Doug Mackie, Chair, Canadian Men’s Shed Association 
This has been a challenging year for Men Sheds in Canada. At the time of this writing nearly all sheds are completely closed down. There are 37 sheds in 5 provinces and each province has somewhat different regulations as to the number of people who can gather together at any one time. I live alone in Winnipeg in the centre of Canada. No one is allowed into my home. COVID restrictions have closed all 4 Men Sheds here in Winnipeg. No gatherings at all.
There is a new Men Shed in Neepawa, two hours west of Winnipeg. Shedders there have been busy making Christmas ornaments recently. “We wanted a project that could benefit the community”, said Colin McNairnay, Founder of the Neepawa Men’s Shed. “So, the ornaments are being donated to the Neepawa Christmas Dinner initiative. The ornaments will be included in the Dinner committee’s Fellowship Bags, so they can still spread cheer to those who may be lonely during the holidays.” The work was done in a socially distanced workshop, with each member diligently wearing their masks, and as much as was possible at home.
Many Sheds are keeping in touch via weekly Zoom meetings. One Men Shed in Coquitlam (Vancouver) allows one man in their shop at a time to work on individual projects. Time in their shop must be booked in advance.
The eight Men’s Sheds in British Columbia (BC), the westernmost province in Canada hold a monthly Zoom call to help Shedders stay connected, with invited guests from further afield (including the UK)
We are all looking forward to when we can sit, have a cup of coffee or tea and be thankful COVID is behind us.
Keep well, keep safe.
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