The Bus is a collaborative community project based on the philosophy of the gift. The gifting philosophy does not mean money is not involved – simply that, whenever possible, alternative exchanges will be utilized, volunteerism encouraged, and salvaged materials incorporated into the project. This focus of gifting and service will be the spark that inspires others to receive the invitation to join the story.

There is a lot of fun work to do, read on to see what has been done, what is needed still, and how you can help!


Video Recap of Early Spring 2016

Stage One: Repair and Transport to Calgary (April 2016) – Complete

The bus was purchased in Fernie, BC for a great deal as it required some repairs before being driven. After four trips to Fernie to work on it, we had the bus rolling and back in Calgary for the start of May.

Stage Two: Interior Strip, Veg Conversion, and Bench Build (May/June 2016) – Complete

The first three weeks of work involved removing the seats, tearing out the old floor, and polishing the rust to make the metal interior fresh for the rebuild. That left three more weeks until the start of the 2016 inaugural tour, during which time we put in a new floor, framed some walls, built the benches, painted the exterior, and converted the bus to run on waste veggie oil. (See video above for visual summary)

Stage Three: Interior Transformation and Build (Fall/Winter 2016) – Complete

Another couple of months in late fall/early winter saw the beds, bathroom, and kitchen being built. Much of the framing and walls are complete, the compost toilet installed, audio system (with subs) finished, LED lighting and electrical outlets installed, and salvaged kitchen cabinets and sink obtained.

Stage Four: Interior Building – Spring 2017 – Complete

Spring of 2017 was a short build session as we had a few registration/insurance hurdles to overcome and the weeks leading up to our summer tour sped by. Flooring was installed, doors were painted and built, a fridge was found, batteries for power were bought, the waste veggie oil system upgraded, and some trim was included.

Stage Five: Finishing Interior and Full Vision Realization – Winter/Spring 2018 – In Process

The final build chapter of the bus and the ultimate vision of it being a functioning, sustainable, tiny home will include the installation of a full solar panel electrical system to power the refrigerator, induction stove top, and all of the outlets/lighting. There will be a rainwater harvesting and filtration system, installation of tables/desk space that also functions as sleeping space, mounting a metal rooftop rack, finishing and detailing the wooden interior, and finally decorating the bus in a most delightful and homey of fashions. Read on to find out more of what is needed and how you can get involved!


Below you will find the needs required in order to continue from the present stage of the rebuild and conversion into the fully functioning grand vision. The various needs are divided into five categories of capital: space, materials, human skills, equipment, and financial. As per the gifting model, rather than have the focus on the financial capital, priority is first given to the four other forms of capital, and money is essentially the fuel that gets everything moving.

Offers to fill each need (i.e. in the form of time or materials) are ‘votes’ for the project by the community. This shows the support and desire to see the project come to fruition and reverses the ‘money first’ mentality that guides, but cannot ensure, a successful project.

With the overwhelming support already received and positive feedback from the summer, we are excited to continue moving forward with vision for the summer 2018 quests! The details below are only what is still needed, not what has come together so far (which is a lot!).

If you have any of the items listed below and would like to offer them to the project, please let us know! This is the space to invite and facilitate purposeful gifting (to a specific need).


  1. Space

The space capital requirement is where the project will physically come together. For the Dreamweaver Bus, we will need a space large enough for a 40’ bus to be parked and worked on in order to continue the transformation. The renovation and work to be done on the bus will require some storage space for tools and materials during that time. Note: Need is currently filled.

  1. Materials

The material capital needs are what tangible items are required in order to create the final vision of the bus. They are the consumable materials – all are being consumed/used/stay with the bus as part of the project. Below you can find each of the listed material needs (not entirely comprehensive, but fairly detailed – some have specific size requirements if you need to know feel free to ask).

Since the project is being undertaking in Calgary, we are confident in our connections and community’s ability to remain gift and eco-focused by finding previously loved and salvaged materials. This ultimately keeps the financial requirements low, and reduces our reliance on the continued consumption of the Earth’s resources.

  • The Bus Renovations
    • Building Materials – hardware (screws, nails, glue, hooks, fasteners), wood (plywood, 2×4, 2×2, etc), countertop, caulking, sand paper, cupboard handles, doors, and hinges, flooring, a door, paints, thin cedar panels/plywood for the interior roof
    • Appliances – induction stove top
    • Electrical System – solar panels and controller, wires, lighting, batteries, inverter, roof sealant, electrical tape, fuses and fuse box
    • Plumbing – water pump, shower head, pipes and joiners, fresh water tank, grey/black water tank, hose clamps, water harvest storage tanks, metal eaves trough
    • Comforts – mattresses/foam for beds, bedding (sheets, pillows, blankets), chair for the desk, window covers (blinds or curtains), strong magnets
    • Kitchen Stock – Utensils, pots and pans, cooking tools, bowls and plates, cups and mugs
    • Veggie System – fuel filters and veggie oil
    • Roof Rack and exterior ladder – square aluminum rods
  1. Human Skills/Time

This capital category is why the project comes together – through the time and skills that people offer to the co-creation of the project’s vision. The list covers the basic skill sets required to build the bus’ living systems and processes. Whatever you love to do, we have a space for it and all skill levels are welcome – this is also opportunity for you to come and learn about any of these useful talents in a safe, fun, and supportive environment.

Some potential skills include: Carpentry, solar/electrical, plumbing, mechanical (diesel/heavy duty), design, ‘tiny home’ building, photography/media, web support, creative artistry (painting, drawing, etc), vegetable oil collection, and sewing.

  1. Equipment/Tools

The equipment capital requirements are how the work is done – the tools, machines, and equipment needed to transform the raw materials into the finished product. Below is a list of what will be needed for the conversion and renovations (tangible items that are not consumed by the construction).

Huge thanks and shout out to the Calgary Tool Library who has been an integral part to obtaining many of the tools used so far!

  • Wood Working – table saw, chop saw, hammers, tape measure, levels, drills, sander
  • Other Tools – socket set, screwdrivers, caulking gun, utility knives, workmate benches
  • Electrical – wire cutters and strippers, solder
  • Metal/Mechanical – welder, hack saw
  1. Financial

The financial capital needed represents when everything happens and movement takes place between the people, places, and things in the previous four categories of needs. It is the fuel that sparks the exchange of resources and coming together of the project’s needs. Each day, we work on what we can with the resources we have available.

The philosophy of the gift invites everyone to offer their gifts to each of the capital requirements. For some people, offering donations and financial support is the way in which they are most able to help, and for some of the needs of the vision, money is required. This inflow comes from fundraising events, sponsors, investors, core involvement, and tour participation.

The approximate financial requirements remaining to complete the bus vision are estimated to be $8,000, with a major portion of that going to the solar panels and electrical systems (about $4-5k). So far, including operating expenses from the summer travels, the bus has already funded around $24,000 to get to where it is, thanks to the growing community support in the vision. All of the fund usage is shared in open transparency for those wishing to see.

If you have any of the items listed above and would like to offer them to the project, please let us know! This is the space to invite and facilitate purposeful gifting (to a specific need).