About the Okanagan Men’s Shed
Society Act: Constitution; the base under which we can operate
1. The name of the society is Okanagan Men’s Sheds Association
2. The purpose of the society is (are) to:
2a To engage men of all ages, youth, veterans, and other groups in the community by providing friendship when it might be needed for people suffering life’s changes, mentoring and assisting the disadvantaged when possible thus reducing feelings of isolation, loneliness and depression.
2b. To share, disseminate and preserve the skills, abilities and interests relevant to people and the community by providing mentoring opportunities (inter-generational and peer) and assisting with the preservation of skills, abilities and interests, sharing skills, expertise and resources of people in our community.
2c. To provide a strong voice on community issues by advocating for and building community partnerships.
To engage men of all ages; increase well being of members by fostering social connections, increasing self esteem through participation in meaningful community projects or personal tasks, sharing skills and interests
An inclusive group which reflects the ideas and goals of the participating men or members. We place high value on Respect, Integrity, Safety, and Best Practices.
To improve health, well being, wellness, quality of life for men who may be ‘beyond meaningful work’. Provide an alternative for health services to better meet the needs of the members through improved access and communication. Ensure sustainability through innovation, efficiency, teamwork, service to other community partners.
Some Notes About Our History
The Okanagan Men’s Sheds Association was registered as a non-profit society in British Columbia in 2013 to develop a Men’s Sheds program in the Okanagan area.
Following Winnipeg, the Okanagan Men’s Sheds Association is one of the first sheds to be established in Canada, modeled on the large and growing movement in Australia, Ireland, Great Britain and New Zealand expanding through other parts of Europe. A significant number of other Sheds are now established or developing in BC and across Canada.
Our approach has been:
- to see if there is a need
- to see if there is a local interest
- to see if there is support
The New Horizons for Seniors program supported a Kelowna based pilot shed project in 2014-2015.
The pilot results;
- confirmed the concept is valid in this area
- increased the participation of men in the area
- confirmed the needs, benefits and interest
- helped to establish the standards and develop the resources
- helped to expand awareness and interest through demonstration
We were now confident of the needs and potential benefits to the community and the interest to support the program.
The essential next step was to establish this ‘SHOW ME’ place.
As of 2019-2020 our men’s shed is now established and developing at the new location at Helen’s Acres with support from the Trinity Foundation as our ‘landlord’.
Unfortunately, this location had to close July 31 2022. A new location is being sought.
A New Horizons for Seniors grant in 2018 supported development of the Outreach program to demonstrate the Men’s Shed idea to other parts of the Okanagan. This program linked with a research project by UBC Okanagan and became a joint project for 2018 and 2019.
In February of 2016 Shaw TV Okanagan made a video
Shaw TV interviewed Art Post, One of the founders of the Okanagan Men’s Shed and several other long time members about what they do at the Men’s Shed and why it works.
Art Post believes their local men’s shed is a life saver. Giving retired seniors a new purpose and something to look forward to is important as new seniors get used to not having to work everyday. Staying active and having social interactions with others are two important functions of the Men’s Sheds.