News Local

Massive event at Georgian College helping out charity

By Ian McInroy, Barrie Examiner

Automotive students are in high gear preparing for 30th annual Georgian College Auto Show.

The largest outdoor student-run auto show in North America runs on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Barrie campus and there will be plenty of eye candy for motor heads to soak in.

Twenty-one manufacturers will be showcasing their lineups in a no-pressure atmosphere — there are no salespeople, although visitors can learn about vehicles through an online service — and students from the Automotive Business School of Canada at the Barrie campus will act as brand ambassadors to explain the ins and outs of every model to visitors.

One highlight at this year's show will be the new 2016 Shelby GT350 Mustang. With its 5.2L V8 engine — featuring a flat-plane crankshaft — it kicks out more than 500 horsepower and has been turning the heads of motorsport fans across North America all spring.

Ashley Schneider, the auto show's student director, said there will something for everybody.

"If you like a little bit of speed, and maybe you want your adrenaline running, you can come for a ride in our Pfaff Autocross Track," she said. "A variety of vehicles will be onsite to rev your engines. For a minimum donation of $5, you can have your own escorted test drive with a professional driver on the mini off-road track."

All donations received will go to Camp Bucko, where children recover from burn injuries.

Other attractions are the Accessible Vehicle Experience (in conjunction with Spinal Cord Injury of Ontario), a show and shine of classic cars and the Electric Vehicle Experience, hosted by Plug’n Drive. Vehicles available for a green test drive include the Mitsubishi iMiEV, Nissan LEAF, Chevrolet Volt, BMW i3, Ford Focus Electric and C-Max Energi, and the Toyota Prius plugin Hybrid.

A live auction will be raising funds for scholarships for students of the Automotive Business School of Canada. Items up for grabs — donated by manufacturers and local businesses — include concert tickets for Rush and Blue Rodeo, a golf bag package, Blue Jays tickets, a one-month yoga pass, and more. It takes place Saturday at 1 p.m.

Four Canadian Olympic athletes will be hosted at the BMW Group of Canada tent. They are freestyle skiing gold medalist Dara Howell, three-time wrestling medalist Tonya Verbeek, gymnastic trampoline silver medalist Jason Burnett and soccer medalist Melanie Booth.

Visitors to the Georgian College Auto Show won't be going hungry as culinary program students will be providing all the food sold on site.

Schneider said car manufacturers get cranked up to take part in the show, which sees approximately 170 students volunteering their time.

"A lot of manufacturers support the the Automotive Business School of Canada so for them, they are making an investment in students who one day could potentially work for them," she said. "And it's a great opportunity for students to make contacts. They actually go down to a head office and have training and learn about the vehicles."




  • - Batman and Batmobile
  • - Electric vehicle experience
  • - Grand touring automobiles exotic car display
  • - KidZone
  • - Live auction – Saturday, June 6, 1 p.m.
  • - Pfaff Autocross Track – Saturday, June 6 and Sunday, June 7
  • - Show & Shine Saturday and Sunday
  • - Spinal Cord Injury of Ontario accessible vehicle display – Friday, June 5
  • Olympic athlete appearance schedule:
  • - Dara Howell: Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • - Tonya Verbeek: Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m.
  • - Jason Burnett: Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • - Melanie Booth: Sunday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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