Published on Friday, 25 May 2012
During my years on the Board of the Toronto Automobile Dealers Association (now officially the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association), one of my passions has been education.
A few years ago, I had the privilege to chair our association’s Education Committee and to influence decisions about supporting educational initiatives at the high school and post-secondary school levels.
The TADA has formed strategic partnerships with Centennial College and the Automobile Business School of Canada (formerly the Canadian Automotive Institute at Georgian College in Barrie), both of which provide excellent education and training for pursuing careers in the auto industry.
For the past 27 years, automotive students from the Automobile Business School of Canada’s degree and diploma programs have put their skills and talents to work by producing an annual auto show at the Georgian College Campus. This year’s show takes place next weekend, June 1st – 3rd.
My son is a graduate of the four-year Bachelor of Business Automotive Management degree from the Automobile Business School of Canada. While he was a student, I attended several Georgian Auto Shows and was impressed with the enthusiasm and professionalism displayed by all of the participating students.
The Georgian College Auto Show is billed as the “largest outdoor, student-run auto show in North America,” and it’s produced entirely by students. An Auto Show committee, consisting of five students and five Georgian College staff, work for a full year organizing the show. Approximately 160 student volunteers also pitch in to make the show a success.
Together, the Committee members manage all media and public relations, marketing, finance, recruitment, sponsorships, health and safety, and they contact auto manufacturers, suppliers and vendors to arrange for their participation.
The student committee gains many valuable contacts throughout the automotive industry and acquires hands-on experience, which helps them turn practical knowledge into marketable skills.
For three days, the students who organize this show represent the Canadian automotive sector and serve as ambassadors for the industry and the Automobile Business School of Canada. Students work as product knowledge ambassadors and provide information on the latest models, but they do not sell. This is a relaxed, sales-free environment.
The theme this year is Aspire, Believe, Succeed, which speaks directly to the students’ capacity to grow and learn about an industry that is constantly evolving and teeming with opportunities.
The Georgian College Auto Show typically attracts 15,000 to 20,000 visitors from across Ontario and appeals to people of all ages – from classic car fans, to high-powered sports car enthusiasts, to couples looking for the perfect family vehicle.
Show organizers are pleased to announce the return of the Pfaff Porsche Test Track, where visitors have an opportunity to sit in a Porsche and go drifting with a professional. The young and young-at-heart will enjoy KidZone, an interactive entertainment area for children and families. The show will also feature classic cars and live music.
An auction, featuring items donated by car manufacturers and local businesses, will also be held on June 3rd at 1 p.m. All proceeds will go towards automotive student scholarships.
The show opens Friday, June 1st with (12 to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.). Daily admission is $7 for adults and free for kids 12 and younger.
A special weekend rate of $15/person has also been included this year. Parking is included with admission. For more information and detailed times on all the events, visit www.georgiancollegeautoshow.ca.
The show even has its own Facebook page, where fans can share stories and pictures leading up to, during, and after the show.
I encourage all car enthusiasts to check out the Georgian Auto Show this weekend. It’s a first-rate automotive event that is sure to delight fans of all ages.
Trillium Automobile Dealers Association president Frank Romeo is a new car dealer in the GTA. This column represents the view of TADA. Visit tada.ca or email firstname.lastname@example.org