Federation Hall unveiled at ABSC

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CADA celebrates new student lobby with grand opening

The Canadian Automobile Dealers Association, along with representatives from provincial dealer associations, officially unveiled Federation Hall, the newly-renovated student lobby at the Automotive Business School of Canada in Barrie, Ont. on June 3, 2016.

Last year, CADA and provincial association executives announced the $250,000 investment to freshen up the lobby and transform it into a space that mirrors a modern showroom.

Many members of the provincial associations travelled from across the country for the grand opening ceremony.

Attendees celebrated with champagne and mingled with each other, while a harpist — a faculty member at the college — provided live music.

“It’s an unprecedented show of unity as part of our federation to come together, and their support was unwavering. It wasn’t a hard sell. They believed the future of the industry lies in the hands of these young men and women,” said Rick Gauthier, former President & CEO of CADA in an interview with Canadian auto dealer.

“We’re so pleased to be involved in this. It’s going to be a great place for our students to come and hang out,” said John White, President & CEO of CADA.

The newly-renovated lobby space has been designed to replicate a modern showroom at a dealership, featuring technologies such as iPads and interactive touch screens where students can learn more about the history of Federation Hall.

“With the interactive touchscreens, students are able to connect with provincial dealership associations, as well as our national associations. It gives them an understanding of that world,” said John Sutherland, Executive Vice-President of the Nova Scotia Automobile Dealers Association (NSADA).

To look like a showroom, an eye-catching electric blue 1965 Shelby Cobra was prominently on display, on loan for the grand opening, courtesy of Mike Stollery, President and Co-founder of SF Automotive Group.

Marie-Noelle Bonicalzi, Dean of ABSC, told Canadian auto dealer the new lobby is a “spectacular way for students to learn about this industry.”

“This school cannot exist without the industry. The industry has always been supportive of the school and without them we wouldn’t be here. We are it,” said Bonicalzi.

International ABSC automotive marketing student Binay Batra thanked CADA and the provincial associations for their generosity.

“The donation by the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association and provincial member associations really shows how much they care about the students here. As a current student, I know how important collaboration and innovation is, and this space gives us both.”


Last month, CADA inducted R.S. “Colonel Sam” McLaughlin posthumously into the CADA Laureate hall of fame — a first in Laureate history — for his contributions
to Canada’s auto industry. McLaughlin was instrumental in bringing the automobile to Canada in the early 1900s.

The navy blue jacket emblazoned with the Laureate crest was presented to McLaughlin’s granddaughter, Joceyln Shaw, who attended CADA’s 10th anniversary celebrations at the Parkwood Estate in Oshawa, Ont. The jacket will be permanently displayed in Federation Hall.

“This jacket encaptures a lot for us as an institution. And it tells a lot about our relationship,” said MaryLynn West-Moynes, President & CEO of Georgian College. “This is about how you can get things done if you work together. Today is about shared vision, shared value and a commitment to getting it done.”

The morning capped off with the official kick-off of the Georgian College Auto Show, the largest outdoor student-run auto show in North America.

ABSC board members were also treated to a gourmet lunch specially prepared by culinary students at Georgian College.

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