Last week, we reported the Toronto International Boat Show‘s cancellation. Now, the Vancouver International Boat Show’s Board of Directors have announced their decision to cancel their 59th annual show. Originally scheduled for February 3-7 of 2021, COVID-19 concerns and ongoing uncertainties related to largescale British Columbia events forced the event’s closure. Western Canada’s largest consumer boating event, the Vancouver International Boat Show is owned by the Boating BC Association and produced by Canadian Boat Shows.
Don Prittie, President of Boating BC, said the Board reached its difficult decision following extensive exploration and consultation with stakeholders, including health authorities.
“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,” said Prittie. “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.”
For the past 58 years, the Vancouver International Boat Show has signalled British Columbia’s upcoming boating season in a province regarded – across the world – as a premier boating location. In February of this year, the show hosted over 250 exhibitors and welcomed upward of 30,000 guests to its five-day event simultaneously held at BC Place Stadium and the in-water display at Granville Island. The show is a significant contributor to the $1.25 billion in annual economic impact the industry generates in British Columbia.
Show Director Linda Waddell of Canadian Boat Shows noted that planning for the popular annual event had been well underway at the time of the decision. Efforts will now refocus toward 2022.
“We want to thank all of our partners, exhibitors and sponsors for their ongoing feedback throughout this process while we were working on safe re-opening plans to hold another outstanding show. Their support as we navigated these uncertain times is truly indicative of the spirit of our industry,” said Waddell. “Our team is now focused on welcoming British Columbian’s [sic] back to the traditional Vancouver International Boat Show in 2022.”