Repair Café set for September return

By Tyler Marr
September 2, 2018 - 8:04am

After a well-received spring session, an international campaign designed to reduce waste will open its doors once again in Prince Albert this fall.

The provinces' original Repair Café will take over the Margo Fournier Centre on Sept. 8 for its second run in the city. The event is designed to promote community building and recycling by encouraging patrons to fix broken household items to assist in diverting unnecessary waste to landfills.

The movement, which started in the Netherlands in 2009, launched in the Gateway to the North in March and operated until July to a warm reception, according to organizer Lillis Lawrence. So much so, the café outperformed the international organization’s standard repair rate of 50 to 60 per cent, coming in at 64.

Lawrence chalked this up to prairie ingenuity, believing it is “in our blood to try and make things better and work towards getting things to work again.”

While the café forces residents take a second look at small household items that may only need minor repairs to have a second life, Lawrence said it lends itself as an opportunity to meet new people.

“It brings community members together that very often would not come together and it seems like a lot of different folk come to the cafe,” she said.

Despite boasting a strong array of ‘fixers’ — the patrons who man various tables and repair the broken items — Lawrence said a few more are needed, especially for the months of September and October.

The café typically operates on the first Saturday of each month, but some adjustments are being made to the fall schedule. After the Sept. 8 event, the next will occur on Oct. 20, to coincide with Waste Reduction Week, before returning to the standard cycle on Nov. 3.

The City of Prince Albert is a partner in the endeavour, as the entire operation is manned through volunteers and donations, and foots the rental bill during the café's occupation. In doing so, municipal lawmakers wanted an update after the first few months of operation. Lawrence said a report was submitted to the city that outlined the event’s success and organizers are waiting to finalize another rental agreement.

Lawrence invited everyone, even those without items needing repair, to come down between 1 and 4 p.m. and to check out how the process works. Cost recovery donations are appreciated.


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On Twitter: @JournoMarr

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