Edmonton residents and car enthusiasts are gearing up for the Edmonton Motorshow (April 20-23), and this year is looking to be no exception for an event that prides itself on 41 years of new and exciting show-stopping features. It’s the largest show of its kind in Western Canada and the second largest auto show in Canada. Occupying half a million square feet and housing upwards of 750 vehicles, including the latest from manufacturers, classics, exotics and customs, and featuring simulators, a collector car auction and even a new drift track, the Edmonton Motorshow is the event of the year for those who can’t get enough of all things automotive.
“All major manufacturers participate in the Motorshow: Kia, Ford, GM, Lexus—they will all be there,” says Eleasha Naso, executive director of the Edmonton Motor Dealers’ Association and organizer of this year’s Motorshow. “This year’s show will be featuring some very neat things from manufacturers. The Motorshow will be the first time people get to see the new 2018 models and concepts, like the new Ford GT—a model that has never been to Edmonton, Alberta, or even to Western Canada before this year’s show.”
“Having the 2018 models on display gives people a sneak peak they can’t see in dealerships yet,” Naso adds, but that isn’t all; it will also give people a chance to see the new technologies car manufacturers are working to incorporate into their vehicles.
“Every year, more and more green technology is being explored and developed by manufacturers. There is a big push right now for electric substitutions, and a lot of brands are expanding to incorporate electric options. Fuel line economy is really important right now, but technology is also growing and changing in the industry—it’s really important, in our area especially, because of how much time we typically spend in our cars.
“There is talk of a changing landscape of vehicles, and it will be interesting to see, 10 years from now, what those changes to the landscape will be and how different that will be from where we are now.”
“The Motorshow also provides people with a chance to take a look at some exotics and collector editions up close,” Naso continues.
The Unrivalled Rides contest allows community members from the Edmonton and surrounding area to compete for a showstopper spot. The top 10 vehicles will be displayed at the Unrivalled Rides booth of the Motorshow, and guests will be able to see if their favourite ride wins the showstopper prize.
“It really is a piece to engage the community,” Naso says, emphasizing the show’s interactive focus. “There are so many great cars out there that people have created in the community—cars people worked hard on—cars you see almost everyday at a glance as they drive by but never really get to see up close. The Motorshow provides an opportunity for those cars from within our own community to be recognized and incorporated into the show.
“We’ve also expanded our collector car auction this year,” says Naso. “It’s the largest ever held in Alberta, with over 200 cars across the auction block. The economy is actually really good for that right now; for people who want to sell or get a deal buying, the collector car auction is great. Whether they are looking for a new and exciting vehicle, for something different, or even to scoop a great deal on a 50s or 60s era model, it’s a great opportunity, although bidding can be intense,” she laughs.
Despite the recent economic downturn, the Edmonton Motorshow isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. “Our numbers have not gone down in size,” Naso emphasizes, “but the economy did create a few changes from the way the show usually runs. Some people that have been with the show for a while are taking a break this year, but are keen to participate next year. It’s unfortunate, but it has allowed us a bit of a redirect. We’ve been able to bring in some new and different things as a result.”
One such “different thing” is the new live drift track.
“Few people have had the chance to see live drifting like you see in the movies,” Naso says with excitement. “Our Friday to Sunday drift displays will give people a chance to see some live drifting up close. It’s a tremendous new feature that has never been done before.”
Of course, the fan favourites of the Edmonton Motorshow will be back and better than ever this year, too.
The Precious Metal Gala, for instance, will be returning to allow VIP attendees the opportunity to get a sneak peak at the show in style. The charity event, which raises funds for high school shop programs and post-secondary scholarships for those learning automotive trades, will take place once again on April 19, the day before the show opens.
“It’s the best way to see the show,” Naso describes. “It offers a whole new ambiance. All the house lights are off, there are spotlights on all the vehicles, musical acts as entertainment and you won’t leave hungry. All the manufacturing heads attend—it’s really the who’s who of the automotive industry in Edmonton. It’s a great opportunity for networking, but you also get a chance to see the cars better. There aren’t the crowds there, so you can really get to see a vehicle and even get into it. Plus,” she adds smiling, “you get to see your favourite car and put it up on social media before others can see it.”
“I’m looking forward to this year’s show,” Naso says enthusiastically. “The buildup every year is exciting, and then you get to open the doors and say ‘this is what I’ve been working all year on—something I love.’
“I love seeing all the vehicles, all the new and hot stuff, but I think what I’m looking forward to the most is all the interactive features we’ve been working to incorporate into the show. The drift track, the expanded auction—I’m excited to see the community actually getting involved in the show instead of just looking around. We try to be a destination event, but we also try to offer good value, and there is a ton of value for the ticket price,” Naso concludes. “It’s a great show for the whole family, whether you spend two to four hours or even the whole day looking around. We wanted to make sure that those who bought a ticket got way more value than they expected,” and by the sounds of the lineup, the Edmonton Motorshow has definitely achieved that goal this year.