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Digging for the miners of tomorrow

As chair of the 18th annual Sudbury Mining Week, which takes place April 27-May 5, Nicole Tardif is bent on cultivating the mining sector workers of tomorrow.
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Those who “like” Sudbury Mining Week on Facebook or follow it on Twitter will have their named entered for a free iPad draw in early May. Sudbury Mining Week chair Nicole Tardif is seen here, showing off the prize. Photo by Heidi Ulrichsen.
As chair of the 18th annual Sudbury Mining Week, which takes place April 27-May 5, Nicole Tardif is bent on cultivating the mining sector workers of tomorrow.

“Our main goal is to excite young people about the future of mining innovation in Sudbury, and to tell them about the career opportunities available in this sector,” she said.

“By the year 2018, there's supposed to be over 90,000 skilled workers in demand in the mining and mining supply and services sector.”

Dick DeStefano, the honorary chair of Sudbury Mining Week, echoes Tardif's comments.

“This is why events like Sudbury Mining Week are so important,” the executive director of the Sudbury Area Mining Supply and Services Association (SAMSSA) said, in a press release.

“This week represents economic growth, community building, scientific and technological innovation, and a sense of what it means to be a tight-knit community that is being recognized as an international centre of mining and technology excellence.

“Our youth need to be educated, parents need to have the facts, and we need to work together in order to get the message out that we are all proud to be a part of a strong mining community.”

Sudbury Mining Week, which is sponsored by Northern Life, also aims to reflect on the successes of the city's mining sector, which is “recognized as an international centre for mining technology and excellence,” Tardif said.

This is Tardif's first year as the chair of Sudbury Mining Week, although she's served on the event committee for eight years. She said she's had a great time planning the event.

“We've been working at this since last summer,” Tardif, a geoscience technologist in the department of earth sciences at Laurentian University, said.

“The work keeps piling up the closer you get to the event, but the excitement starts building up as well.”

In keeping with its goal of reaching out to young people, for the first time, Sudbury Mining Week is hosting Mining Matters Workshops at Dynamic Earth May 2 and 3.

Grade 4 teachers from Rainbow District School Board and Sudbury Catholic District School Board will attend the workshops to learn about age-appropriate curriculum materials about mining produced by the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC).

“While the teachers are in the workshops, we've invited their class to come to Dynamic Earth,” Tardif said. “We have special programming for the Grade 4 students at Dynamic Earth.”

Grade 4 teachers from the French school boards may be included in the workshops next year, as the PDAC is coming out with French curriculum kits this fall, she said.

Five grade 5-8 classes in the city also have the opportunity to win a Discovery Mining tour April 30-May 4 through a poster contest.

Each winning class will learn about how the mining industry has evolved, stopping at re-greening sites, the first discovery of Sudbury ore, shatter cones and a close look at modern mining technologies.

High school students will participate in the MineOpportunity Mining Games at Dynamic Earth on April 30 (for French students) and May 1 (for English students).

The event allows students to explore geology, engineering and mining by answering questions and completing curriculum-based activities, including a tailored underground tour.

A mining industry career fair and display, which will be set up at the New Sudbury Centre from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. April 28, is a great opportunity for high school students to learn about how they can pursue careers in the mining industry, Tardif said.

“We were able to attract a few more mining companies and mining supply and service sector companies, many who are sponsors of Sudbury Mining Week,” she said.

“We were also able to attract some of the colleges and universities around town, so we've been promoting the event more as a career fair.”

Sudbury Mining Week is also hosting several contests this year. Those who “like” Sudbury Mining Week on Facebook or follow it on Twitter will have their name entered for a free iPad draw in early May.

There's also the Sudbury Mining Week Photo Contest, which is open until April 21. There are three categories in the contest — mining innovation, mining and the environment and people and mining, Tardif said.

People are invited to enter their photos by visiting www.sudburyminingweek.com/photocontest. The winning entries will receive an underground tour for two from Vale, and a photography workshop from Henry's. The winning entries will also be displayed at Sudbury Mining Week events.

Those who attend the mining industry career fair and display April 28 will also have a chance to enter a draw for a guided underground tour for four of the SNOlab at Creighton Mine.

There are also several events during Sudbury Mining Week where the mining industry can get together to celebrate their successes.

Tardif and other members of the Mining Week committee will be on hand at the Chamber of Commerce's After Business event at Grill Marks Bistro from 5-7 p.m. May 1.

Then, on May 4 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Greater Sudbury Development Corporation hosts the annual business luncheon, which provides members of the mining sector and those interested in the industry the opportunity to network.

This year's keynote speaker is Ray Mantha, the assistant deputy minister for the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, who will be speaking about advances in the province's mining industry over the past year.

To purchase tickets to the event, contact Paul Reid at the City of Greater Sudbury at 705-674-4455, ext. 4608, or paul.reid@greatersudbury.ca.

For a full listing of Sudbury Mining Week events, visit www.sudburyminingweek.com.

Posted by Arron Pickard



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Heidi Ulrichsen

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