B.C. Mining Week 2013 is all about communities

B.C. Mining Week 2013 involves mining events in communities across the province

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At the end of April, communities across the province are celebrating a very important part of the British Columbia economy. For the 26th year in a row, B.C. Mining Week will take place; the event is designed to bring awareness to the general public about the integral role mining plays in our everyday lives. The theme is Mining Builds Community, and the Mining Association of BC (MABC) hopes to show British Columbians just how mining does that.

Claire Thomson is the senior director of communications for MABC as well as the chair of B.C. Mining Week. She said the celebration has a long history in B.C., with the first Mining Week occurring in Vancouver in 1988.

Connecting to mining products

"The whole purpose of Mining Week is to raise awareness across the province on the role mining plays in the lives of British Columbians and the economy of B.C," Thomson said. "Mining is an invisible element in our daily lives. It gives us the ability to do the things we do every day and allows us to live the life we want. A lot of people don't connect all the things we use every day as mining products. The whole point of B.C. Mining Week is to promote the intimate connection between these materials we use every day and where they come from."

Thomson said the week is not only a celebration of the mining industry but also a good opportunity to reach out to people all across the province to give them an understanding in an informative and entertaining way.

At the local level

Right now, MABC's efforts are focused on collaborating with communities across British Columbia to organize a forum, which Thomson said may take place as a business luncheon or community fair. The goal is to have communities hold events in a way that it is understandable to everyone and makes sense in each particular local community. This could also include mine tours.

MABC chairs B.C. Mining Week and is comprised of industry partners to help organize events across B.C.

"The hard work of the B.C. Mining Week committee is shown by our huge increase in sponsors over the last few years and the growing success of Mining Week," Thomson said. "We got more horsepower behind us to get all these communities on board. We want to partner with communities to help them stage these events and we want communities to be enthusiastic and know we will support them."

Check the dates in your community

B.C. Mining Week—which is declared by B.C. legislation every year—takes place officially from April 28 to May 4. But, since every community is different, Thomson said it's become more of a mining month because communities are not all able to have events during that one week.

In conjunction with B.C. Mining Week, MABC is once again holding the I Heart Mining contest.

"We feel it is a great way to engage people across B.C. to learn about mining and also win some prizes," said Thomson. "We have an I Heart Mining button, which was first rolled out at the Mineral Exploration Roundup Conference. People in the industry really liked it and so we made it a brand. The buttons will be distributed across the province to communities and mining companies. The button comes with an info card and directs people to the Mining Week website. They then have to answer four skill-testing questions. This way, they will hopefully remember something interesting they learn about the industry and then have a chance to win an iPad."

At the heart of it

MABC wants the I Heart Mining logo to really be an identifiable component of Mining Week; new this year is that the heart image lists all the mining communities in B.C. within it—creating a great visual.

"We are really excited for the opportunity B.C. Mining Week gives us to raise awareness to the general public on the role of mining in our daily lives," said Thomson. "The quality of our lives is made so because of mining. Pens, electronics—almost everything comes from mining. We want to capture people's imagination and bring communities together and help them offer this important message to their residents."

For more information on events happening across the province, visit the Mining Week website.

Karen Kornelsen

Karen Kornelsen, a writer for Kootenay Business Magazine, has a degree in jounalism. She enjoys finding and reporting the news from the business community. View all of Karen Kornelsen’s articles

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