Arvida fête son patrimoine is quickly becoming a new tradition. The fourth edition, held on 4 and 5 September, was eagerly anticipated by residents who came to celebrate their hometown.
“If we want future generations to discover Arvida, we need to keep the city alive and offer experiences that help maintain high quality of life,” said Marianne Salesse-Côté, Interim Director of the Arvida Heritage Centre.
Despite more limited resources, the celebrations were as popular as ever. Throughout the weekend, activities were organised to promote a sense of belonging to this industrial city, considered a genius piece of urban planning.
Tours of the iconic Manoir du Saguenay attracted many curious visitors. Over the summer, the logistics of the tours were reviewed to make the experience even more worthwhile.
Rio Tinto’s support was a major driving force behind the event, and the company was a highly engaged partner at every level. “We have managed to grow the event brilliantly. As in previous years, we were able to count on the support of Rio Tinto employees in terms of staff and coordination, as well as their participation in the celebrations and the presence of a Rio Tinto kiosk and team,” she said.
An event that gets better every year
One of the highlights of the event’s new activities was undoubtedly the helicopter tour, which gave visitors the opportunity to admire the historic city from the skies. This activity was a remarkable achievement for the organisers, who had to change their plans at the last minute.
“It was a stroke of genius! Originally, it was supposed to be a hot-air balloon. We were still able use our idea of giving passengers a photo from the archives taken from the same vantage point. This way they could see how far Arvida has come and how well it has been preserved.”
In total, 80 people enjoyed a breathtaking view of hydropower developments, Rio Tinto facilities, Manoir du Saguenay, the church and downtown Arvida. A truly unique experience!
A caricaturist was at the event to mark this edition of Arvida fête son patrimoine. “The artist had to incorporate the word ‘Arvida’ in at least one of the elements of the caricature,” said Salesse-Côté. “That way, people could keep it as a souvenir.”
A tourtière dinner was served to 650 people under a huge tent decorated for the occasion. Participants were also able to discover Locus, a young artist from Arvida.
Like every year, the fireworks show attracted a large crowd. “Without Rio Tinto’s help, we wouldn’t be able to put on the fireworks show, as Moritz Park is one of the only places where it can be held safely.”
The Arvida Heritage Centre would like to thank its other partners, Canadian Heritage and the City of Saguenay, as well as the residents of Arvida.
“If it weren’t for Arvida citizens, this event wouldn’t exist. We do it for the people and, this year, I felt that very strongly,” said Salesse-Côté.