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Adaptability and determination are the recipe for success at the 32nd Canadian Mining Games in hybrid format

March 11, 2022 - Source : NEWS

After a 2021 edition held completely in remote-mode due to the pandemic, the 2022 edition of the Canadian Mining Games was again held online - but with delegations in action on campuses or in hotels in their respective cities. Read on for a look back at this amazingly unique event, courtesy musings from a Polytechnique Montréal graduate who was part of the Organizing Comittee, and the captains of the Polytechnique delegation.

Alexis Foglia, Félicia St-Pierre et Gabriel Filiatrault.
Alexis Foglia Competition Director / Organizing Comittee member for the 32nd Canadian Mining Games; Félicia St-Pierre and Gabriel Filiatrault, Polytechnique Team Captains.

Alexis Foglia, a graduate of Polytechnique Montréal's Bachelor of Mining Engineering program, was the Competition Director for the 32nd Canadian Mining Games, which were won in early March by the Polytechnique delegation (read the related article). Now a junior engineer in a Montréal engineering firm, he was the captain of the Polytechnique delegation in 2020, during the 30th Canadian Mining Games, when he was in the last semester of his engineering degree.

Foglia explains that Polytechnique Montréal and McGill University were co-hosts of the 31st Canadian Mining Games in 2021, which were supposed to have been held in person on campus. However, the continuation of the COVID-19 in 2021 meant that that year’s event was held entirely online. With the hopes that the 2022 games would be held in person, the organization of the 2022 competition was handed back to those same two universities.

A new Organizing Comittee for the 2022 edition consisted of: Claude Gagné (Director of Sponsorship), Mark-Olivier Clark (Director of Logistics) and Alexis Foglia, all from Polytechnique, as well as McGill University’s Kevin Liu (Director of Finance) and Rim Kouider (Director of Planning).

"Like many other events, the Canadian Mining Games held its first fully online edition last year. The event was a success, but students and sponsors were keen to be 'in person' this year," said Alexis Foglia. "By the end of summer 2021, when several health restrictions had been eliminated, our Organizing Comittee was hoping to hold the 32nd edition in person. However, Québec was again confined at the end of December, and all sorts of events were cancelled. So, we had to change our original ambition and move to an online event once again, with the worry that students and sponsors would be disappointed,” he added.

Despite the short time to accommodate such a significant change in format, Organizing Comittee members worked hard to ensure another quality competition online. Initially planned to be entirely virtual, the event ended up being held in hybrid format, following the relaxation of health regulations that allowed delegation members to meet locally.

"Our priorities remained the same: for students to participate in a professional, entertaining, and inspiring event that promotes their learning and understanding of the mining industry. And, for sponsors to be able to network with students and future graduates, promoting their values and vision of the mining industry," explained Alexis Foglia. "Sponsors were flexible and invested a lot of time to support the event. They were impressed by students’ performance – who really outdid themselves during their events! We’re also pleased to have received a lot of positive feedback from students who loved their experience, both in terms of learning and for the networking opportunities they were able to enjoy.”

The Polytechnique delegation: seeking out solutions

Following the relaxation of health and safety guidelines, Polytechnique Montréal student delegation team members worked hard to maximize opportunities for face-to-face interaction during the competition, as explained by captains Gabriel Filiatrault and Félicia St-Pierre.

"With the support of Polytechnique's administration, we reserved a classroom for each of the events, for our team’s participants. So, we borrowed the entire second floor of the Lassonde buildings! That arrangement allowed us to respect physical distancing requirements, while promoting communication during events," explained Gabriel Filiatrault.

Filiatrault continued: "In addition, each team member was given a rapid screening test 24 hours before participating in the event: it was an additional measure to ensure everyone’s safety. A team event, company presentations, and the awards gala all took place in a hotel conference room, which was set up so that there was a two-meter distance between each seat."


Les membres de la délégation de Polytechnique Montréal aux 32es Jeux miniers canadiens
Polytechnique Montréal delegation team members at the 32nd Canadian Mining Games participated in events from classrooms in the Lassonde Building, and from a conference room in a hotel. (Photos: Polytechnique delegation)

"We had to change our plans a lot, and we’re really thankful to Polytechnique Montréal’s administration for its quick reactions and responses during that process. We’d also like to thank our delegation’s sponsors, as well as the event’s Organizing Comittee and sponsors, without whom the 2022 Canadian Mining Games could not have taken place," added Filiatrault.

"We’re proud to have represented Polytechnique Montréal in this pan-Canadian event. We’re also very happy that the Canadian Mining Games were organized by Polytechnique alumni, in collaboration with students from McGill University – that definitely gave everyone a motivational boost in terms of wanting to win the Mining Games," concluded Félicia St-Pierre.

Learn more

Related article “Team Polytechnique Montréal - Champions of the 2022 Canadian Mining Games!”

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