From the archives: Yes, it’s finally done: a good end to the members’ room saga

First published in The Chronicle (Spring 2012)

Members' room
A program taking place in Karma’s members’ room

In line with its purpose, the members’ room was built entirely by members, who brought their creative and professional expertise with them to build a hub for meetings, having lunch, hanging out, and building the Karma community. 

Mark Tholen ( and I worked on the overall concept and design of the room and helped build some of it. Kai Krueger ( put an enormous amount of effort into the early renovations of the room (together with Brad Wong and Jason Moore). He also designed and built the focal piece of the room: the gorgeous and comfortable wall-to-wall bench, which is made of oiled oak and set against a microsuede backsplash.

Dennis Hale (Eco Carpentry Innovation) helped design and build the beautiful and highly functional cabinetry along the south and west walls of the room. Lastly, the table was donated by our neighbours across the alleyway (Yuillbuilt & North On Sixty). It has been great to hear the positive feedback from members and even better to see members, staff, and committees actively use the room. We are all still in the process of moving in, filling the space with community life. A small housewarming party was held on February 12.

For other projects that the Building Committee has undertaken over the past year, please see my article in the summer 2011 issue of The Chronicle. Bigger projects remain on our mind, but for the next few months, we are focusing on working with Amy [Andre, general manager at the time] and the other staff members to improve the store in many small ways. Our first two Sunday afternoon work parties to tackle a bunch of projects were held on December 11 and February 5. The next one will take place in April.

by Joerg Wittenbrinck

From the GM—November 2019

We’re starting to gear up for the holiday season here at Karma, but don’t worry, you won’t even notice until December. ???? The first sign of the holidays for us is our annual shipment of Darn Tough socks, and yes, they have arrived and we will begin putting them out very soon! If you aren’t yet aware of these socks, check them out. They are amazing and make great gifts!  ????

The last couple of months have been big ones for Karma in terms of maintenance expenses. The drain saga of 2019 is one to go down into Karma’s history books. After careful investigative work and an initial dig in our members’ room, a major blockage was located in our neighbour’s front yard. The blockage has been removed and our store is now back to normal. Thank you for your patience as we underwent that work. I would like to say a big thank you to Yuill McGregor, Cathy Tafler, Chair of the Building Committee, her partner Doug Rylett, Mark Tholen, and Paul Dixon for all of their support, time, and expertise during this ordeal. I’d also like to say a big thank you to all the amazing Karma staff who took this big inconvenience in stride. I never heard a single complaint, and we were all able to approach it with a little humour. This made things bearable. Thanks you guys! 

We also just recently had our parking lot repaved. The lot was in a very bad state and was becoming dangerous for those using it. We are glad to have that repair completed. Thanks to Yuill McGregor and crew for working hard to get the lot repaved in the pouring rain. 

This month we will be rolling out the new process for taring container weights! We’re moving to a less wasteful process that won’t require you to print a label or juggle two four-digit numbers in your head! You’ll simply have to record your tare weight, fill up, and bring your filled jars to cash. This change will be happening soon, so stay tuned! 

I am happy to report the 2019 Annual General Meeting was a success. There was so much interest from members to be on the board of directors, that we actually voted! I am thrilled to welcome so many new faces to the board this year. Some have been Karma members for many years (some even with previous Karma board experience), and some are relatively new to the co-op. I am very much looking forward to working with you all in the coming year! 

In staff news, a new collective agreement was successfully negotiated for staff in September. Also, Robbie has been hired to take over the role of Member Records Secretary. Robbie comes to the role with experience as a Member Support Specialist at MEC. Congratulations on your new position at Karma, Robbie! You’ll be great! 

See you around the store!

Talia McGuire
General Manager
Karma Co-op

Karma Co-op Building Committee Report

If you haven’t been in the Karma office this year you might not have noticed the changes that have taken place. Have a look the next time you are in the store!

After Talia and the staff did a great job rearranging the desks and shelving, a group of members had a few work sessions to cut down some desks and paint some shelves and walls. The old electric baseboard in the office, which was no longer functioning, was replaced with a smaller unit by an electrician.

If you are shopping at night, you probably noticed the new LED motion-detector light beside the entrance and the new string of LED lights mounted on the fence.

In the washroom, the doorknob was replaced with a lever handle. The taps and cracked sink were replaced, the surface-mounted hot water supply was hidden in the wall, and the drywall was repaired.

Karma members also built a new roof on the outside shed, trimmed branches that were overhanging the roof of the store, and installed additional weather stripping on the front door.

The annual oiling of the reclaimed-wood exterior doors with Penofin Verde was also done back in the fall.

Thank you to all the members who participated in these projects to help keep Karma beautiful!

If you have any ideas for projects that need to be done around Karma please contact the Building Committee. Everyone is welcome to help out with and/or coordinate any of the projects — please contact

Cathy Tafler
Chair, Building Committee