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Thunder Bay hosts Central Canada`s Largest Ever Resource Expo

Jul 28, 2020

By Kevin Vincent
Stakeholders and decision-makers in central Canada’s robust mining, forestry, and energy sectors are setting aside a stretch of July 2021 to be in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Canadian Trade-Ex, the company that produces the Big Event, Canadian Mining Expo in Timmins, one of the largest trade shows in Canada, is working with Thunder Bay officials to host another Big Event called the CEN-CAN Resource Expo.
The event will showcase northwestern Ontario and Manitoba mining services and supply sectors, forestry, construction and energy industries all under one roof at one time. The event, originally scheduled for September 2020 at the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition Grounds has been rescheduled to July 7-9 in 2021.
“It was a decision that was made after a great deal of thought,” said Canadian Trade-Ex President Glenn Dredhart. “CEN-CAN is Central Canada’s largest gathering of industry stakeholders under one roof at one time, and it wouldn’t be fair to the exhibitors and guests to host the event during these uncertain times,” he added.
“We are excited to host this event in 2021. It will give us time to make sure the event is a success. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak we were already 50% booked and that jumped another 10% during the height of the COVID pandemic – we fully expect all booths will be sold before the end of 2020.” The excitement for CEN-CAN Expo 2021 is understandable. Canada’s resource-based economy is experiencing incredible growth as the world grapples with the impact of the coronavirus on the global economy.  
“The anticipated impact of CEN-CAN is huge,” notes John Mason, Thunder Bay’s Project Manager of Mining Services. “As a new trade show with a resource industries focus, this is an opportunity for companies to showcase the newest equipment and state of the art technology for Thunder Bay and region to see!” he added enthusiastically.  
“The format of large equipment on display, interactive supply/service company displays, promotion of workforce growth and indigenous opportunities, all spell success for this event.”
“Mining, forestry and the energy sectors contribute tremendously to the economic wealth of the region, including well-paying jobs in the Northwest,” added Mason. Northwestern Ontario is 526,417 km² - roughly the size of France (547,030 sq. km). It extends north and west of Lake Superior, and west of Hudson Bay and James Bay. Manitoba forms its western boundary. About 250,000 people live in Northwestern Ontario.
Thunder Bay, a city of more than 120,000 people, serves as the regional hub for Northwestern Ontario.  The eastern boundary rests north of Sault Ste. Marie around the town of Wawa. Northwestern Ontario includes the districts of Kenora, Rainy River and Thunder Bay. In addition to Thunder Bay, other major communities include Kenora, Dryden, Fort Frances, Sioux Lookout, Greenstone, Hearst, Red Lake, Marathon, and Atikokan.  
There are over 50 First Nations communities in Northwestern Ontario and Thunder Bay is home to the head office of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) which represents all First Nations in Northern Ontario who are a part of Treaty 9.
Thunder Bay, also referred to as the Lakehead, is strategically located and well connected with a transportation network that moves products and people consisting of the main east west TransCanada Highway (Highway 11 and  Highway 17) and Highway 61 extending 32 miles south to the U.S. Both the Canadian National and Canadian Pacific Railways pass through Thunder Bay.
Thunder Bay’s airport is the third busiest in Ontario. Its port is the deepest on the Canadian side of the Great Lakes. From the Port of Thunder Bay grain and potash from the prairies is shipped to ports in Canada and the United States and to destinations around the world.  
Ontario Power Generation’s Northwestern Operations include one operating biomass and 11 hydroelectric stations. Together they provide about 900 megawatts (MW) of power, which accounts for 86% of the electricity used in the Northwest. A transmission line expansion is currently underway by Hydro One spurred in part by several new mining projects being developed in the region.  The 230 Kilovolt (KV) Waasigan Transmission line will extend from Thunder Bay, Atikokan and westward to Kenora and the Manitoba border.
Although Thunder Bay has a diversified economy with health services, education and technology-based businesses, resource industries such as mining and forestry contribute significantly to the regional economy.  
In Ontario, the mining industry creates about 26,000 direct and 50,000 indirect jobs and is the third-largest private sector employer of Indigenous people in the province. According to the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission, Northwestern Ontario Mines produced approximately 900,000 ounces of gold and 234,000 ounces of palladium in 2017.
There are now ten operating mines in Northwestern Ontario, nine of them are gold mines. There are several active junior properties in and around Northwestern Ontario.
“We are looking forward to the expo and the added networking opportunities being held during the CEN-CAN Expo. From the looks of the bookings of exhibit space and the contribution from the three main industries the event represents, we are well on our way in producing a world class event here in Thunder Bay,” stated Mason.


Tags: Northern Ontario / Machinery / Gold / All Articles