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Fabrene celebrates 50 years in North Bay

Fabrene celebrates many of its accomplishments including being the birthplace of the tarp
20190620 fabrene anniversary
Mayor Al McDonald with Fabrene plant manager Rob Valenti. (Rogers Radio photo)

It may not be something commonly known outside the doors of Fabrene, but the world's first tarp was actually created at the North Bay facility.

“Fifty years ago, the scientists and engineers at Dupont created something brand new to the world, that was invented here in North Bay," Rob Valenti, plant manager at Fabrene, reflected to Rogers Radio. "The tarp that you know it, started here 50 years ago."

The manufacturing plant with 200 local employees celebrated 50 years of business in the city on June 19.   

Aside from being the birthplace of the tarp, Valenti says many of their products are used in different ways.

“Housewrap, roofing underlayment, the hoop buildings that you see in farms, the white shelters would be our fabric. Billboards and banners in the United States, we have 60 per cent of the market share there,” he said.

North Bay’s Mayor Al McDonald says Fabrene’s recognition is well deserved.  

“When you look at the province of Ontario, there are very few manufacturing plants left and here is a success story right here in North Bay with Fabrene," McDonald said. "Over 50 years, and you can hear the sense of pride the employees have working here and I think that is just credit to the leadership of Fabrene."

Valenti admits business has changed over the years. 

“To stay competitive in Northern Ontario is a testament to the people,” said Valenti.

“The people here are our strength. We have reinvented ourselves, got new products out to the markets so we continue to grow, engineer products and it has been a good run.”  

He said they ship their products around the world, including destinations in the United States, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Morocco.