Repair Cafes – Maple Ridge
Ridge Meadows Recycling Society has received funding from Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program to organize Maple Ridge’s first Repair Cafés. Repair Cafes are pop-up events where residents can bring their broken items (small appliances, jewelry, clothing, small toys or furniture, etc.) and there are tools, materials, and volunteer “fixers” available to help residents learn to repair their stuff!
“I have wanted to organize Repair Cafes locally since I stumbled across the idea a few years ago,” says Leanne Koehn, who works for Ridge Meadows Recycling Society and coordinates the annual Celebrate Earth Day event, “Through receiving the New Horizons for Seniors grant and finding other individuals and businesses who supported the idea, everything came together this year for us to start up and promote the first Repair Cafés alongside our Earth Day theme, ‘DIY: Make it, Grow it, Fix it, Share it!’”
The goals of Maple Ridge Repair Cafes are to:
- Bring back repair into local society in a modern way
- Maintain repair expertise and share and pass on valuable knowledge and skills that have been learned over lifetimes, building individual and community capacity
- Promote social cohesion in the local community by connecting neighbours
- Repair and reuse items that would’ve ended up in the landfill
- Encourage people to value and appreciate their possessions
Repair Cafés started about 8 years ago in the Netherlands, and their popularity has spread worldwide. In addition to keeping things out of the landfill, the Maple Ridge Repair Cafés aim to highlight the value of our local seniors who have lifetimes of experiences, knowledge, and skills to share.
“Our community has grown so quickly in the last couple years and as an emerging city, incredible initiatives like the Repair Café are vital contributions,” says Dan Ruimy, Member of Parliament for Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, “In our busy lives, it can be difficult to take the time to sew the rip on a pair of pants, or adjust the gears on a clock. Our seniors offer so much wisdom and experience, the Repair Café gives us the opportunity to sit down with them, relax, work together and fix the small things. What a fantastic way to engage with our seniors.”
Know someone who has repair skills? Ask them to fill in the online form to volunteer as a “Fixer” and become a Repair Café hero!
Decluttering or downsizing? Donate your tools and materials to the Repair Café!
The Repair Café Planning Team will also be working with Maple Ridge Artist-in-Residence Kat Wahamaa to create “TINKERbell Station” at the Café, an area designed to invite kids to get hands-on with tools, take things apart and explore how things work, and create upcycled art with the pieces. These activities also aim to encourage kids (especially girls) toward STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Design, & Mathematics)-related interests and future careers.
What is a Repair Cafe?
“Repair Cafés are free meeting places and they’re all about repairing things (together). In the place where a Repair Café is located, you’ll find tools and materials to help you make any repairs you need. On clothes, furniture, electrical appliances, bicycles, crockery, appliances, toys, et cetera. You’ll also find expert volunteers, with repair skills in all kinds of fields.
Visitors bring their broken items from home. Together with the specialists they start making their repairs in the Repair Café. It’s an ongoing learning process. If you have nothing to repair, you can enjoy a cup of tea or coffee. Or you can lend a hand with someone else’s repair job. You can also get inspired at the reading table – by leafing through books on repairs and DIY.” -from www.repaircafe.org
“We throw away vast amounts of stuff. Even things with almost nothing wrong, and which could get a new lease on life after a simple repair. The trouble is, lots of people have forgotten that they can repair things themselves or they no longer know how. Knowing how to make repairs is a skill quickly lost. Society doesn’t always show much appreciation for the people who still have this practical knowledge, and against their will they are often left standing on the sidelines. Their experience is never used, or hardly ever.
The Repair Café changes all that! People who might otherwise be sidelined are getting involved again. Valuable practical knowledge is getting passed on. Things are being used for longer and don’t have to be thrown away. This reduces the volume of raw materials and energy needed to make new products…
The Repair Café teaches people to see their possessions in a new light. And, once again, to appreciate their value. The Repair Café helps change people’s mindset. This is essential to kindle people’s enthusiasm for a sustainable society.
But most of all, the Repair Café just wants to show how much fun repairing things can be, and how easy it often is. Why don’t you give it a go?”
Ridge Meadows Recycling Society and our Repair Cafe Planning Team have a number of Cafes scheduled for 2018 – come join us! (and bring your broken small appliances, jewelery, clothing, small furniture, electronics, bicycles, toys, etc. 🙂
Repair Café #1
Saturday, March 24, 2018
Location: Maple Ridge Seniors’ Activity Centre, 12150 – 224th Street, Maple Ridge, BC
Time: 10am – 2pm
Repair Café #2
Part of Earth Day celebrations! Theme: “DIY: Make it, Grow it, Fix it, Share it”
Saturday, April 21, 2018
Location: Greg Moore Youth Centre, 11925 Haney Place, Maple Ridge, BC
Time: 10am – 2pm
Repair Café #3
Part of the Ridge Meadows Seniors’ Society Garage & Craft Fair!
Saturday, May 12, 2018
Location: Maple Ridge Seniors’ Activity Centre, 12150 – 224th Street, Maple Ridge, BCC
Time: 9:30am – 2pm
Repair Café #4
MR Library Hosts Seniors’ Week!
Saturday, June 9, 2018
Location: Maple Ridge Library – Fraser Room (2nd floor), 22470 Dewdney Trunk Road, Maple Ridge, BC
Time: 1pm – 4pm
To learn more about the origins of Repair Cafes, visit www.repaircafe.org
If you are interested in helping with planning or volunteering to help out on the day (either as a “Fixer” or a general helper!) check out our Volunteer Information Page.
Got (too much) Stuff?!!
Take a look at our Tools and Materials Needed for Repair Cafes page and see if there’s anything you’d like to donate!
The Repair Café Planning Team is grateful for the support of:The Government of Canada
New Horizons for Seniors Program
City of Maple Ridge
Ridge Meadows Recycling Society
Repair Café Foundation
Katzie First Nation
MR-PM-Katzie Community Network
The Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows NEWS
MR-PM-Katzie Seniors Network
HUB: Your Cycling Connection
Ridge Meadows Seniors Society
Maple Ridge Library
Immigrant Services Society of BC
Downtown Maple Ridge BIA
School District 42