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Repair Café this weekend in Kelowna

Sarah Norrlund, a volunteer from last fall's Repair Cafe.
November 03, 2015 - 3:30 PM

KELOWNA - Do you have something at home that’s broken and needs fixing or repair?  Really wish you could give it a new life, but you just don’t know how to go about it? Don’t put it off any longer! Bring it to the Repair Café this weekend at Okanagan College, and get it fixed at last, for free

Hosted by the Regional Waste Reduction Office, the Repair Café runs Saturday, Nov. 7, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Center for Learning Atrium at Okanagan College on KLO Road. Fueled entirely by volunteer fixers, the event is free to the public, as is parking on site for the day.

Waste Reduction Facilitator Rae Stewart with the Regional District says this is a great way for people to get more use out of their items, and save them from landfilling.” It’s a revival of the whole culture of repair, reuse and re-purpose.  Given the traffic we see coming through these events, it seems to be something many of us have a real appetite for these days!”

Stewart adds volunteers are the backbone of these Repair Cafés. “It’s a simple concept. We bring together those with the knowhow to fix everyday items such as small appliances, bikes, clothing and more, with people who have items that need to be fixed. With over 20 volunteers attending this weekends’ event alone, there’s a massive array of expertise available. It goes without saying, we couldn’t possibly host these Café’s without the dedication of these many talented craftspeople, and we’re hugely appreciative of all those who generously share their time and skills!’

One such volunteer who has participated in two previous Repair Café events, and will be at this weekend’s event as well is retired electrical engineer Al Stewart. “I like to come out to these Repair Cafes because I enjoy giving back to my community. I feel I have a useful skill that I can share with others, sometimes teach them something new, share an ah-ha moment, or just make them happy by giving their broken down item a whole new life. I get a real kick out of fixing things, have fun meeting new people and hanging out with likeminded volunteer fixers. It’s all very rewarding.”

Rae Stewart explains for anyone who visits a Repair Café, you should be ready to be part of the process as the learning approach is key. “We’re not looking for you to just drop your stuff off and come back later when it’s all fixed up again. We’re encouraging you to sit with the person fixing, you can either do the whole thing yourself or assist with the repair, or just observe. A big part of it is showing people they can actually repair things themselves, so empowerment is a big piece of the puzzle.”

Repair Café is still somewhat new for our area, but not a new concept says Stewart. “Repair Café or Fix-it type events are very popular in Europe.  They started in the Netherlands in 2009, and now the idea is spreading with regular repair events in Vernon, Calgary, Nanaimo, Edmonton and several cities across the United States.”

For more info about what items you can bring for fixing to the Repair Cafe, visit, email, or call the Waste Reduction Office at 250-469-6250.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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