The Thompson Branch’s executive council is dedicated to increasing the strength of their annual program and enlarging membership participation. It is a
nickel-producing area, and the bulk of the members are INCO employees. The branch aims to further the principles of CIM in the region by hosting
distinguished lecturers and social events.
Thompson has a population of about 15 000, and the branch membership is about 100. Aside from people from INCO, membership is drawn from suppliers, such as
Orica Canada, educators and the Mines Branch of the Manitoba government.
“We need to raise awareness of CIM in the community,” said Branch treasurer, Scott Bishop. “We need to advertise what CIM is, and what it does.”
The challenge is set for the executive to raise public awareness. They are using the local newspaper as their main tool, publishing photos and articles
about branch events, as well as circulating news through area representatives and the government bodies.
The branch hosts four CIM Distinguished Lecturers and one local meeting each year, November through April. The local meeting, in November, provides the
opportunity for local people to present their work, local projects and mining activities.
The meetings enjoy a consistent turnout of about 40 people. The CIM Distinguished Lecturers provide a forum for members to learn about other projects
around the country. The branch chairman, Warren Flannery, said the meetings always feature a discussion period where a lot of strong points are raised.
“Our biggest strength is we have a very active group of regular members who come to every meeting and contribute a lot to the discussions,” said Flannery.
Topics range from mining, to geology, to international news. New technologies, such as automation, always draw a crowd, as well as the local meeting night.
But the largest turnouts are always for the social events.
The Thompson Branch has a very active social calendar. The Casino Night was resurrected after a five-year absence from the annual program. In May, a
bowling tournament, held in partnership with the Association of Professional Engineers of Manitoba, draws a crowd of about 75 people. A golf tournament and
dinner in September, another partnership with APEM, enjoys the same turnout. Finally, in October, Oyster Night, sponsored by Orica Canada, is usually the
most successful event of the year, where at least 80 people attend the membership drive.
“We (the branch) enjoy the sponsorship of seven or eight local suppliers,” said Bishop. “They donate funds or prizes for the events.”
The branch has a few educational programs. They participate in the judging of the local high school science fair. There, the branch sponsors a special
Environment Award, the recipient of which receives a plaque and $100.
The branch also awards two annual bursaries. One, of $600, goes to the child of a branch member who is pursuing post-secondary studies in an
industry-related field. The other, the Mature Student Bursary, again of $600, goes to a branch member who has been working and has elected to go back to
school to upgrade his or her skills.