NEWS RELEASE: Season six of SYTYKM begins — today

This article was provided by the Ontario Mining Association (OMA), an organization that was established in 1920 to represent the mining industry of the province.

The Ontario Mining Association officially launched season six of its high school video competition So You Think You Know Mining (SYTYKM) today. New features of the competition this year include an additional award category and an increase in available prize money to $40,000 from $36,500.

The new Teachers’ Choice Award carries a $2,500 prize for the video receiving the most votes from educators. Every teacher who votes will be eligible for a random draw to win $1,000 to acquire audio-visual equipment for their schools. “We want to make SYTYKM a little more exciting and innovative each year,” said OMA President Chris Hodgson. “The success of SYTYKM would not be possible without the interest and support of dedicated teachers across the province. The new award is a way to recognize the vital role of teachers in the SYTYKM program.”

The award for the Best Overall video will be $5,000 and most other Oscar-type award categories carry $2,500 cash prizes for winners. While the competition opens today, the deadline for submitting two to three minute videos – or a 30-second commercial – on the benefits of mining is 11:59 p.m. on Friday, March 21, 2014. To be eligible for the Early Bird prize of $500, entries need to be received by Friday, March 7, 2014. The timetable leads up to Tuesday, June 3, 2014 when the SYTYKM awards gala will be held at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.

Public voting for the People’s Choice Award will take place between April 10 and May 31, 2014, while the OMA Academy Award will be voted on by OMA member company representatives from April 10 to May 12, 2014. Voting for the Teachers’ Choice Award will also be between April 10 and May 12, 2014. In addition, teachers from high schools, which submit three or more video entries in SYTYKM, will be eligible for a $2,000 random draw prize to acquire film equipment and software for their school.

The distinguished SYTYKM judging panel includes John Coulbourn, theatre, film and arts critic; Katarina Gligorijevic, creative consultant at REEL Canada; Jessica Grillanda from Cambrian College in Sudbury; Christina Blizzard from SUN Media; James Cullingham from Seneca College in Toronto; Joanne Kearney from Smithcom and Peter Fuchs from Glencore. .

SYTYKM is supported by comprehensive web-based resources and a social media network that includes Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest. Contest details, video upload instructions, production ideas and past winning entries are all available on the OMA website at

At the OMA, the SYTYKM prizes are viewed as “scholarships.” SYTYKM alumni have shared with us how they have invested their winnings to help with tuition and often to purchase cameras, computers and filmmaking equipment. These talented students have gone in a wide variety of academic and technical post-secondary programs. Many have returned to perform and participate in awards ceremonies. With season six prize money included, since its inception, SYTYKM will have awarded more than $173,000 in “scholarships.”

Ideas for video topics can be found from current mining stories in the mainstream media and the OMA e-News list may help provide some direction. Modern mining is a leader in technology and environmental innovation as well as being a producer of key components needed to build a greener and more sustainable economy.

The OMA seeks feedback from students, educators, judges, sponsors and others involved in SYTYKM in order to keep making it better. We would love to hear what you think. Please post your comments on the SYTYKM blog or write to us directly.

From a modest start in October 2008, the SYTYKM competition has grown to attract a large number of solid and creative entries from across the province. We look forward to receiving more exciting and imaginative video productions by March 21, 2014. Good luck to all contestants. We will see some of you walking down the red carpet at the ROM on Tuesday, June 3, 2014 to accept your Oscar-style trophy – and cheque.