The third edition of Arvida fête son patrimoine, Arvida’s heritage celebration event, took place on 3 September and 4 September. For the occasion, the Arvida Heritage Centre opened its doors to visitors, giving them free access to its exhibits and to a host of activities that highlight the richness of this designated heritage site.
Rio Tinto provides the Arvida Heritage Centre with support that goes beyond just financial backing
“Rio Tinto is always eager to take part in the Arvida Heritage Centre’s projects,” said Marianne Salesse-Côté, Coordinator at Arvida Heritage Centre. “The organisation invests a lot of time in us by being present at our activities, meeting the public, providing access to the outdoor site at its facilities and welcoming visitors to the Manoir du Saguenay. It’s a very people-focused partnership.”
There was a great deal of excitement surrounding the activities. “People care about Arvida,” Salesse-Côté added. “There’s a whole community of partners who participate in the Arvida Heritage Centre’s projects. Because of this, our budget this year is seven times larger than it was previously.”
Thousands of visitors came out over the two-day the event. Popular activities included the visit to the Manoir du Saguenay and the guided tour of the Rio Tinto outdoor site. “We scheduled four one-hour visits. All were fully booked. Many visitors were intrigued by the mythical side of the Manoir. We received a lot of calls and could easily have done 20 tours.”
At the event’s peak, on Sunday, an estimated 3,000 people came out. All the makings of a special moment were there: entertainment, a rally, inflatable games, guided theatrical tours in the streets of Arvida, a lecture by Professor Lucie K. Morisset entitled Les maisons d’Arvida and the unveiling of a commemorative plaque with an effigy of the drum and bugle corps the Ambassadeurs d’Arvida. The festivities concluded with a tourtière dinner that attracted 517 guests, more than twice the anticipated turnout. It was followed by Québec Issime’s Arvida show and, as a finishing touch, fireworks.
“Tomorrow’s heritage is today’s heritage,” Salesse-Côté continued. “The activities we organise are an opportunity for people to get together and create a sense of belonging. They allow people to learn about the past while also creating something new for the youth and the future. The people here are very close-knit. Still today, many are discovering why Arvida is exceptional, why we have a heritage site and why we believe in aluminium.”