Attention those who identify as men! Do you answer yes to any of the following questions?

  • Are you newly retired?
  • Are loved ones suggesting that you might get out a bit more?
  • Are you feeling somewhat bored, isolated, or lonely?
  • Are you looking for ways to give back to the community?
  • Would you like to make supportive new friends?

If it helps, you are not alone. There are many men who have been in the same boat – while drinking beer, even fine scotch and watching sports on TV might help fill the hours, there may be better solutions.

Doug Mackie of Winnipeg. Doug is considered the father of Men’s sheds in Canada

Many men around the world have formed men’s groups that are called Men’s Sheds. The Men’s Shed movement started in Australia in 2007, expanding their tradition of backyard sheds into collaborative, communal welcoming spaces for all men. Since then, the Australian Men’s Shed Association has grown to over 900 member sheds. Other places with large Men’s Shed movements include Ireland, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Scotland. The first Men’s Shed in North America began in 2009, in Winnipeg, Manitoba and there are now sheds in BC, Ontario and Quebec. Locally there are Men’s Sheds in Carleton Place and Perth.

While the two local groups have focussed on wood-working projects, there are many groups with a wide variety of focus. The social aspect is easily as important as the joint activity.  There are a number of local guys who are interested in seeing this happen in Almonte. Join us at 7pm on March 1 at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum. Staff from Mills Community Support will help facilitate the conversation and the Textile Museum has offered us a temporary home to meet.

Let’s kick the idea around and see where it leads us!

David Hinks
Michael Rikley-Lancaster
Jeff Mills