surfer come to mind) it is enough for visitors to gain a general understanding of the big picture ideas rather than concentrate on the fine details of statistics and fact. At the end of the day, we hope our visitors leave the Museum with good memories, a few new ideas and an inspired interest in our unique subject and Lego is just the perfect click-fit for Britannia.

The History & Future of Mining by the Vancouver Lego Club is on display in the Assay until April 6, 2014.

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Beyond the BrickBaron – Paul Hetherington interviewed on video

Paul Hetherington a.k.a. BrickBaron is a LEGO builder and artist who is well known throughout the LEGO AFOL community.  Last night, he did an interview with Joshua Hanlon and Matthew Kay from the YouTube channel Beyond the Brick.   It was an informative interview with a lot of good questions and answers and insights into how Paul builds. (hint: deadlines)


Paul Hetherington (BrickBaron) with author and visual artist Douglas Coupland

The interview also reminds me of his many accomplishments that I’ve missed blogging about in the past few months.   He had an article in the February 2014 Brick Journal, his award winning Joker’s Fun House, his won the of the Dean Lovell MOC of the Year award, a few community showcases at the Oakridge LEGO Store and his “advert”-like 40th Anniversary Minifig bus.

We are spoiled and grateful to have him as a member of the VLC and continually look forward to seeing all that he has yet to create for many years to come.

Streamed live on Apr 9, 2014

Joshua Hanlon and Matthew Kay talk with Paul Hetherington.

Joker’s Funhouse:

40th Anniversary Minifig build:

Dean Lovell Award:

Vancouver B.C. Union Station:

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The VLC at Vancouver Mini Maker Faire at the PNE – June 7-8, 2014

We had a lot of fun last year at Vancouver Mini Maker Faire.   It’s great to know that so many of you Makers played and built with LEGO in your youth but then when on to find different mediums to express yourself artistically or professionally.

We’re here to show you that LEGO is still relevant and cool, so come back and see what people are building with it now!

So it’s with great pleasure to find out that we were once again accepted to be part of this year’s Vancouver Mini-Maker Faire (no thanks to me, forgetting application deadlines.) which will again be at the PNE forums.

I had a bit of trouble filling out our application because frankly, I don’t know exactly what our members are going to be showcasing this year.  A lot of our guys are working on projects and some are last minute clutch builders.

I do know that Paul Hetherington will be bringing out Fabuland Fun Faire.  This is a whimsical creation that stirs up a lot of LEGO nostalgia for those growing up in the late 70′s early 80′s.

Below is a video of the creation, but it really should be seen in person to truly appreciate it.

We’re going to do our best to bring things that are interactive, fun and kinetic.   And definitely, it’s a surprise.  (to us too.)

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Slow News days at the Vancouver Sun – LEGO related articles

Must be slow news days at the Vancouver Sun. Normally, I wouldn’t post these here as they are to say the least, oddball.  For the past few days, the Vancouver Sun have posted articles which mention LEGO and not in a good light.  I provide these more for your amusement as they are rather silly articles.  And no, they weren’t even posted on April Fool’s day.

Priest: New Legos ‘can destroy souls’

We’re evil? Okay, Unikitty is.

The first one was about a Polish Priest who decried the evil direction that LEGO is heading in with their Monster Fighters line with it’s Lord Vampire.  New Legos “are a tool of satan and can destroy souls”.  (yup he’s evil, he pluralized Lego)  Of course, he’s also come out against, Hello Kitty and My Little Pony (sorry, bronies)

LEGO is Evil: Priest says.

I see it now. Kim is in the middle and the others are the Real Housewives.

The other was an article about products with gender bias.  And it determined that the LEGO Friends brand was the equivalent of The Real Housewives television series or Keeping Up with the Kardashians.  To their credit, they did write that “when product packaging skews male or female, it is rarely pointless.”

Why gendered products not only persist but thrive

Yay! Everything is AWESOME!

But on a positive note, Tegan and Sara won a bunch of Juno awards.  Although long time artists, they have most recently had a wave of new converts to their music, due to them performing the ever popular song from The LEGO Movie, Everything is Awesome.

Tegan and Sara finding Everything is Awesome

“When I went to see the movie, I was sitting outside the theatre and I could hear the song blasting out of the (cinema),” Quin recalled. “I was both weirdly proud and then also terribly embarrassed of being there. I was just like, oh my God, are people going to come out of the theatre and be like: ‘Oh, there’s the idiot who sang the song sitting out there. What the hell is she doing?’

“It’s so awkward. But I also was like, this is amazing. This is so cool. To be sitting here laughing and listening to the song.”

Editor: I recently heard first hand from a well known person that he was singing the Everything is Awesome song in the car with his friends and then they ended up at a restaurant sitting at the table next to you, Tegan and Sara.  So no, they were not thinking you were an idiot, they think you’re awesome.

Tegan and Sara, their clothing as colourful as LEGO bricks. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

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Even more Photos from the Brick and Drink Mixer at Science World After Dark

Here are some more pictures from Science World After Dark – The Drink and Brick Mixer. This was truly an amazing evening and everyone who came had a lot of fun with LEGO bricks. What more could you ask for in an awesome evening out?


There were great people, drinks and LEGO.  We heard that a lot of  you missed out on getting tickets, so there’s another opportunity. Science World is doing all again on April 25, so get your tickets early this time!

Photos courtesy of VLC member Allan Corbeil.

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[article] Langara Voice: Vancouver LEGO Club: Big Kids with Little Toys

A couple weeks back, Keith and Pierre were contacted by Ashley Legassic for an article for the Langara Voice.  It is reproduced here from the following link:

The Voice Online

Vancouver Lego Club: Big kids with little toys

March 26, 2014 1:56 pm

Lego isn’t just for kids, and the Vancouver Lego Club (VLC) has shown that a strong community can be built using tiny blocks.

The adult-only club has grown from a handful of friends in a basement to a team of 25 consistent members with an online base of 600 people in just 10 years, according to club member Keith Reed.

Vancouver Lego Club member Paul Hetherington’s structure, titled “Firetruck Hotrod,” is displayed at Oakridge Centre’s Lego store. Photo by Ashley Legassic

Vancouver Lego Club member Paul Hetherington’s structure, titled “Firetruck Hotrod,” is displayed at Oakridge Centre’s Lego store.
Photo by Ashley Legassic

The VLC exhibits its Lego art in many shows, which requires the efforts of each member and sometimes more than a year of planning. In the past, their creative structures have been showcased at places such as the Oakridge Centre Lego store and the VanDusen Botanical Garden’s Festival of Lights.

More than just fun and games

Although these shows make up the largest chunk of the group’s activities, the club has also laid the building blocks for a young boy’s dream through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, said Oakridge resident and club publicist Pierre Chum.

“We managed to help a little kid with his Make-A-Wish, which was to go down to Legoland.  Since he relapsed we were able to bring him into our exhibit and have him [see] the show beforehand, before anybody was there. Just watching the expression on his face was just priceless,” said Chum.

The Surrey Museum’s bi-annual Lego show requires some of the longest planning. The most recent one, Lego: Myths and Muses, clocked in at a year-and-a-half’s worth of work.

The collaborative effort from each member resulted in a landscape that highlighted goddesses, monsters and heroes from across the ancient Mediterranean.

“For me personally, I think the biggest thing we’ve ever done . . . was the Surrey Museum. I think that stands as the biggest show we still do,” said VLC member Keith Reed. “I joined the club just when they started the planning for that so I was thrown right into the mixing pot.”

Club open to all the young at heart

Anyone is welcome to join the VLC to get in touch with their inner child, Chum said.

“People are big kids at heart. That’s always what we’re saying.

“We’re always looking to re-connect with our youth . . . That’s what we aim to do with the [VLC], to show people that Lego is still cool and very relevant, and you can build amazing things with it.”

Reported by Ashley Legassic

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[article] Capilano Courier – BRICK BY BRICK: Lego Beyond A Childhood Toy

Original link:

Lego Beyond A Childhood Toy

By Romila Barryman | Published: March 12, 2014

“Leg godt” or “Play Well” was the ideology Ole Kirk Christiansen used to build his toy company in 1932. This Danish phrase inspired the name for what is now the third-largest toy manufacturer. The most prominent product the company produces is one that is a norm for generations growing up — the Lego brick. However, the unlimited building possibilities of the Lego brick were introduced in 1958, over 25 years after the company’s inception. Now with the release of Lego: The Movie, the revival of Lego has been introduced among adults.The use of Lego ranges from being an architectural tool to therapeutic use for children with disorders.


Little plastic building blocks in primary colours; that was as far as Lego got for the childhood of many. With the box office success of Lego: The Movie, raking in $31.5 million in its third running weekend,the success and evolution of the once simple blocks was evident to many. The movie was a crowd-pleaser,not only for the young teens who went and the parents who took them, but for many major critics out there. Entertainment Weekly raved that it was“a helter-skelter kiddie adventure built out of plastic toy components, but it’s fast and original, it’s conceptually audacious, it’s visually astonishing, and it’s 10 times more clever and smart and funny than it needed to be.”

But as Michael O’Sullivan of the Washington Post noted, “The LEGO Movie pokes fun at anyone who would argue that LEGO products are, as one character puts it, ‘a highly sophisticated, interlocking brick system,’ and not simply toys.” It is clear that the movie has introduced a change in perception for the bricks, but many take it a step further and resurrect new interest for the cherished childhood game through the diverse range of uses for the product outside of the bricks being the “simple toys” that they’ve always been known as.


Vancouver Lego Club is a growing community for Lego enthusiasts and home to people that are still children at heart. Since its beginnings in 2001, the organization houses members from a multitude of culturally diverse backgrounds and is not predominant in one gender, but the one common feature among them is that they are mostly adults with stable incomes and committed, long-term relationships. “There’s a good majority of adults there not with children,”reveals Pierre Chum, spokesperson of the Vancouver Lego Club. “Some had given Lego up as kids and came back to use it either as an architectural product, a creative game or just for the fun of building. At the Vancouver Lego Club they have a place where they can pick it up and go, you know, there’s still life in these blocks.”

Spaces like the Vancouver Lego Club act as a place that can provide a rekindling experience for many, but for engineer Jonathan Tippett, putting down his Lego set was never a problem. The hands-on feeling that the plastic pieces gave him started his desire to build and led him into pursuing a career in building robots. “The first thing you gotta do is get off your couch and play with real objects like Legos,” Tippet emphasizes in describing how to foster a successful start to engineering through childhood.

With Lego Travel showcased at Science World, the latest store opening at Guildford Town Centre and events at the Vancouver Art Gallery, the toy seems to be at reach in bringing back the experience for adults.


The prominent reds, yellows, blues and greens can gravitate even the eldest from a crowd, but for children with autism and other neurobehavioral disorders, the pieces of plastic are especially engaging and even create a gateway to better behaviour in sharing and making friends. In St. Albert, Edmonton, twin brothers Tyler and Tyson Burns joined the Lego-Social Skills, one of the first Lego therapy programs in Canada, to alleviate their struggles with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.“It naturally re-enforces social behaviour. Because they have this affinity for Lego, because they love playing with it, they have to cooperate, they have to work with one another in order to build something and accomplish something,” Dyan Eygergen, a nurse at the Lego-Social Skills Group, explained in an interview with Global BC.

The first of the findings in Lego therapy was by psychologist Dr. Daniel LeGoff, who worked with and under the supervision of an international team at Cambridge University. Although the research was narrowed to autistic children and Lego as a skill-building setting, the therapy has been used for children with ADHD or, as in Tyler and Tyson’s case, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. However, as with the introduction of new programs and research, many school systems and mental health facilities are hesitant to use Lego therapy because the bricks are too expensive, or due to disagreements around it being too atheoretical.


Growing up, Chum was an avid Lego builder and a creative enthusiast, but never thought of one day using it to connect to the next generation. “I only had a few sets but it was cherished but subsequently, I put it away,” he admits.“When my nephew was born, we brought it back out and he started building some really cool stuff.” The choice in products didn’t fit just the sole interest of tikes, but it was something that Chum could engage in with his nephew. “I wanted to find sets that were of interest to both of us,” he laughs. “It was really about finding stuff for him, but for me as well.” Fast forward a few years later and Chum becomes uncle to a new niece. “She’s maintained the interest a lot longer than he has,” he says, giving the chance to flourish a bond that could only be recreated in a shared childhood.

At the age of five, Chum’s niece was diagnosed with cancer and was in the Make A Wish program where Chum had the ability to connect with the Vancouver Lego Club. “When we actually started working with [the] Make A Wish program, it was an interesting way to give back to raise money by using the talent and skills of the club in a simple way to say thank you,” he reveals. Since then, Chum has been taking the same joy of Lego he gives to adultsthrough the organization and recreating it with terminally ill children who may have forgotten their sense of wonder and youth.

The Vancouver Lego Club’s newest partnership with the Ronald McDonald House ensures that children at the B.C. Children’s Hospital don’t miss out on the experience. “You just want to build an environment that’s comfortable,” Chum emphasizes. “Just to be able to provide these kids with more Lego than they could have ever possibly had at home and by actually building a Lego room, instead of just a room with just some Lego in it — it’s going to be quite exciting.”

The spectrum of uses and connections Chum has found on a personal level is a remarkable showcase of the plethora of uses that Lego can have. “I think, for us, it’s showing people that Lego is still fun and relevant. Whether it’s woodwork or crafts or engineering, they most likely had the same roots and they most likely had it in Lego. It’s connecting to the community.”

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Photos from Science World After Dark: The Brick and Drinks Mixer – Feb 21, 2014

Remembering all the fun of Friday night at Science World After Dark: The Bricks and Drinks Mixer edition.

Photos courtesy of VLC member Tyler Sky. 

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Thanks for attending Science World After Dark Feb 2014 with us!

Well, I guess technically it was called Science World After Dark: The Bricks and Drinks Mixer.  But what we’re calling it is a helluva lot of fun with LEGO on a Friday night.  And the alcohol certainly didn’t hurt.   Except that guy who spilled wine on our LEGO bricks.  We’re not thanking him.  (just kidding, he was good about it.)

So we had a lot of people come through our stations on the second floor to take part in our merriment.  They included:

  • Speed builds – everyone builds the same set in the fastest time possible.
  • Bag builds - everyone builds a small set within a baggie.
  • Partner blind build – people pair up and build a set together, one is blindfolded and assembles the set while the partner gives instructions
  • Themed Freebuild - participants are given access to our tubs of LEGO to build for a set amount of time based on a theme.
  • Brickfilms in the Theatre - I bet a lot of you missed this.  There were awesome stop motion animation LEGO films as well, as our very own Paul Hetherington’s Joker’s Fun House.
  • LEGO Drag Racing – or as I preferred to call it, the Ramp of Doom.   Taking the Legend of Chima Speedorz, you launched your customized sigfig off our ramp and hopefully into a bucket.

As well, we had some of our member’s creations at the entrance of the LEGO Travel Adventure exhibit.

Photos will be up shortly are up for all of those who built your wonderful creations at our themed freebuild station and those of you lucky ones who won your heat at our various events and got the coveted paper gold medal with red brick.   Okay, it was yellow.

Click here for the photos

The adults evening event was so popular (a record attendance for SWAD) that we are being asked to come back to provide entertainment for the next Science World After Dark: The Bricks and Drinks Mixer (Green Month Style) on April 25th, 2014.  Will we see you there?

We’re thinking about a few more different events, different sets and a new area will be opened up for us which will make it even more interesting and that much more fun, if you’re going to come join us again!

Early bird pricing is $18.  Regular pricing is $25 but it sold out before it could get to regular.  So book early.   You don’t want to be like those guys on Craigslist who were scrambling at the last minutes to buy tickets.  Book by clicking on the the above EVERYTHING IS AWESOME or on this boring link Book your tickets now

And if you don’t know why everything is awesome….



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