About Écoaventure Boréale
Discover the vision and the values that guide our development approach.
The ACCORD Initiative
The ACCORD Initiative (Concerted Action for Regional Development Cooperation) builds on regional strengths and on the pursuit of excellence in Quebec’s key sectors. This approach works on a regional level by grouping together all the social and economic actors in an industry cluster of excellence. Together they lay out and implement a strategy to ensure the optimal conditions in order to compete internationally as a niche market.
The Adventure Tourism and Ecotourism cluster is therefore intended to be a coordinated approach to the development of the sector, supported and financially supported by the Ministry of Economy and Innovation.
History of the Cluster
As part of the ACCORD initiative, the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region signed an agreement in principle on February 13, 2003 identifying potential industry clusters for the region. Over the following years through an in-depth consultation of the regional adventure and ecotourism industry, a strategy and action plan were submitted on February 19th 2008, by the regional comity presidents and the cluster comity to the Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Exportation. It was a few months later, in June 2008, that the first funding agreement for the hiring of a cluster director was signed, triggering simultaneously the beginning of the implementation of the 2008-2013 action plan.
The first two years of operations were mainly used to establish the cluster, publicize the approach and refine the management and operational structure. Starting in 2010 the first projects started to emerge and the collaboration between the companies really came into being.
Since the beginning of the cluster’s implementation, nearly 30 projects have been established or supported by the cluster, for a total investment of 5 million dollars.
- Mobilization: Mobilizing cluster members and partners into our activities and projects. Mobilizing the community to become stewards of its vision and mission, while contributing towards the development of the cluster’s periphery.
- Collaboration: In order to successfully carry out its action plan, the cluster must lead with a collaborative sprit. This spirt is essential not only for the companies working together, but embraces the entire cluster and all of its partners.
- Inspiring: By setting an example with the development of its projects and activities, the cluster shall inspire and stimulate the innovation required to fulfil its vision.
- Benevolence: Working beyond its own goals and interests, the cluster exemplifies a benevolent nature, contributing positively to the development of all of its partners.
Areas of intervention
Innovation and productivity embedded in the culture of businesses
A framework in excellence that promotes standards of the highest quality and safety of adventure and ecotourism experiences
Sustainable and regenerative development at the heart of our industry
Product and market development that encourages diversification leading to yearlong business operations and a wider range of customers throughout all four seasons.
Cluster committee governance
The Cluster committee is responsible for ensuring proper management of the cluster and taking all measures it deems appropriate to foster the execution of the cluster action plan. The Cluster committee is THE bearer of the vision for the development of the cluster of excellence. The committee meets four times a year. The co-presidents of the cluster committee chair the committee meetings and support the director in his or her work. The co-presidents are the carriers of the vision for the development of the cluster.
Members of the Cluster committee :
- Franck Turcotte – Village vacances Petit-Saguenay (co-chair)
- Hugues Ouellet – Equinox Aventure (co-chair)
- François Guillot – Parc national de la Pointe-Taillon Sépaq
- Marc-André Galbrand – Contact Nature
- Andréanne Ouellet – OrganisAction le Québec Hors-circuit
- Jérome Gouron – Parc national du Fjord-du-Saguenay Sépaq
- Stéphane Daudelin – Destination Lac Saint-Jean
- Sven Kaminski – MRC du Fjord-du-Saguenay
- Sylvie Prescott – Cégep de Saint-Félicien
- Julie Chiasson – Tourisme Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean*
- Jocelyn Fortin – Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation*
- Gilles Simard – Directeur du créneau*
*non-voting observer members
Director of the cluster
As the cluster mobilizer, the director must, among other things, plan, coordinate and ensure the implementation of the various projects and activities provided for in the action plan.
Gilles Simard, B.Ed., MBA
Holder of a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA), Gilles Simard has been director of the cluster since May 2016. He has been an entrepreneur in adventure tourism and economic development for more than 20 years. He was also a teacher at the Cégep de Saint-Félicien in the Department of Tourism, and is a lecturer at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi.