Cancellation of major auto shows from coast-to-coast confirmed

After the 2022 Montreal and Toronto auto shows were cancelled on December 16 due to the increasing spread of the COVID-19 Omicron variant, the Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver events followed suit later in the day.

Jim Gillespie, Executive Manager of the Calgary Motor Dealers Association, which runs the Calgary International Auto and Truck Show in Alberta, told Canadian auto dealer that his dealer members voted to cancel the 2022 show. This is because the Montreal International Auto Show in Quebec and the Canadian International AutoShow in Ontario put their shows on hold for a year. The Calgary show was slated to run March 9-13, 2022.

“Manufacturers were not going to be comfortable sending out displays, hiring staff, and doing just a couple of western auto shows when the big boys in the east cancel,” said Gillespie. “We’re a manufacturer-based show and without them we really couldn’t go forward. We have to protect our partners at the same time as our patrons.”

Gillespie said he had good representation for this year’s show with dealer and manufacturer support, but that the situation is what it is.

Eleasha Naso, Executive Director of the Edmonton Motor Dealers Association and Show Manager of the Edmonton Motor Show said the decision to back out happened for many of the same reasons as the Calgary show. She said it was a “difficult decision” to not proceed with the 2022 event.

“We were gung-ho earlier in the year to move forward and had some exciting new (attractions) with electric vehicle displays and test drives. It’s a sad day,” said Naso. “Of course you wanted to put on the best show possible in 2022. It’s not going to happen this year, but it gives us more time to add in new and exciting things in 2023. We will come back stronger.”

The Vancouver International Auto Show in British Columbia was scheduled to run March 23-27, 2022 with an emphasis on electric vehicles.

Blair Qualey, President and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC, which presents the annual show, said “The constraints on the industry and the realities of the continuing pandemic in Canada have forced us to make the disappointing decision to postpone the 2022 Show until 2023.”

He adds that “We are now turning our focus to a triumphant return of the Vancouver Auto Show in 2023 as well as new initiatives to connect consumers with the new car industry in 2022. We hope to be able to announce details of those plans shortly.”

This is the third consecutive year that these auto shows were cancelled due to the pandemic.

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