Shop Assistant Program


The Shop Assistant Program (SAPlings) is a unique initiative in Fine Arts where students volunteer two hours per week with our virtual teams in exchange for skill training out of the Core Technical Centre shops. SAPlings host virtual exhibitions, vernissages, collage nights, game nights and more!

How the SAPling program works

This initiative began in 2018 as a way to give students a new path to increasing their overall knowledge of tools and shop skills. Currently with the shops open in a hybrid capacity, SAPling two-hour shifts are done online in a small team that each SAPling has chosen to work with. These teams work on initiatives to increase opportunities for skill-sharing, exhibiting and addressing issues around ease-of-access and other anxieties students have. This program works on the basis of equitable exchange, and is flexible, adapting to the ideas of each semester's student makeup.

What the SAPlings do

Last year we called our virtual group the PIXLS (Peer Interface eXchange Learning for Students) and ran several successful events, skill shares, gatherings — we even conceptualized, designed and curated a virtual exhibition entitled Homemade!

With the hybrid return to the Engineering and Visual Arts Complex (EV) building and Core Technical Centre (CTC) shops the original SAPlings program and the PIXLS virtual program have been joined together offering virtual and on-site opportunities to experience the best of both programs!

Want to know more about our other shops and programs?

EV wood shop

Wood shop
(EV building)

EV metal shop

Metal shop
(EV building)

Fabrication shop


Digital fabrication shop

Digital fabrication

Ready to join SAPlings?

To apply to join the SAPlings program:

  • The application deadline is Monday, September 20
  • To be eligible to join you must be a Fine Arts student
  • Intake is on a first-come, first-serve basis

Contact information
Project coordinator: Breanna Shanahan

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