October 21, 2022
L'Hebdo du St-Maurice
Translated by Theron
SHAWINIGAN. The spirit was in celebration Thursday evening at the Alphonse-Desjardins Entrepreneurship Center in Shawinigan (CEADS) as the red carpet was rolled out to welcome the hundred guests to celebrate the 10th anniversary of this reconversion of the old Wabasso factory.
While walking through the corridors of the building, it was possible to discover the products of entrepreneurs who had gone through CEADS, such as Theron's electric mountain bike.
CEADS was officially inaugurated on October 18, 2012 after numerous renovations carried out on the dilapidated building. It has today become a 140,000 square foot ecosystem with an incubator-accelerator for businesses, a partner space, training locations, a collaborative manufacturing workshop, a floor devoted to digital development with the Digihub, without forgetting the imposing installations of the Devil’s Hole.
Built in 1910, the building was occupied by the Shawinigan Cotton company, before being used for the Wabasso factory until 1985. The CEASD is now an example of the reconversion of an industrial building cited as an example throughout the province.
What stands out in the mind of the executive director of CEADS and director of the economic department of the City of Shawinigan Luc Arvisais when he looks back on these 10 years of existence? “What it has become now compared to what it was 10 years ago! The building here was in disrepair and was slated for demolition. There were no windows, it was dark with puddles of water, pigeons… When you look at what it has become as an entrepreneurial and business place, it’s day and night. And it’s the fruit of the work of a lot of people. »
If the provincial economic world recognizes the work that has been done in Shawinigan with this important reconversion, there are still skeptics among the population regarding the mission and the necessity of CEADS. What if nothing had been done? “I think the population would ask us what we are waiting for to do something with the building. But we did it! And we’ve been doing it for 10 years! », Expresses Mr. Arvisais.
Without a shadow of a doubt, this is the greatest achievement of Mayor Michel Angers in his career. “Ten years ago, the creation of the entrepreneurship center became essential to revive our economy. It was a big challenge, since we had to establish an entrepreneurial culture within our population. We are now proving to be a preferred place to live, work and do business! »
The public is invited to discover CEADS during an open day on November 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.