The inauguration of an aluminium smelter at Arvida in 1927, marked the beginning of a story that would later become Aluminium Valley®. Initially centered on primary production, the Valley developed a network of equipment manufacturers, specialized suppliers, and subcontractors. Later, through a series of diverse initiatives, the region picked up the tools it needed to support the development of companies interested in aluminium transformation and the growth of equipment manufacturers. Combining their efforts, the Aluminium Valley Society and regional stakeholders fostered the emergence of an aluminium transformation niche of excellence.
Following an announcement by Alcan at the 1984 Economic Summit regarding its intention to reduce the number of jobs and investment outside North America, regional stakeholders consider which regional industrial bases could be diversified.
1984 à 1992
The regional partners focused on research (research chairs in aluminium at the University of Quebec at Chicoutimi and the Arvida Research & Development Centre, financing (Soccrent) and training initiatives in local colleges (Cégeps) and school boards.
Inception of the Aluminium Research and Development Centre of Quebec (CQRDA).
1994 à 1997
Several aluminium transformation businesses emerge and existing companies make progress. Regional suppliers position themselves on the international market.
The small and medium-sized businesses decide to consolidate into the Trans-Al Network.
The TransformActions group adopts the mandate to search out business opportunities and increase the number of aluminium processing companies in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean.
During the regional aluminium transformation forum, the partners identified initiatives for completing a large project: to make the region a recognized aluminium transformation centre, including the creation of a governance organization.
The Québec Government names Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean “Aluminium Valley”®, during the 2000-2001 budget speech.
Following completion of a pre-feasibility study, the Aluminium Valley Society was officially created. The new organization is supported by various regional players, who demonstrate commitment to and confidence in the development of Aluminium Valley®. Moreover, the Québec Government recognizes the new organization as an important partner in the development of the aluminium transformation industry, and provides financial assistance for its operations. Tax benefits, in the form of tax credits, are granted to aluminium transformation companies that locate or expand in Aluminium Valley®.
The NRC Aluminium Technology Centre is created. This Canadian research and development centre quickly becomes a national reference for aluminium welding and forging.
Due to its economic importance and well advanced development, aluminium transformation becomes the region's leading niche of excellence within the framework of the ACCORD program (Concerted regional development action). The signing of an implementation agreement for the niche of excellence designates Aluminium Valley Society as the program coordinator.
The Aluminium Valley Society and its partners organize the first edition of the Aluminium Valley in Business International Trade Show.
The Aluminium Valley Society registers the Aluminium Valley® trademark in Canada, the US, European Union, the Middle East and in Russia. The Aluminium Valley Society and its partners hold the second edition of the Aluminium Valley in Business International Trade Show.
2007 à 2013
The Aluminium Valley Society increases its efforts to attract more aluminium transformation companies to Aluminium Valley®. Official statistics show an increase in the number of jobs and companies. The Aluminium Valley Society and its partners hold the third and fourth edition of the Aluminium Valley in Business International Trade Show. The organization also arranges various foreign missions and welcome missions, conducts business case analyses, supports innovation and arranges financial assistance. It also manages two private funds that provide businesses with assistance for prototyping and market research.