For Immediate Release - September 13, 2021
Beyond Repair: A virtual conference presented by the Guelph Tool Library brings together a national audience
The Guelph Tool Library hosted over 40 people from across Canada to discuss the Right to Repair movement at their Beyond Repair Virtual Conference.
Beyond Repair: A Virtual Conference was presented by the Guelph Tool Library to assist people and organizations as they advocate for the circular economy. Attendees from tool libraries, repair cafes, makerspaces and other interested groups across Canada gathered virtually to hear from a range of speakers including a keynote address from Bryan May, the Liberal incumbent candidate from Cambridge, Ontario who has previously sponsored a Right to Repair bill at Parliament.
“Creating a circular economy is a core value of the Guelph Tool Library and we wanted to create a forum for other like-minded organizations to learn and grow the Right to Repair movement together,”
says Michaela Rye of the Guelph Tool Library.
Conference attendees also engaged with speakers across Canada in four different workshops. Brent Harris, the founder and current director of the St John Tool Library in New Brunswick outlined that organization's multi-pronged approach to sustain the SJTL financially while meeting community needs. Saba Saneinejad, co-founder of the Guelph Tool Library and Wai Chu Cheng, co-founder of the longest running Repair Cafe in Canada spoke on Engaging Communities in Repair Cafes. They both highlighted how Repair Cafes across Canada adjusted and adapted to the new realities brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The final two workshops of the conference covered makerspaces and grant writing. Julia Grady of 10C, a Guelph based social enterprise delivered pragmatic advice to attendees on how to work collaboratively to write grants successfully. Michelle Campbell of the Guelph Public Library presented on how makerspaces promote life-long learning and engage communities.
Attendees were also treated to insightful talks from researchers Anthony Rosborough who is Faculty at the Schulich School of Law (Halifax) and Alissa Centivani, a professor in the Faculty of Information & Media Studies at Western. Alissa’s research grounded the conference in what many attendees know implicitly. The ability to repair items and goods is not only an economic and environmental good but it serves as an important element of the human condition.