Months after opening a 6000-square-foot campus in Vancouver and weeks after opening a new 20,000 square-foot campus in Toronto, digital education institution BrainStation is opening the doors of its innovation hubs across Canada to the public this week, by running a series of free evening workshops with the goal of teaching more than 2,500 Canadians how to code.

“Every Canadian needs to understand the basics of web development and technology in order to compete in 2016 and onwards,” BrainStation Founder Jason Field said in a statement. “It’s not necessarily about becoming a web developer, it’s about comprehending what’s possible and approaching digital problems with a new level of confidence and comprehension.”

The initiative’s timing is directly tied to the Computer Science Education Week, which runs from Dec. 7 to 13 and encourages teachers and computer science experts around the world to expose as many students as possible to computer science by leading them through an “Hour Of Code.”

It’s not just children who need the exposure: Field noted that BrainStation’s student body has grown by 600 per cent in 2015 because of the expanding demand for digital skills in the workplace, and much has been written on this very site about that demand and the ever-widening intersection between IT and other businesses.

BrainStation’s Toronto campus, located at the corner of King and Spadina, and its Vancouver campus, located in Yaletown, will both serve as public learning centres from now until Dec. 13, though the institution itself offers free community workshops, in addition to full and part-time courses and enterprise training in digital business, design and technology, throughout the year.

The organization is also encouraging mentors from both cities’ tech communities to join them in teaching computer science fundamentals as a way to give back to their communities.

Vancouver and Toronto residents who wish to participate in BrainStation’s Computer Science Education Week workshops are encouraged to visit the institution’s event page to learn more. Enrollment is free but participants need to bring their own laptop if they actually wish to code.

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