The Calgary Drop-In and Rehab Centre has a New Upholstery Shop

The DI’s latest job-skills program is behind the stylish seating at The Mission restaurant, with more to come.

The curved banquettes at The Mission restaurant are the work of the DI’s new upholstery shop.

Photo by Barry Pendergast

The Calgary Drop-In and Rehab Centre (the DI) has added an upholstery shop to its WoodWorks program. The upholstery shop is located in the same building as the full-service commercial wood shop and finishing shop that provides job skills training to homeless and at-risk youth. According to shop manger Tom Loszchuk, it’s the only place in Calgary currently offering cabinetry, finishing and upholstery in the same facility (the Bowden Institution being the only other place in the province).

The upholstery shop has been set up in the expansive and previously underused reception area and has a staff of two: Dwight Knudsen, a Bowness resident who formerly ran his own upholstery shop, and Adriana Rubio, a seamstress who has worked with the charity Sewing Seeds Canada. Youth in the WoodWorks program are brought in to work alongside Knudsen and Rubio on the various upholstery jobs, learning in a hands-on environment.

The shop is set up to do both single-item jobs and larger commercial projects. Since the official opening this past January, the most high-profile job has been the new benches and banquettes at The Mission restaurant, which took over the space formerly occupied by Candela and hired Korr Design to redesign the interior (the DI’s wood shop did carpentry and finishing work for the Mission as well). There are two more restaurant projects in the works – one downtown, one in Kensington – with more on the horizon.

Photo by Shelley ARnusch

Shop staff Dwight Knudsen (at machine) and Adriana Rubio (at cutting table) work alongside homeless and at-risk youth from the DI’s WoodWorks program, providing them with hands-on training in upholstering.

Photo by Tom Loszchuk, DI wood shop manager

One of the banquette benches for the Mission Restaurant.

PHOTO BY shelley arnusch

In addition to commercial projects, the DI’s upholstery shop also takes on single item jobs, such as this antique chair.


A finished chair by the DI’s new upholstery shop.

For more information about WoodWorks or other programs offered by the Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre visit

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