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Lawsuit dogs mining expo organizer

By Andrew Livingstone
Northern News Services
Published Saturday, January 10, 2009

SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - A mysterious mining expo slated for the Multiplex Arena this fall has folded its tent after a News/North investigation revealed scores of unhappy exhibitors and unpaid accounts from a previous event in Alberta last year.

Pearson's e-mail reply

The Question:

Paul, My name is Andrew Livingstone I am a reporter with Northern News Services in Yellowknife and I am seeking comment about your mining expo you are organizing in our city. I have done some investigating and have a trail of people who are not pleased with your past work. From Red Deer where you put on a rig expo last year, to how The Capri Hotel is seeking legal action against you for not paying your bills, to Ontario where a company 'sponsoring' your Green Expo in Calgary in April said they had no idea about any agreement to be a sponsor. Also, the Red Deer Adovcate, the newspaper you purchased $9,500 worth of advertising from said you have not paid your bills there either and a gentleman in San Diego who said you used his name and company without consent. I'd like to speak to you regarding the web site, the mining expo, your past history, and how you expect things will be different this time. If you don't contact me by the end of the day, the story will run Monday with or without your comment. Very Best,

Andrew Livingstone

The Answer:

From: paul@mineshows.com
To: Andrew Livingstone
Subject: Re: Paul: re: Mine Expo Yellowknife

Andrew Livingstone

I will not waste to much of your time and none of mine.

Mine Expo Yellowknife has now cancelled the expo in the Multiplex as our mining partners and exhibitors have decided to move the show from Yellowknife to the mine site.

Tents West have donated a massive 14,000 sq. ft. tent for the show.

Air transportation and accommodations for the 177 exhibitors are taken care of courteous of fourteen brand new camp trailers.

Meals for the exhibitors and show visitors have be arranged for by an Edmonton Caterer at the mine site for the three days as we felt that the two main host hotels in Yellowknife would not be able to handle the logistics as well as the dificulty in providing the approx 4,000 meals over the two days of the expo and the one day set up and one day tear down.

Pipe and drape and carpeting for the expo booths have been contracted out to Alberta Event Services.

So it looks like we have got it pretty much all covered  however should we need any outside services from Yellowknife we will let the local business folks know about it.

If Northern News Services would like a media pass to come on site during Mine Expo NWT. Just let me know and I will see about getting them one, the cost is $240.00 per day plus transportation and housing costs are extra.

I am out of the country for next couple of weeks as six of my race horses are running at Santa Anita Park racetrack in Arcadia, California and then I am off to the Dubai Horse Racing of Champions at Nad Al Sheba were my great champion colt Mr. Prospector II will run for the Diamonds Graded Stake Championship title and the three million US dollar purse, so wish me well Mr Andrew.

Oh by the way, I don,t know if you ever have been out of Yellowknife much but if you ever go to Toronto look me up at Woodbine Race track in the owners suite as that is were my wonderful Kentucky bred filly "My Miss Emily" who won the prestigous Timber Music Stakes race will compete for the chance to run in the Queens Plate trials this spring.

If it sounds like I spend a lot of my time at race tracks around the globe "well its true" my office is my cell phones and my office view from the owners box at thoroughbred meets all over the world is breathtaking.

So should you ever call me for an interview don't be surprised if you hear in the back ground "AND THEIR OFF"

And with that I am off as I have a connecting flight to catch.

Keep Smilling


PS...Oh,I almost forgot, you asked for a few comments from me in your below e-mail. Sorry, I just don't do the comment thing any more, as they quite often come out a little twisted and silly so its really a waste of precious time and energy, which I would much rather spend on family, friends and clients in my owners box at some exquisite beautiful race track overlooking the mountains of California or the blue seas of the Mediterranean.
Protec Expo International, a company owned by British Columbia resident Paul Pearson, was advertising for an event named Mining Expo Yellowknife for Sept. 3-4.

Protec's website offered exhibitors "unprecedented exposure to all purchasing agents representing the current and future diamond mines throughout the NWT."

The website showed floor plans for a "Civic Centre" with spaces available in "Hall A" and "Hall B" while exhorting potential exhibitors to hurry up and book a booth because spaces were filling up quickly.

Indoor booths were advertised for between $1,295 and $1,995 while outdoor booths ranged from $3,600 to $12,000.

That all came to an end Friday, however, after News/North sent Pearson an e-mail requesting an interview about the expo and his involvement with a trade show that went bust in Red Deer, Alta. in May 2008. Pearson didn't call back but a couple hours later the advertisement for the Multiplex expo on Protec's website was gone, replaced instead with a "cancelled" notice.

After reviewing the expo website before the cancelled sign went up, Mayor Gord Van Tighem said his interest was piqued, adding he planned to look into things a little further.

Van Tighem said the city will scrutinize promoters if necessary.

"If suspicions are raised there would be some checking but other than that it's a matter of a booking facility, we don't do credit checks," Van Tighem said.

"A mining show is something we would see as acceptable in a city facility."

When told the event was cancelled Friday afternoon, the city's special events coordinator Beth Lenardon said Protec had yet to cancel its booking at the Multiplex, for which the city has yet to be paid.

Mike Vaydik, president of the NWT/Nunavut Chamber of Mines, said Thursday that he had heard about the mining expo last week.

"I've checked with th city and the place is booked and we don't really have any concerns," Vaydik said.

He said he was aware of Pearson's problems in Red Deer but declined to talk about it.

Vaydik did add, however, that the floor plans shown on the Protec website didn't resemble anything at the Multiplex.

It remains uncertain how many exhibitors signed up for the expo and who they are.

Hotel files suit

The Capri Hotel and Convention Centre in Red Deer is currently suing Pearson for non-payment following last year's two-day Rig Expo when only 22 visitors showed up on the first day.

Alica Fiske, accounting manager for Capri Hotel, would not comment about the lawsuit but did say the hotel is seeking payment for the rental of the convention centre. Fiske would not give a specific amount on what Pearson owed the hotel but did give a general idea of what it would cost to rent the convention centre.

"Cost would depend on the event, but up to $5,000 per day to rent," Fiske said.

Pearson charged exhibitors at least $2,000 to purchase booths at the Red Deer expo.

In an interview with the Red Deer Advocate after the event, Pearson said his company made $130,000 in gross sales but due to expenses preparing for the show he was broke and could not provide refunds to the oil industry exhibitors Ė some of whom had travelled to Red Deer from as far away as Texas.

Pearson wrote in a letter to the Advocate stating that he feared for his safety after some exhibitors became angry with him. Gord Derouin, advertising director for the Advocate, said Pearson booked $9,600 in advertisements prior to the event for which they have yet to be paid.

"It was actually a last minute booking," Derouin said. "He gave me his credit card number but said not to run it through until later. My radar didn't go off and I've been in this business for a long time. We've chased him and we're not going to get any money."

The only contact number the Red Deer newspaper had for Pearson, a British Columbia listing, is no longer in service.

RCMP Const. Chris Fry of the Red Deer RCMP said police received a complaint on May 28, 2008, the first day of the Rig Expo. Their investigation concluded that charges could not be laid because Pearson had fulfilled his end of the bargain by providing a venue and advertising and any outstanding issues would have to be brought before a civil court.

Pearson is also organizing an expo slated for April 24-26 in Calgary, Alta called the Go Green Live Well Expo. The website promoting the event provides a list of sponsors, with rankings of gold and silver. The Packaging Association of Canada is listed as a gold sponsor for the event, but Chris Turner, communications director for the organization, said the association had no contact with Pearson and were surprised to see their name listed on the website.

"We're not involved in this expo in any capacity," Turner said.

On Friday, the sponsors section of the Go Green website was removed.

An official with the City of Calgary said they had no information about the event and none of her directors or managers knew anything about it.