Published Saturday May 24 2014
One of the thrilling aspects of my job is having an opportunity meet and interact with high school and college students who are pursuing careers in the auto sector.
When I meet with these students, it amazes me how passionate, driven and creative they can be. I often tell them that they represent the future of our industry.
There is nowhere in Ontario where students' passion for automobiles is more evident than at the annual Georgian College Auto Show in Barrie.
Each year, approximately 200 automotive students at the Automotive Business School of Canada at Georgian College in Barrie volunteer to produce a three-day auto Show. It's billed as the largest outdoor, student-run auto Show in North American.
For the participating students, the Show is a great networking opportunity that allows them to rub shoulders with auto dealers, auto manufacturers and car enthusiasts. Without question, the Show is the highlight of their academic year.
The planning for the show starts in October with the formation of an Organizing Committee, which consists of a Director of Training and Development; a Director of Media Relations; a Directors of Physical Resources and a Director of Sponsorship and Events.
For the participating manufacturers, the Auto Show allows them to meet students who will soon be starting careers in the auto sector. It's also an excellent venue to showcase the latest models for those who may not get a chance to visit larger auto shows.
The Show attracts between 15,000 and 20,000 visitors per year from Simcoe County, Bruce County and surrounding areas. It's an entirely 'sales free' environment; students representing the manufacturers are there to provide information about the vehicles, not to sell.
This year's Show features more than 22 auto brands, including Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Lexus, Toyota/Scion, Honda/Acura, Ford, Chrysler, Porsche, BMW, Kia, Subaru, Aston Martin, General Motors, Mazda, Hyundai, Nissan and Mitsubishi.
In addition to new vehicles on display, the Show features live music (Sunday) and an auction (Saturday) with great prizes up for grabs. A portion of all proceeds will go towards automotive student scholarships.
New this year is the Electric Car Experience, in partnership with Plug 'n Drive, hosted by the staff and students from the Research Analyst and Engineering programs. Visitors will have a chance to see how an electric charging station works and drive an electric vehicle.
Show organizers are pleased to announce the return of the Pfaff Porsche Test Track, KidZone, and the Grand Touring Automobiles Exotic Car Display. Last year's Exotic Grand Touring featured Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Bentley and Rolls Royce (organizers expect a similar line-up this year).
The Auto Show hours are Friday May 30th (12 noon to 6 p.m.), Saturday May 31st and Sunday June 1st (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.). Daily admission is $7 for adults and kids under 12 are free.
A special weekend rate of $15/person is available and parking is included with admission. For more information and detailed times on all the events, visit www.georgiancollegeautoshow.ca.
The Show is promoted using a combination of traditional media (local radio) and social media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter).
For three days, the students who organize this show represent the Canadian automotive sector and serve as ambassadors for the industry and for the Automotive Business School of Canada at Georgian College in Barrie.
The Trillium Automobile Dealers Association (TADA) has been a long-time supporter of the Georgian College Auto Show. Our Association is proud of all of the student volunteers and the Organizing Committee. The TADA also provides numerous scholarships and awards to automotive students attending the Automotive Business School of Canada.
If you want to experience a first-class auto Show and see the next generation of skilled automotive workers at work, then head to the Georgian College Auto Show next weekend.
You will be impressed.