Repair Cafe coming up at Okanagan College in Kelowna

Free event will help you to learn how to fix everyday things in your home.

Skilled fixers will be on-hand to help you repair your damaged or broken items at the free Repair Café at Okanagan College April 29.

Skilled fixers will be on-hand to help you repair your damaged or broken items at the free Repair Café at Okanagan College April 29.

Do you have a household item in need of repair, but you’re stuck on how to go about fixing it? A lamp on the fritz? A bicycle in need of repair? Favorite shirt with a hole that needs stitching? Laptop computer that won’t compute? If so, the regional Waste Reduction Office’s Repair Café could be just the event you’re looking for.

The Repair Café will take place at the Okanagan College Trades Building in Kelowna April 29th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. And it will be free.

New for this year’s event will be the Okanagan Regional Library’s mobile lending library, which is a good resource if you are starting a project or trying to complete one. You will be able to borrow books on site about home repair, small appliances, automotive repair, sewing, and more. You can also try the ORL’s electronic resources including reference centres for auto and small engine repairs and home improvement, a GreenFile and Consumer Reports magazine. A library card can also be crated for you if you don’t already have one.

Back by popular demand this year will be Electro Recycle, offering up a free BBQ lunch for anyone who brings in a small appliance to be fixed or recycled.

“This event is a recyclers dream,” said waste reduction facilitator Rae Stewart. “The whole idea is to stop things from landing in the garbage unnecessarily—in a nutshell, don’t toss it, repair it!”

She said the whole idea is to revive the “culture of repair,” and get people thinking they can use this thing items again, not throw them away if they don’t work.

“And a big part of it all is showing people they can actually repair things themselves, so empowerment is a big piece of the puzzle,” added Stewart. “Our fixers are generally hobbyists who enjoy helping others. They vary in age and background, just like those that come with broken items to be fixed. “

This year’s Repair Café will be the sixth event of this kind the waste reduction office has hosted, and it has grown each time.

Stewart says the idea is not to come in, drop off an item for repair and come back when it’s done. Instead, the aim is to encouraging people to become part of the process.

“The Repair Café offers you a chance to learn new skills, plus a chance to connect with skilled people. It’s a casual environment, and all the fixing is free of charge. People really like that,” she said.

The Repair Café concept started in the Netherlands and is now part of a growing international network, a celebration of the great things that can be done when people pool our skills knowledge and resources.

If you would like to volunteer your time as a Repair Café Fixer, or if you have something you‘re looking to have repaired, refurbished, revamped or renewed, you’re invited to join in on the Repair Café. For more info visit or call the Regional Waste Reduction Office for more info at 250.469.6250.