By: Scott Way
Another Canadian tradeshow has been cancelled due to to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Vancouver International Boat Show has elected to cancel the event scheduled for February 3rd-7th, 2021, and will restart again in 2022.
News broke last week that the Toronto International Boat Show would be cancelled, and as Canada's largest indoor boat show, it seemed likely others would follow suit. Now Vancouver has done the same. The west coast event, which is owned by Boating BC and produced by Canadian Boat Shows, has run for 58 years and attracts over 200 exhibitors and 30,000 annual guests. The show incorporates both an indoor tradeshow at BC Place as well as an in-water event on nearby Granville Island. But with the current level of restrictions in place in British Columbia, coupled with the uncertainty of the upcoming fall/winter months, organizers were left with few options but to cancel the event.
From Don Prittie, President of Boating BC, had the following to say about the unfortunate cancellation: “Although we are incredibly disappointed, there is nothing more important to our organization than the health, safety and well-being of our hundreds of exhibitors and tens of thousands of British Columbians who visit our show annually. As an Association we are always committed to safety and the decision to support our province’s fight against the COVID-19 outbreak is an extension of that philosophy.”
There is no word yet if a virtual event will take place in its absence, but as the industry adjusts to the upcoming winter months we will post updates as they become available.
You can read the full statement from show organizers below:
Due to the ongoing concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the Boating BC Association Board of Directors have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2021 Vancouver International Boat Show. Canadian Boat Shows is the producer of the Show and works together with the association on the event each year.
Although we are incredibly disappointed, there is nothing more important than the health, safety and well-being of the hundreds of Association members, exhibitors and tens of thousands of British Columbians who visit the show annually.
Based on the facts surrounding COVID case #'s, and that the show is four months away, this is the right decision.
Despite our extensive efforts and multiple plans to provide a safe environment for attendees and exhibitors, we did not feel comfortable proceeding having the current information from public health and case #'s heading into the fall.
Our primary concern has always been safety. Every exhibitor who has worked with us in the past has experienced our culture of prioritizing a safe environment above everything else.
While large gatherings remain prohibited in British Columbia and restrictions are expected to be in place for the foreseeable future, prioritizing sufficient notice to exhibitors was also a factor in our decision.
We are disappointed for the exhibitors and attendees who were hoping the show would be held; and will now need to wait until 2022. If there is one thing that COVID is teaching us all, it is the value of face to face interactions.
Attached is the official press release announcing the show's cancellation. Click here.
The dates for the 2022 Vancouver International Boat Show will be announced in the coming months.
Thank you for your continued feedback and ideas over the past couple of months. Words written here in a letter do not express how much we have appreciated the conversations with you.
We feel very fortunate to work in this industry, and with so many great supporters who are contributing to help the show navigate COVID-19. We look forward to continuing the dialogue with you as we enter the next phase of our planning.