Local residents (left to right) Jayson Murray, Brian McIntosh, Richard Gendron are among the Columbia Valley Makerspace society members.

Repair Cafe pops up in Invermere to fix your broken items

Maker Space Society invites you to bring your broken items to cafe this Saturday, September 23rd

Do you have an old blender kicking around that just won’t blend? Or maybe a coffee pot that won’t stay warm? Rather than throwing out that old appliance or electronic device, the Columbia Valley Maker Space Society invites you to bring your broken items to their Repair Cafe.

“Instead of throwing out electronics or small appliances, toasters, blenders, that kind of thing they can bring them into us. We’ll have some guys there with some tools, some wire, some soldering irons, and all the bits and pieces so we can maybe save some of this stuff from the landfill,” said Brian McIntosh, Columbia Valley Maker Space Society member.

On Saturday, September 23rd, at the Branch 71 Legion in Invermere from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., three to four members of the Maker Space Society will be on hand to repair any broken items you may have. This free event was spurred by the growing global trend of repair cafes.

“Our intention is not to just send people away with no solutions at all. Our intention is that everybody that comes in with something that isn’t working, we either get it working or we get them to someone who can help get it going,” said Mr. McIntosh.

The push for repair cafes comes from a drive to cut down on the carbon footprint produced from large-scale manufacturing companies.

“If you take something out of a landfill and keep it running you’re not buying a new one which means you’re saving the carbon footprint from the manufacture from that new device,” said Mr. McIntosh.

For many of the volunteers with Maker Space, their years of experience come from both professional work and general interest, giving them knowledge and background to find the solution you need.

“It’s not any specific course education, it’s just kinda the school of hard knocks,” said Mr. McIntosh.

Mr. McIntosh expects many of the repairs they’ll be making will be adding new power cords, adding new plug ends, or even just cleaning.

“I don’t like having anyone going away disappointed, everyone will be going away with either ‘you know the tea kettle’s fixed’, or ‘there’s the guy that can help you fix it and get the right parts’,” said Mr. McIntosh.

While the group is still fundraising for a space to call home, the society is looking for more volunteers to get involved in the collaborative workspace movement.

“It’s a lot more than some guys in Invermere. There’s a lot of talent in the whole Columbia Valley and we find that there’s like minded groups in Nelson and Revelstoke and there is a drive to bring all these groups together to create a big high tech kind of Kootenays innovation area,” said Mr. McIntosh.

To learn more about the Columbia Valley Maker Space Society or for more information on the Repair Cafe visit http://www.cvmakerspace.ca/.

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