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Workshops offer a little something for everyone

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An upcoming workshop series being offered at the Daniel McIntyre/St. Matthews Community Association’s resource centre (at 823 Ellice Ave.) offers something for everyone interested in learning how to fix up and take care of their homes.


"This workshop format is presented using a multiple-intelligence approach. Different people learn in different ways, so we try to cover all the bases," said Christopher Parker, a carpenter, social entrepreneur, and owner of Build Wright Developments, which is presenting the series.


"Using different types of instruction makes the workshop more interactive and engaging, so even though the information is generalized, it often goes where participants take it."


Parker sits on the DMSMCA board and volunteers with the Farmers Market Association of Manitoba. Last year, he served as the association’s housing training initiative technician, conducting free workshops and consultations in the inner city.


The Build Wright workshop series hosted its first event of the season on Sept. 19, offering information on basic building techniques.


Parker said one workshop participant told him after the session: "Thank you for having this workshop. I have always been a little scared to use tools. Now I don’t want to stop."


Next up is a workshop on energy efficiency and preparing for winter. It will take place Wed., Oct. 17 from 6 to 8 p.m. and will delve into how participants can help their home work more smoothly during the upcoming winter, including hands-on demonstrations on how to use chalking and spray foaming.
On Nov. 21 from 6 to 8 p.m., people can get an introduction to plumbing which will include an exploration of plumbing systems and some easy-fix techniques.


On Dec. 12 from 6 to 8 p.m., there will be an introduction to hand tools and how to make holiday gifts. Participants will be able to try out their skills with hammers, drills, saws, tape measures, and a tool box of tips, followed by a hands-on opportunity to build a holiday gift.


"The DMSMCA has been and will continue to be a great group of community members galvanized by a hard-working staff continually celebrating all aspects of this neighbourhood," said Parker, who is excited about the idea of putting on a builder battle to highlight all the skilled crafts people in the community.


Parker started up Build Wright Developments last June though the YMCA self-employment program.


"I opened the business as a social enterprise, based on the idea that one’s work can be a place to create both personal and social change," he said.


"To me, it’s a given that these two are interconnected. Build Wright is trying something different — looking at what makes work worth doing and doing it. And to help guide us, I created the RE3 precepts — reduce (in) equality, reuse ecology, and recycle economy."


For more information about these or other neighbourhood workshops, email BuildWrightDevelopments@gmail.com, search Build Wright Development on Facebook, or on Twitter@BuildWright.


Rebeca Kuropatwa is a community correspondent for the West End. You can contact her at beca72ca.yahoo.ca.

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