Georgian College Auto Show puts students in driver’s seat

Five students from the Automotive Business School of Canada (ABSC) had the experience of a lifetime organizing the Georgian College Auto Show – the largest outdoor, student-led new car auto show in Canada. The event took place at the Barrie Campus June 2 to 4 with the theme Revive the Drive.

The students managed all show tasks – which included marketing, sponsorship, recruitment, event logistics, and more – collaborating with industry and their peers.

The Georgian College Auto Show is a one hundred per cent student-driven event and putting on this show is a learning experience unlike any other. It’s an opportunity for students to apply the skills they’ve learned in the classroom – all while connecting with industry leaders and potential employers. Putting together an event of this size and scale takes a lot of dedication, creativity and hard work, and our students did an outstanding job.

– Jason Dale, Executive Director, ABSC

The show opened Friday morning with a ceremony and flag raising.

Young woman at podium speaking at Auto Show opening ceremony
Grace Stein, director of the show’s Media and Marketing Relations, welcomes the crowd

Representatives from government and industry shared their excitement and gratitude, and students spoke about the impact planning the show has had on their learning experience.

Being a director for the Georgian College Auto Show has set me up for future success. I’ve met some of the most amazing people in the industry and some of them now know me by name. I’ve also formed close relationships and built an incredible network within my program.

– Grace Stein, second-year Automotive Business student

Special tribute

The ceremony included a special tribute to Jason Ono-O’Connor, an exceptional fourth-year student who studied in the Honours Bachelor of Business Administration (Automotive Management) degree program.

Jason was hired to serve as a student director for this year’s show but tragically passed away with five other young adults in a single vehicle accident last summer.

To celebrate his life, the Jason Ono-O’Connor Memorial Endowment Fund was established. The fund will support future students following in Jason’s footsteps.

Jason Ono-O'Connor's family stands with student directors at Georgian College Auto Show beside memorial plaque
Jason’s parents and student directors at the show. One of Jason’s dream cars was a white BMW M2 series. The show featured a memorial plaque and BMW M240i in his honour

Thanks to the generosity of family, friends and community, this fund will honour and remember Jason – paying tribute to and recognizing his passion for the industry, excellence and leadership.

– Jason Dale

Thousands visit from across Ontario

In the past, the auto show has attracted more than 11,000 visitors in one weekend, and this year was no exception. Crowds returned on Saturday and Sunday to check out popular attractions and new features.

Two young children on a Honda vehicle at the Georgian College Auto Show

There was fun for the whole family, including interactive activities and a KidZone.

Family looks at new vehicle in tent at Georgian College Auto Show

Visitors had the chance to learn about new cars in a no-pressure sales environment.

Young boy testing out EV simulator at Georgian College Auto Show

They also had the opportunity to test out vehicles and simulators, and to explore what the future of the industry looks like.

Young boy sits on mini bike at Georgian College Auto Show smiling, man looks on also smiling

Thank you to our sponsors for their generosity supporting this event, our manufacturers for returning year after year to provide us with an extraordinary learning experience, and our industry donors and partners who are truly the driving force behind the continued success of the ABSC and our programs.

– Student directors
Young man on Honda bike in simulator at Georgian College Auto Show

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