Pie Throw 2016 Feature Story – Meet The BC Mineral Exploration & Mining Team

By Kylie Williams

Two prominent faces in British Columbia’s minerals and mining industry have teamed up to raise funds for the BC Children’s Hospital in this years’ Teck Celebrity Pie Throw on May 12th.

Gavin Dirom, President and CEO of the Association for Mineral Exploration BC (AMEBC), and Karina Briño, President and CEO of the Mining Association of BC (MABC), have joined forces against their national counterparts. The pair are trying to raise more money than their opponents, outgoing President of the Canadian Institute of Mining (CIM), Garth Kirkham, and the Prospectors and Developers Association (PDAC) President, Bob Schafer.

Although the friendly competitors are vying to win the opportunity to pie the others in the face, all four know that the real winners are the children and families at the BC Children’s Hospital. We caught up with the BC Minerals Team to hear how they are preparing for the event.

Kylie Williams: How many times have you participated in the Teck Celebrity Pie Throw?
Karina Briño: Five times.
Gavin Dirom: This is at least my 7th year participating in the Pie Throw. Despite my best efforts, I usually end up on the receiving end of a pie!

KW: How are you preparing for the 2016 event? Tell us about your training regime.
KB: I beg and plead every single day!   
GD: Normally, Karina and I are pitted against each other, but this year we are working together against the national representatives of PDAC and CIM. I’m concerned they may be lulling us into a false sense of security and will come through at the last minute to beat us. But it’s all for fun and a good cause.

KW: What is your favourite pie flavour?
KB: Lemon
GD: Pumpkin Pie. Too bad we don’t throw pumpkin pie…but that would be rather messy of course!

KW: Eyes open or closed?
KB: Closed
GD: Always closed, as tight as possible. My advice is to also close your nose too, if you can!

KW: What is your fundraising goal for this year, and how is it going so far?
KB: $10,000; I’m almost there. Here is a link to my fundraising page.
GB: My goal is $10,000 and we’re about 85% of the way there. Here is a link to my fundraising page.

KW:  If you raise more money than your competition what is your ‘pie-ing strategy’? Fast or slow? Direct squish, or a twist?!
KB: Fast with a twist. They won’t even know what hit them!
GD: I like to use a top-down approach, rather than chin-up. I go for a slow, drawn-out delivery and hold it in place as long as possible.

KW: What will the BC Children’s Hospital use the money for?
KB: This is an amazing opportunity to support the CAUSES clinic.
GD: The Pie Throw supports the CAUSES Clinic. The clinic has some very advanced technology for analysing the genetics of sick kids, and is a great story of BC innovation. Learn more here.

KW: Why do you think it’s important for the mining community to fundraise for the BC Children’s Hospital each year?
KB: We all (society) benefit from healthy children and our industry has a role to play to ensure this is true.
GD: The technology and innovations at the Hospital and CAUSES clinic involve non-invasive ways of analysing a child’s genes, reducing the need for many, often painful tests or drastic measures. With one test, the CAUSES Clinic will scan for over 7,000 illnesses. In a way, it’s a medical analogy to mineral exploration. In our industry, we are also using more advanced, non-invasive technologies to gather information and data about the earth from small samples and from a distance, a soft touch on the environment. And, fundamentally, all of the metals used in the high tech equipment at hospitals comes from the materials we explore for. It starts with us, and it’s with great pride to see the downstream health benefits and medical applications from mineral exploration and development.

KW: Why is it important to you to raise money for the BC Children’s Hospital?
KB: The real life stories that I have learned over the past 5 years, demonstrate that change is possible and I can be a part of it.   
GD: My wife and I have four kids and we know many people who have benefited from the work of the BC Children’s Hospital. They’ve helped neighbours and friends through some really tough situations.

About the Contributor

Kylie Williams is a freelance science writer and corporate storyteller. After working for eight years on mineral exploration projects around the world, she traded in her field boots and now spends her days writing about the science and technology that make mineral exploration and mining more efficient and sustainable. Find her at resourceswriter.com or on Twitter @resourceswriter.