Attending PDAC 2023: What was it like this year?

Attending PDAC 2023: What was it like this year?

For this week’s blog we hear from one of our own: Emily Gillespie, Covergalls’  Digital Business Manager, who attended PDAC 2023 with our fearless leader Alicia Woods.

A few weeks ago, Covergalls attended one of the biggest mining conventions in Canada: the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada convention. Or, as industry locals affectionately call it, PDAC! 

PDAC is a convention like none other. It’s a massive event for the mineral exploration and development community. According to the PDAC website, that community is made up of 719,000 people, in direct and indirect employment, and contributes $106 billion to Canada's GDP every year. 

But thinking how big the mining industry is and witnessing it are two completely different things.

If you have yet to attend PDAC, picture entering a massive building centre with open natural light. The next thing you notice? There are over hundreds of unique exhibitors, and companies who attend.

Once we arrived at the centre, we headed straight to our designated area which was located in the Northern Ontario building [sponsored by FEDNOR]. The building had a really cool atmosphere. Walking past tables I saw many Northern Ontario businesses all starting to set their booths up, side-by-side. It was amazing, and just proves how big of a role the North plays within the mining sector. And the best part was it felt like we were within a community. Our community! Even though I was in the big city I still felt close to home.

The days passed by so quickly, and we met so many incredible people, and discovered amazing businesses, that I can’t possibly name them all. But there are a few that stood out to me:

The Northern Wildflowers 

This Sudbury, Ontario-based organisation, has done some much needed work in mine remediation! They do this by growing and distributing wildflower seeds to companies interested in taking steps to re-green mine sites such as the projects in northern Ontario Porcupine and Cochrane.

Meeting Jessica Scanlan

Jessica is the Head of New Media at Prospector, and also a long time Internet friend of ours at Covergalls! For a long time we’ve chatted over Instagram but I’ve never had the chance to meet in person, so getting a chance to connect in-person was amazing. I think that’s definitely one of the pros of attending PDAC - getting to connect with people in-person. 

Meeting Vivian Lapointe (Sudbury's MP) and Patty Hadju (MP for Thunder Bay Superior North)

Another two people we were really excited to connect with were Vivian Lapointe and Patty Hadju. It was great to get the chance to chat with them both and discuss our new maternity workwear. 

Catching up with Cam Perdue 

When we set up our booth in the Northern Ontario building, it was great to see a friendly face from last year’s PDAC at one of our neighbouring booths. Cam is another good friend of ours, in and outside of business, from Sudbury. He has created some awesome videography work with his company Incapture Media Productions for a few different mining companies. It was great to catch up, but also explore lots of the events of the day with Cam alongside too. 


Experiencing the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV) Market Close  

Together, TSX and TSXV are the leading listing and public capital raising venue for nearly half of the world's public mining companies. It was a lot of fun to attend the countdown to the market close as well as attend The Power of One: Women in Mining - Fireside Chat, where Alicia was one of the speakers.

And of course Femina Collective's first networking and get-together dinner! So many incredible women attended, including our inspiring friend Theresa Nyabeze (who also visited our booth, attended the Stock Market close, and visited so many other events with us!). 

The dinner opened with Femina Collective founder Beth Borody giving a speech and what to expect with the Collective for the year. Then the evening broke into networking and chatting amongst ourselves. It turned out to be incredibly intimate and relaxing. It was a chance for women to not only network with other women in the industry, but be vulnerable with each other.

And some fun news? It’s been a year since we launched our Lead Like a Women t-shirt with Beth and the Femina Collective team. At PDAC, we also launched a new black tee design! 

Attending the Hatch breakfast panel on Designing sustainable prosperity

Alicia had the opportunity to attend Hatch’s breakfast panel on electric vehicles (EV), which had many interesting points raised on the impact EV vehicles will have on the industry. 

Last, and definitely not least, it was wonderful to get a chance to talk to everyone who came up to our booth on our latest maternity wear. It was so nice to chat with so many people who expressed just how needed this workwear is. It’s moving to know that the work you are doing to create diverse, inclusive work wear is reaching people. 


The four days we attended PDAC were filled with events, booths, and networking moments . All of this was impressively captured and shared by the Northern Ontario Mining Showcase. Attending PDAC this year was an unforgettable experience for me, and I have Alicia and Covergalls to thank for that. I hope to see everyone again next year (if not sooner!). 

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