The Big Event, Northern Mines Expo which opened at the McIntyre Community Building in Timmins is becoming well known as Canada’s largest gold mining show. More than that however it is also becoming known as one of the must-see and must-go industrial trade shows in Canada.
That’s according to several exhibitors who have made the trip to Timmins to put their goods and services on display, because they know that all the major players in the mining and mining supply industries will be looking.
Deborah Brideau, of the University of New Brunswick (UNB) in Fredericton said she takes part in about a dozen industrial trade shows every year. She is the Marketing and Sales lead for the UNB Online Occupational Health and Safety Programs.
“The people at the industrial trade shows, we talk to one another. And we were told that the Timmins mining show is one of those shows we should take part in,” said Brideau.
She said health and safety programs are in demand across Canada, especially in resources industries such as oil and gas, and now mining. She said UNB is internationally recognized for its health and safety programs and needs to maintains a strong presence in the marketplace.
“We’ve been to other mining shows, but the Timmins show is one that people are talking about. Everyone in the mining industry is represented here,” she said.
Brideau added the UNB online courses cater to many health and safety professionals already established in industry, but might need an occasional refresher course, or a specialized course. She said it is critical to keep in touch with that market.
Jason Levesque and his partner Denise Coulombe, both of Sudbury, were at the mine expo to showcase Sluice Inc, a business that sells hats and clothing products that feature a mining motif.
“We are here to show off our products and see if miners are interested to show themselves off as miners. That’s what we specialize in,” said Levesque. He said he knows that miners are usually proud of the work they do and so he has a line of goods that fit that scheme.
Levesque said he has taken part in the Sudbury mining show but now sees that the Timmins mine expo is larger than he expected.
“Yeah, it’s a big event here in Timmins. There’s lot of miners and mining companies in town coming by. I figured it would be a good event for us.”
Levesque is a Sudbury-based artist who is also a hardrock miner. He said he’s confident the products will sell themselves, once the business becomes better known. He said that’s why he signed up for the Timmins show. Selling merchandise is not the only benefit he said. He was also handing out scores of business cards for www.sluice.biz for online marketing.
Timmins Mayor Tom Laughren, who is a big fan of the show because of the heavy equipment displays, said he was pleased to see that the show has grown significantly in the past 10 years. He said the mining expo features the latest technology in the mining industry and that in itself will attract more people who want to see what’s new in the marketplace.
Along with heavy equipment, the show features every conceivable type of supply from boots, to coveralls, to mining cap-lamps, to shovels, to drill bits, to ventilation tubing to explosives.
The expo also features a mining related jackleg drilling competition, which seems to be a crowd-pleasing event, although jackleg drilling is not as common in modern mining as it once was.
“This is not just a Timmins event. This is a regional event,” said Laughren, who referenced the positive financial impact the show has for the hotel and restaurant industry in Timmins.
Laughren said all the hotels rooms in Timmins are booked and some of the trade show participants have booked hotel rooms in such places as Kapuskasing and Temiskaming Shores.
Laughren said many of the exhibitors who have been in the Timmins show in the past have returned to Timmins because of the business they contacts they established during the mine expo.