Rio Tinto’s Contribution: An Important Lever for Centraide

Rio Tinto has supported Centraide Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean since it was founded 42 years ago. Over time, the organisation and its people have become only more dedicated and engaged. Last April, Centraide announced a record amount of $3,094,083 from its recent fundraising campaign. The donations of Rio Tinto and its employees make up 22% of the total amount, or nearly $670,000.

“It’s a cause that is close to our hearts,” said Audrey Desbiens, Senior Advisor, Social Investment and Regional Economic Development. “Donating to Centraide allows us to give back to a hundred or so organisations in the region. Through this gesture, we’re able to have a concrete impact in the community.”

The strategies put in place for strengthening employee commitment are paying off. Rio Tinto’s fundraising campaign is showing strong growth (up 13% from last year).

Employee donations alone amount to over $287,000, and the matching of employee donations brings the corporate contribution to $293,000. On top of that, there are donations from retirees ($29,000) and income from operations (about $60,000). The number of major donors (donations of $500 or more) has also increased, now totalling 148 (ten more than in 2021).

According to Katlyne Potvin, Superintendent, Engineering Services, and Regional Coordinator for the Centraide/Red Cross campaign, the presence and involvement of the representatives from each sector encouraged the generosity of Rio Tinto employees.

“The representatives from each plant took their role to heart,” she explained. “They formed sub-committees to seek donations from colleagues and raise awareness of the organisations’ missions. They held meetings over Teams to share their progress and ideas. People were excited about getting involved again.”

In addition to the Centraide/Red Cross lotto, which raised $30,000 through ticket sales, and the pay slip fundraising campaign, which encouraged people to donate a portion of their pay, there were a host of other activities, including fifty-fifty draws, golf tournaments, a beard-o-thon and parking space auctions. These were opportunities for the sector representatives to display their exceptional creativity and drive.

“When we explain what these organisations do, people are very happy to donate!” Potvin added. “We are also indebted to management for their tremendous support in encouraging us in this initiative and allowing us to form committees.”

Martin St-Pierre, Executive Director at Centraide Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean described the partnership between Rio Tinto and the organization as “historic.” “Rio Tinto was there for us when we started out in the 1980s, and it hasn’t gone anywhere,” he said. “The employees and managers in each of its facilities are exceptional in their dedication and drive. We see how involved they are and appreciate their strong leadership. Many of them are already hard at work on the 2023 fundraising campaign.”


Sector Representatives

Campaign coordinator​

Katlyne Potvin


Stéphane Allaire


Pier-Luc Bouchard ​


Laurence Blackburn​

Grande Baie Works

Manon Lavoie


Érik Leroux ​


Esteban Gonzalez ​


Éric Deschenes ​

Power Operations

Steeve Côté


Karine Boivin ​

Asset management

Mélanie Gagné ​


Stéphane Boudreault​


Josée Tremblay​

Port Facilities

Pierre-Michel Landry ​


Sébastien Tremblay​