Organizers and participants filled Ryerson’s Rogers Communications Centre on Saturday, Oct. 19, for the first Canadian DIY Days, a day of workshops and speakers. PHOTOS: Robyn Bell

Ryerson hosts its first-ever DIY Days

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By Lara Onayak

Broadcasters, directors, designers, writers and entrepreneurs shared their visions, ongoing projects and accomplishments at DIY Days on Saturday, Oct. 19, at Ryerson’s Rogers Communications Centre.

Toronto’s first DIY Days – a gathering focused on storytelling, collaborative design and social good – consisted of speakers, workshops and interactive sessions with focuses ranging from climate change to experimental storytelling to game design.

“This is an event that has been growing and happening in ten cities worldwide,” said Richard Lachman, director of the RTA Transmedia Centre, which hosted the event. “I wanted to work with stories and become part of this organization.”

DIY Days has been held in cities such as Los Angeles, New York and Warsaw in the past.

“Toronto is an amazing city,” said Lachman. “There are television people, digital people, app people, educators, youth workers and so many projects going on. We really wanted to make an event that would bring these people together.”

The theme of the event was Wish for the Future, chosen by Lance Weiler, director of Lyka’s Adventure, a film that tells the story of a robot scientist who comes to earth to collect data on the environment.

Weiler said Wish for the Future is one of DIY Days’ “fundamental foundations… We’ve used it all over the world.” One of the event’s most popular workshops was Wish Zone, in which participants wrote down their wishes for the future. The wishes were then rendered into stories and prototypes with Play Doh by others at the event.

Another workshop, Open Talk Sessions, allowed attendees to speak about their own projects in ten-minute intervals.

Charles Falzon, chair of the RTA School of Media, hopes to make DIY Days an annual event.

“This movement is really the beginning of the future,” said Falzon. “It’s about shifting, changing how we think, sharing, evolving and a new way of being who we are as individuals and as a society.”

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