Bunny Cafe hosts rabbit-themed watercolour lessons for people to unwind

The hour and a half workshops offer people a chance to learn new art skills, chat with the community, and bond with fluffy bunnies

The next rabbit-themed watercolour lessons at Vancouver's Bunny Cafe will take place in January. (Submitted)

The next rabbit-themed watercolour lessons at Vancouver’s Bunny Cafe will take place in January. (Submitted)

Vancouver’s Bunny Cafe is offering watercolour and drawing workshops throughout December and into the new year for the first time since it opened last year. 

The café located at 1696 Venables St. and its sister shop, the Catfe, will take turns hosting the classes taught by Erin Green, who has been teaching art for 15 years. 

“It is just a fun way to celebrate the animals and relax,” says Michelle Furbacher, the owner of both cafés. 

The premise of the Bunny Cafe is to act as a therapeutic space where customers can unwind and interact with adoptable rescued rabbits. This is the first establishment of its kind in North America, and the workshops are another inviting particularity. The idea for the partnership with Green came up after Furbacher attended one of the artist’s classes. 

“I actually took a watercolour class from her and it was a really fun experience. I even started doing more watercolour on my own, so I’m excited to be able to share that with people,” Furbacher says. 

“We have been organising lots of different events to build a community and provide something fun and different for people to do.” 

All of the bunnies in the café come from Rabbitats, a non-profit organization based in Richmond that rescues rabbits who have been abandoned or surrendered. 

“We had a pop-up Bunny Cafe at Catfe in December 2018 and it worked so well that we decided to start our own, which opened last summer,” she says. “We just wanted to be able to do the same thing we’re doing for the cats with the bunnies.” 

Although the Catfe, which celebrates its seventh anniversary this month, has hosted art classes before, this is the first activity of its kind with the bunnies. The session is an hour and a half long, and afterwards participants have a chance to hangout and pet the rabbits. 

“It’s a really different change of pace because usually the animals get so much attention from people that are just excited to see them. This changes the dynamic and makes them even more curious like ‘why aren’t people petting me?’”

No previous experience is needed to attend the workshops.

“This is a perfect class for beginners and for people who have used watercolour before,” Green wrote in an email to The Runner.  

“They will learn basic drawing techniques like contour line drawing and using simple shapes to create proportionate drawings. For the watercolour portion, I will show wet on wet and wet on dry techniques,” she wrote. 

The artist is an instructor of illustration at Emily Carr University and has her own private teaching practice called Children of the Craft. 

“I start with the most basic basics and I like to keep things light and silly so everyone is truly welcome,” Green said. 

Furbacher says the activity is even more inviting during the holiday season. 

“Before Christmas is a hectic time, when everyone is busy shopping and preparing, so it’s nice to kick back, relax with the bunnies and have a chance to be creative instead of just buying, buying, buying,” she says.  

The café offers regular visits and aims to promote a space to teach people more about bunnies. Taking inspiration after the animals, the menu is completely vegan and there’s also a bunny-themed gift shop. 

All December workshops at both locations are now sold out, but the next classes take place on Jan. 2 and 16. Booking is available online up to four weeks in advance on the Bunny Cafe website.