Seeking Emerging Artists to Participate in the Vancouver Experimental Theremin Orchestra

Are you an emerging artist between the ages of 18 and 24 interested in building and experimenting with a theremin?

With support from the TELUS Vancouver Community Board, VIVO Media Arts Centre and multimedia artists Wynne Palmer, Justin Devries, Rob Symmers and David Leith are hosting a free youth mentorship that will take place at VIVO from May-June, with a final performance in July.

 Mentorship Activities & Outcomes:

  • 2 hr. Talk and Demo (The Theremin in Contemporary Art Practice) & demo with VETO mentor Wynne Palmer + Calgary trained thereminist Kathryn Davies (aka Molly Merriweather)
  • Hands-on 14-16hrs. instruction in soldering and completing PAIA theremin kit, with musician Dave Leith and electronics expert Rob Symmers
  • 6-8hrs Rehearsal with both VETO + Laptop Orchestras, under guidance of Justin Devries
  • Live performance as new members of VETO in a major show
  • Learning to work with emerging/mid career/ senior artists, producers, musicians and dancers in show preparation, rehearsals and production for a live event.


Note: If you would like to get involved with the Theremin Orchestra but are outside of the age range specified, we have 4 spots available in an upcoming theremin workshop. To reserve a spot, call VIVO at 604-872-8337. (Cost for the workshop is $400 for members and $450 for non-members. This includes the cost of the theremin kit, priced at ~170+GST and shipping). If you have any questions, call VIVO or email Emily at education(at)

What is the Vancouver Experimental Theremin Orchestra?


The Vancouver Experimental Theremin Orchestra (VETO) was formed by the participants in a theremin building workshop held at VIVO Media Arts Centre in Vancouver, BC in the summer of 2011. VETO was formed out of and continues to be supported by the Education Program at VIVO Media Arts Centre. VETO has performed for the Signal + Noise Festival, The Xenakis Festival for Vancouver New Music, for Interactive Futures: Animal Influence (, amongst other events.

VETO is the only theremin orchestra in Canada, and one of a few worldwide. Each member of the orchestra has a uniquely tuned instrument which contributes to the richness of the sound created by this ensemble.

The instrument was invented by a young Russian physicist named Lev Sergeivich Termen (known in the West as Léon Theremin) in October 1920. The controlling section usually consists of two metal antennas which sense the position of the player’s hands and control oscillators for frequency with one hand, and amplitude (volume) with the other, so it can be played without being touched. The electric signals from the theremin are amplified and sent to a loudspeaker. The theremin is associated with a very eerie sound, which has led to its use in movie soundtracks and especially avant-garde 20th and 21st century new music.

Criteria For Selection:

  • 18-24yrs. old
  • A firm commitment to complete all parts of the mentorship: the workshop, rehearsals, and final exhibition on July 4th (Exhibition at Vancouver Mini Maker Faire is optional)
  • A statement of intent: Tell us a bit about yourself, your background, and why you think you’d make a great fit for this mentorship.
  • No previous experience required. Just a strong desire to learn and create. If you have a background in music production, or multimedia arts, do tell us about it.


Key Dates:

Intro to the mentorship:

Tuesday, May 19th, 6-8 pm

Theremin Build:

May 23rd and 24th, 10am-5 pm.

Rehearsal Dates:

June 9th, June 13th, June 26th and July 3rd, 7-9 pm

Final Exhibition:

July 4th at VIVO

Choosing an enclosure for your Theremin:

It must be made of wood or fibreboard no metal .  We have found that the antennas for a Therimin should be at least 30cm apart and some of the best machines had theirs 45cm+ apart— so the ideal box size would be 12cm high x 12cm deep x 30+cm long with the control panel on the 12cm side facing the operator. The control panel measures 9cm x 27.5cm and can be placed on the top or the front side.   Keep in mind that if it’s placed on the top the cables and jacks that come out of panel may interfere with the operation of the Therimin as they may come close to the antennas. Some examples are flatware cases, jewellery boxes, instrument cases (microscope), boxes for machinist tools (Large micrometer, Height gage) old dome style sewing machine covers.

To apply, please fill in the following application. If you have any questions, email Emily at education(at)

** Application closes May 8th.