Pemberton hosts first Repair Café

Volunteers still needed for the Oct. 21 event

It turns out Squamish residents get a lot of holes their socks.

At a recent Repair Café in that town, that was the number one item participants brought to be fixed up and reused rather than tossed in the landfill.

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“I was blown away by how many socks got darned,” said Brooke Carere, communications coordinator with the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District’s (SLRD) solid waste and resource management. “They had a pretty good turn out. I volunteered… and I was surprised by how many people came in.”

Residents also brought in kids’ toys, jewelry and at least one broken umbrella.

Now, the SLRD is teaming up with the Pemberton Tool Library to host its first Repair Café for Pemberton and Area C residents on Oct. 21.

“The intent of the first café is to have people come together as a community and meet each other and fix stuff,” Carere said. “We hope this will be an event that happens a couple times a year.”

The first installation will take place at the Pemberton Tool Library — located behind the visitor information centre — from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Residents are invited to bring up to two items to be repaired by a crew of volunteers — and receive advice on how to fix them in the future.

Items can range from bikes to small furniture to appliances or clothing. However, organizers are still trying to recruit more volunteers ahead of the event — both those with professional training and those who have an aptitude for fixing things.

“We’re really looking for volunteers,” Carere said. “An electrician would be handy. They’d have a pretty good idea of if your broken stereo could be fixed and know the proper way to test it. Definitely, someone with that qualification would be ideal — but also anyone who can sew, repair a zipper or has carpentry skills.”

To that end, pairing up with the tool library — which opened in March 2016 to lend out tools to the community — has been helpful. “They have the resources there — glue, clamps, nails and drills,” Carere said. “That’s pretty handy.”

Repair cafes happen around the world with the aim to reduce waste — and reverse the trend of treating items as disposable.

“(The SLRD supports) any initiative to reduce waste to the landfill,” Carere said. “We’re hoping to see if Lillooet might want to do it and support anything that might happen in Whistler and Squamish as well.”

The other benefit of the event: to help foster a sense of community. Participants will also be able to enjoy coffee, tea and snacks.

“The volunteers are the backbone of this program,” Carere added. “Without them we won’t get much done.”

To volunteer, email or call 604-894-6371 ext. 226. For more information on the program visit

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