Impala Canada donated $235,000 to support Thunder Bay organizations in 2020

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Lac Des Iles Mine
Lac Des Iles Mine Photo: Adam Lach for Sandvik

Thunder Bay – LIVING – 2020 has been a challenging year for everyone. But it has also offered us an opportunity to come together with respect and care during this time of need.  Impala Canada, the owner and operator of the Lac des Iles (LDI) mine just north of Thunder Bay, has contributed $130,000 in financial support and personal protective equipment to local community organizations in response to COVID-19 needs. Face masks distributed were sourced from Thunder Bay and Ontario-based companies to support the continued viability of local business.  The combination of pandemic-related donations plus Impala Canada’s existing annual commitments to Thunder Bay organizations, totaled more than $235,000 in 2020!

“As a local employer and community stakeholder, we strive to do our part to create a better future for the region,” said Tim Hill, Chief Executive Officer at Impala Canada. “The global pandemic has impacted the lives of many in Thunder Bay, increasing the need for additional community support. At Impala Canada, we are proud to play our part in ways that make a difference.”

Gifts that Give Back.

As we all face a quiet and more isolated holiday season, employees and contractors at LDI Mine displayed an unwavering and growing commitment to support those in need. Together, the LDI team members generously raised funds for Children’s Aid of Thunder Bay, Faye Peterson House, Regional Food Distribution Association, Toys for Tots, the Dilico Anishinabek Family Care and St. Joe’s Secret Santa Program. This employee-driven annual fundraising effort reached an unprecedented high, raising 300% more than last year.

Bryan Wilson, LDI General Manager, joined 99.9 The Bay and Country 105 for the Thunder Bay Christmas Cheer Fund, gifting an $18,000 matching donation on behalf of the Company. Christmas Cheer raised an incredible $260,000 this year, more than double what they were expecting, providing food hampers, clothing and toys to families in need in Thunder Bay.

“We were super excited to be part of the 36-Hour Thunder Bay Christmas Cheer Fund with the energetic team at 99.9 The Bay and Country 105. Congratulations to the entire team on their tremendous fundraising success,” said Bryan Wilson, General Manager, LDI Mine, Impala Canada.  “The LDI team might come from across Canada, but Thunder Bay is our home and the Thunder Bay community is an extension of our family. A big thanks to the entire LDI team for stepping up and giving generously during this time of need.”

“Bryan Wilson and Impala Canada have been such incredible partners to us and the Thunder Bay Christmas Cheer Fund during the 36 hours of cheer and CLE drive through,” added John Ongaro, Program Director, CJUK and CKTG. “The employees at the LDI Mine are hard-working people who all give back and are a strong, important part of this community. We cannot thank them enough. A big cheer to ImpalaCanada for stepping up and matching so many generous donations.  We had a lot of fun for a wonderful cause!”

Recognizing other deserving organizations would appreciate their own Christmas cheer, Impala Canada is currently rolling out its own ‘20 Days of Christmas Giving’ program, granting donations to 20 charities nominated by individual LDI employees. Their personal stories are being highlighted on the Impala Canada Facebook Page throughout the month of December. And not leaving all the heavy lifting to the operation, the Company’s corporate offices in Thunder Bay and Toronto challenged one another to raise additional funds for Our Kids Count, helping support families in need over the holiday season, while keeping important mental health support and counselling, parenting and pre/post-natal support services running.

Keeping Youth Protected.

Going back to school is never easy, but this year was even more challenging. In addition to traditional back-to-school demands, many kids in the Greater Thunder Bay area needed masks. Impala Canada worked with a local supplier, Ungalli, to manufacture and supply 1,000 youth masks to local Indigenous communities and 2,500 youth masks to local schools and community groups including Our Kids Count, The George Jeffrey Children’s Centre, the Adult and Teen Challenge Thunder Bay and the Boys and Girls Club Thunder Bay.

Supporting the Next Generation.

The future is bright and full of opportunity! Impala Canada is proud to continue encouraging the next generation of students right here in the Thunder Bay area. Driven by the belief that the future of responsible mining starts in the classroom and starts at a young age, the Company made a financial gift to Mining Matters, an organization offering education and resources to young people to develop knowledge and awareness of Earth sciences, the minerals industry, and their roles in society. A financial gift was also granted to Superior Science, a Lakehead University-driven, student-run, non-profit camp that sparks kids’ interests in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) through hands-on activities.

Impala Canada also proudly supports LSF – Learning for a Sustainable Future, an organization dedicated to integrating sustainability into Canada’s education system. Our support helped LSF to pivot quickly to respond to the challenges of the pandemic and design new ways to provide quality programs that meet the needs of parents, teachers and students.

To engage post-secondary students, Impala Canada partnered with Women In Mining, for the second year in a row, to provide a scholarship to a student in Northwestern Ontario interested in a career in mining and made a financial contribution to Confederation College’s TEC Campaign (Technology, Education and Collaboration Hub) to enhance skills training programs.

A future that is healthy and inclusive. And inspired.

In addition to COVID-19-driven funding for the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation, Impala Canada made a gift to Hospital’s Cardiac Campaign. And when the Company heard about Michael Vita’s 1000KM Ride in support of Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation, they were inspired to support and challenge others with a matching donation.

Finally, when the Ontario Mining Association worked to establish a scholarship for an Indigenous artist at Ryerson University in collaboration with Lesley Hampton, and Indigenous fashion designer whose inclusive design was seeded by her father’s global career in mining, Impala Canada jumped in to support.