Posted on

Beyond Repair

A green card with Repair Cafe title and light bulb with a spanner

Presented by the Guelph Tool Library, this event is for tool libraries, repair cafes, and anyone interested in the Right to Repair movement.

Inspired by the Right to Repair movement the Guelph Tool Library has created a conference to assist people and organizations as they advocate for the circular economy. If you are interested in attending, the conference is taking place on Saturday, Sep 11th from 11 to 1 pm. Tickets are free, but pre-registration is required. Register on Eventbrite.

Keynote Speaker:

MP Bryan May – The Right To Repair Bill

A keynote address on how the Right to Repair movement impacts all Canadians will be delivered by Bryan May, MP from Cambridge and the sponsor of the current Right to Repair Bill in the second reading at Parliament.

After the keynote, there will be workshops made specifically designed for tool libraries and repair cafes. These workshops range in topics from evolving a tool library to secrets of grant writing and fundraising.

Workshops and Presenters:

Starting and Growing a Tool Library – Brent Harris of St John Tool Library

Meet Brent Harris; Brent will be speaking on starting/maintaining a tool library as a social enterprise with multiple revenue streams. Find out how the Saint John’s Tool Library has managed to thrive with a small membership base and nearly zero outside funding.

More about Brent: Brent Harris is the founder and current director of the Saint John Tool Library (SJTL) in Saint John, New Brunswick. He and a group of residents began their journey to establish a tool Library in Canada’s oldest city In 2018. Due to a lack of available funding to support their tool library as a non-profit, the group opted to start the tool Library as a social enterprise by developing a business plan that they could leverage for startup money. To date, this has won them multiple awards, and they continue to make a big impact on their community. 

Brent lives in Saint John with his wife Cassie and 3 children. He was also recently elected to serve as a city councillor in Saint John. 

Engaging Communities in the Right to Repair – Creating engaging and accessible Repair Cafés

Repair Café International brings people of different ages and backgrounds to come together for fixing things. Diversity promotes creativity and learning. In particular, youth volunteers play an important role in making the events accessible and appealing to the young generation. Wai Chu Cheng, co-founder of Repair Café Toronto, will talk about what Repair Café Toronto has been doing to attract youth volunteers.

The COVID pandemic made running Repair Cafés, which are large social in-person gatherings, difficult for many organizations around the world. Repair Café organizers got creative and managed to keep things going through outdoor events, virtual sessions, etc. Saba Saneinejad, co-founder of Repair Café Guelph, will talk about how they managed to keep Repair alive in the community during the pandemic and what they have learned from virtual events that can add benefit to the educational aspect of Repair Cafés in the future. 

About the speakers: 

A green community builder, social entrepreneur, and environmental educator, Wai Chu Cheng has been named by Canadian Living as one of its “10 Amazing Canadians Making the World a Cleaner, Greener Place”. Wai Chu has co-founded the longest-running Repair Café in Canada and has been mentoring other organizations to start their own Repair Café. As the Sustainability Coordinator at Sheridan College, Wai Chu’s work has been focusing on bringing about culture change toward sustainability and waste reduction across the college’s three campuses in the Greater Toronto Area. Wai Chu has established the Mission Zero volunteer team and Green Team who are helping to grow the repair movement within and beyond the campus community.

Saba Saneinejad co-founder of the Guelph Tool Library in 2016 and shortly after started Repair Café Guelph after getting inspired by the great work of Repair Café Toronto. Saba is passionate about sustainable living, sharing economy and community building. Since 2016, Repair Café Guelph has been the leader of the repair movement in Guelph and has diverted 5500 lbs of waste from the landfill. 

Anything is Possible and Everyone is Welcome – Building a Makerspace at Guelph Public Library

Public libraries are moving away from being places where you just consume content to places where you create it. The opportunity to have a creative experience is powerful and digital inclusion is key to a thriving community. Learn from the Guelph Public Library about their experience setting up a public maker space and what kind of changes they see coming for other public libraries across Canada.

Join Michelle Campbell, Manager of Public Service at Guelph Public Library, to hear about the new Makerspace at the Westminster Square Branch and the aims and scope of these public maker spaces in the future.

More about the speaker: Michelle Campbell is the Manager of Public Service at Guelph Public Library. She was previously the Branch Supervisor at the Westminster Square Branch Library where the Makerspace is located. Michelle also worked for many years at Upper Grand District School Board where she was leading the charge to transform school libraries into learning commons and maker spaces.

Collaborative Grant-Making for Not-For-Profits – Add To Your Toolkit

10C, a Guelph-based social enterprise, focuses on building platforms (physical, social and financial) for community members working for social change. Reflecting on a track record of successful project grants that are rooted in collaboration, 10C will overview its concept development and grant-writing processes.

You will leave with a template that can help structure your process, develop new project ideas, and create methods to collaborate with other organizations. 

Beyond Repair: A Virtual Conference will be held on Saturday, Sep 11th from 11 to 1 pm. Tickets are free, but pre-registration is required. Register on Eventbrite.