CANADIAN PERSPECTIVE: So You Think You Know Mining winners selected by OMA

The Ontario Mining Association (OMA) was able to offer the winners of its high school video competition, So Yo...

The Ontario Mining Association (OMA) was able to offer the winners of its high school video competition, So You Think You Know Mining, a taste of Hollywood at the awards ceremony held on May 10, 2009. At a gala event held in conjunction with the Canadian Institute of Mining´s 111th annual conference and Mining in Society show, an event was held to honour the cinematic excellence of the five winners. Cheques were presented, Oscar-like trophies dubbed the "Rock-ees" were received and speeches were made by the winners thanking their teachers, and appropriately enough on Mother's Day, their mothers.


Walking off with the top prize of $5,000 in the Best Overall category was producer Keith LaPlume from St. Pater's Secondary School in Barrie for "A Rock Solid Look at Mining." Other members of Keith's team were John LaPlume, Sharon LaPlume and Timothy Armstrong. The winning effort was a true family affair.


In the Best Directing category, Brad Jennings from Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School in Strathroy was awarded $2,500 for his production "Let's Talk Mining." We think a Rick Mercer rant may have provided a little of the inspiration for Brad.


Meaghan Butler from South Secondary School in London captured the $2,500 prize in the Best Original Screen Play category for her production "The Importance of Mining in Canada."


Not to be outdone by theme music from major productions, D.J. Nichol of H. B. Beal Secondary School in London was presented with $2,500 for "Music Without Mining" in the Best Original Score category. For lovers of basement and garage bands, the music was developed by D.J. Nichol and Ryan Sweet and performed by the group Live Like Heroes.


On the lighter side of things, Jeremy Kozelj from St. Paul Secondary School in Mississauga took home $2,500 for the "Glories of Mining" in the Best Comedy category. Alec Horne was co-team leader and producer with Jeremy.


The five winning videos are now posted on the OMA website Soon, winners will be joined by a video of the awards ceremony, which is being produced by Dexxter Hadland and his sidekick Harrison Kozak from Woodstock C.I. Their production of "Mining More Than You Think" was a top runner up in the So You Think You Know Mining competition.


The OMA would like to offer thanks to those who assisted with the awards ceremony and a special thanks to the So You Think You Know Mining judging panel of Dennis Watson, VP and general manager of CTV Southwestern Ontario; Jessica Grillanda, co-ordinator of the broadcast and new media program at Cambrian College in Sudbury; Nicholas Pagee, co-ordinator youth learning for the Toronto International Film festival Group; Jack Blum actor and co-founder of REEL Canada, which promotes Canadian films in high schools; and Dominique Dionne, VP corporate affairs for OMA member Xstrata Nickel. Dionne was on hand with several mining industry executives to present the awards at the ceremonies and Nicholas Pagee provided insight into the deliberations of the judging panel.


"When we launched the So You Think You Know Mining high school video competition, we were hoping to encourage students to do some research and explore numerous aspects of the benefits of mining," said OMA president Chris Hodgson. "The response was encouraging. We received a large number of high-quality creative video productions with drama, humour, original music, effective script writing and innovative camera techniques. Judging from the results, the student video producers clearly had fun with their movie making endeavours."


Watch the OMA website for updates on the second So You Think You Know Mining high school video competition, which will kick off in the fall of 2009.


*Peter McBride is the Ontario Mining Association's manager of communications. He can be reached at or 416-364-9301


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