Repair Café ready to take off

After more than two months of planning, Prince Albert’s first Repair Café is ready to get down to business.

Starting in March, Repair Café Prince Albert will hold monthly meetings where volunteer repair experts help fix household items that would otherwise be thrown away. All repairs are made for free.

Café organizer Lillis Lawrence said the goal is to reduce the amount of waste in the community, while chipping away at what she called society’s “throw away attitude.”

“Many items have very little wrong with them and could easily be used again after a simple repair,” Lawrence explained. “Unfortunately, many people have forgotten the art of fixing.”

The Repair Café concept first began in the Netherlands almost 10 years ago. Since then, more than 1,400 have sprung up around the world, including 25 in Canada. According to www.repaircafe.org, the Prince Albert café will be the first in Saskatchewan.

Lawrence decided to start a repair café after seeing similar free repair services offered to cyclists during a trip to Montreal. That trip planted an idea that blossomed back in Prince Albert.

“That spurred me into thinking, ‘well, it’s not just bicycles that we can keep maintained,’” she said. “There are also other items in our household that we could likely extend the life of that item by possibly repairing (them). It’s that old saying, ‘a stitch in time saves nine.’”

After meeting with interested community members on Jan. 13, Lawrence and others set March 3 as the first date for their new endeavor. She’s cautiously optimistic about the project, but said they’ll need to see how the first few repair dates go before committing to a permanent future.

“There are quite a few people in Prince Albert who are interested in repairing things and passing on that knowledge to others,” Lawrence explained. “Hopefully that comes through in the following repair cafés that we have.”

The group already has plans to hold at least one other Repair Café event in April, however they day and location have not been set. Lawrence said they’re willing to be flexible when it comes to when and where they go next.

The first Prince Albert Repair Café will take place at the Margo Fournier Gym on Saturday, March 3 from 1-4 p.m. For more information, or to become a volunteer, email repaircafeprincealbert@gmail.com or visit their Facebook page.

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