By: Scott Way
Quebec's largest consumer boat show has been postponed until 2022 amidst ongoing uncertainty regarding the Covid-19 pandemic. Both the Toronto Boat Show and the Vancouver Boat Show announced cancellations this week due to rising case numbers and uncertainty about public health protocols, and unfortunately the Montreal event has postponed under the same circumstances. Quebec has been one of the strongest hit of any province in Canada thus far, with over 80,000 confirmed cases.
Montreal Boat Show organizer Nautisme Quebec has confirmed the event, which was scheduled to run Feb 4th-7th at the Palais des Congrès de Montréal, will look to restart again in 2022. A brief statement on their website reads as follows:
"The 2021 edition of the Montreal Boat Show is canceled. Nautisme Québec has been devoting time and energy in order to present its main annual event, the Montreal Boat Show. However, with the organizational deadlines that such an event requires, the progress of COVID-19 in the last few weeks and the uncertainty of its outcome in the next winter period, Nautisme Québec finds that it is wiser to cancel the Montreal Boat Show."
Walter Timmerman, chair of the Alliance de l’industrie Nautique du Québec, expressed that the rising number of coronavirus infections in the province, coupled with the logistical demands of hosting a major event, left organizers with no choice but to cancel. According to Timmerman, “(m)any scenarios were on the table to make it happen, and the recent success of the Montreal In-the-Water Boat Show was even more reason to be hopeful. But considering the amount of work, the significant investments made by the exhibitors, and our responsibility to make this event a success, such a decision made the most sense.”
Montreal did recently host an in-water boat show in September, which attracted over 2000 visitors while operating under strict protocols mandated by health officials that included social distancing, mask wearing, and sanitary measures. The added effect of an indoor environment as opposed to an outdoor event produced additional challenges that simply could not be overcome given the timeframe.
You can read a brief statement from Nautisme Quebec about the cancellation on their website, and you can see highlights from the 2020 event below: