Have you been holding on to an item that just needs a quick fix? Like a chair that needs a leg repair? A vacuum that needs a new cord? A blanket that needs to be mended? Or, a toaster that isn’t toasting?
Bring your small appliances, electronics, small furniture, toys, clothing and housewares to the Okotoks Recreation Centre for the Repair Café, where we’ll connect you and your item(s) that need repair with a volunteer fixer coach who will share their skills, tools and knowledge to fix your items.
Meet Jim - one of our fabulous Repair Cafe volunteers! Jim has lived in Okotoks for 3 years and loves the challenge of fixing things and seeing them used and working again. He’s an electrician and is happy performing any type of electrical repairs. At our first Repair Café he had a hand in fixing a motor, toaster, and an air cleaner, and enjoyed the experience of working together with the other volunteers to collaborate and get something fixed.
Being semi-retired, Jim says he is always looking for somewhere to help and doing things to keeping the brain active. And if he can help somebody else, that’s a wonderful bonus! His favourite part of the first café – the satisfaction of seeing people leave with repaired, working items.
He’s up for the challenge of attempting to fix any small appliance that people can physically bring in. Jim says, “while some appliances out there are made to be difficult to repair, require specific tools and can’t be taken apart, there are still many normal electrical appliances that can be taken apart for repair.”
Don't miss the Repair Cafe happening this Sunday, Jan 13 from 1 to 5 PM at the Okotoks Recreation Centre.
What is a Repair Café?
A Repair Café is an event where people in our community can bring broken things from home to be repaired by volunteers, for FREE!
It is also a place where people can learn from volunteers how to fix common items they find in their homes. Very few people even think about the possibility of repairing their broken products. Most people no longer know how to repair things. Instead of throwing items away, they are given a second life at the Repair Café and aren’t needlessly thrown away in the landfill.
What items can be fixed at this event?
- Small appliances
- Textiles (housewares and clothing) - Please note the intent is to provide small fixes for clothing, not clothing alterations
- Small pieces of furniture
Rule of thumb: If you can carry it, you can bring it to be fixed!
How will it work?
Volunteer Fixing Coaches will be ready to assess your item and fix it if the item is repairable. You may choose to learn to fix this item with the Fixing Coach, or stand by and watch as your item is being repaired. There may or may not be a wait to fix your item, but we will have refreshments on hand to make any wait easier.
One item per fixing session per person please. You are welcome to visit multiple times during the event.
- The work carried out in the Repair Café is free-of-charge on a voluntary basis by the fixers at hand.
- Visitors offering broken items for repair do so at their own risk. Experts making repairs offer no guarantee for the repairs carried out with their help and are not liable if objects that are repaired in the Repair Café turn out not to work properly at home.
- Fixers are entitled to refuse to repair certain objects, at their own discretion.
- Fixers are not obliged to reassemble disassembled appliances that cannot be repaired.
- Visitors to the Repair Café are solely responsible for the tidy removal of broken objects that could not be repaired. The Town will help direct visitors on where to take items when they can not be repaired.
- New parts or materials known to be required for a repair shall be provided by the visitor.
Be a volunteer!
Do you have handy skills you'd like to volunteer? Or just want to find a way to play a little part in giving back to the environment? We'd love to have you join the team as a fixer coach, greeter or at the registration table.
Call 403-938-8936 or
The origins of the Repair Café
The Repair Café concept comes from the Netherlands. It was formulated in 2009 by Martine Postma, at the time an Amsterdam-based journalist/publicist. She hit on the idea of setting up low-key meeting places nationwide where neighbours could repair their broken items themselves supported by specialists and in a relaxed atmosphere. The very first Repair Café was held in Amsterdam on 18 October 2009.