Sunday, 13 January 2008

Boat Shows Turns 50 years of age - Boats and Motors uses my press release for 2-page feature in its January issue



In September I wrote a couple press releases for Holmes Communication to be used as long-lead stories in boating magazines. Boats and Places, a magazine started by Ted Rankine and now owned by Brian Minton, used my piece as the basis of a two-page article in their January 2008 issue. What follows is the original piece that I wrote.

2008 -- Golden Anniversary for Canada’s biggest boating event
Toronto International Boat Show launched 50 years ago

This January 11th the Toronto International Boat Show will be celebrating its 50th anniversary by doing what it does best -- opening the hatches on the Direct Energy Centre and inviting the public to come on board and see the fleet of 2008. The nine-day Toronto International Boat Show is turning fifty; it is a major exhibition milestone but more importantly, it is a time for celebration for the show, the boating industry and the Canadian economy.

The world’s biggest indoor harbour! Exciting wakeboard boats, rooftop aluminum fishing boats, majestic cruisers, yachts that can sail the world, peppy personal watercraft and new environmentally friendly engines are some of the stars at Canada’s biggest boat show.

Over eight miles of carpeting will be laid on the floor of the spacious Direct Energy Centre. Thousands and thousands of visitors will see more than 1,500 new boats and hundreds of state-of-the-art inboard and outboard motors. Within the show is Sailfest, a large area set aside for sailboats including the largest blue water yachts sold in Ontario.

The show begins the evening of January 11th with an exclusive Friday Night Boating for Children’s Charity Gala Preview. Guests wander past the glistening new boats sipping on fine wines, nibbling on gourmet hors d'oeuvers, bidding on fantastic silent auction items, and raising money for worthy children’s causes. The doors open for the general public at 9am on Saturday, January 12th. The show runs daily for the next week, closing at 6pm on Sunday January 20th.

The Ricoh Coliseum is part of the Direct Energy Centre and play an integral part in the Toronto International Boat Show. The hockey rink will be turned into a 4ft deep lake, making it the world’s largest indoor harbour, albeit, for just nine days.

“ Our 2008 exhibition will be the most exciting show ever,” explained show manager Cynthia Hare. “The big news for 2008 is The Lake. We have had the lake for a number of years, but this year we are really opening it up! There will be a lot of open water so that you can see the boats in action. We will have power boats, personal watercraft, kayaks, and even sailboats out on our indoor lake!”

Visitors can sit in the stands around the Lake and watch the boats in action. And after that? It is on to the show floor to see what is new for next year’s boating season.

Since 1958 millions of Canadians have flocked to the Boat Show to buy boats, motors and accessories. There are so many different products showcased at the annual event that consumers are able to compare prices, take advantage of show sales and secure delivery in time for the Spring start of the boating season.

In a city where the vast majority of its residents don’t remember a time when there hasn’t been a Boat Show, January is the unofficial start of the boating season. Why does the Toronto International Boat Show (now the second biggest indoor show in North America) have staying power?

“It is because the industry is firmly committed to delivering a top-notch event that provides value to consumers. We are constantly making improvements to the 9-day event, but we never forget that it is all about boats and motors, ” explained show manager Cynthia Hare. “The show fosters competition amongst boat dealers and that means that buyers get the best prices before the ice is even off the lakes. And, for those that are there just to look, the Boat Show delivers good entertainment value.”

“ We are often asked what the biggest trend in high-end boating will be next year,” continued Ms. Hare. “We think that Toronto is about to enter the smart boat era. There has been a big leap forward in marine electronics, communications and computers. These highly accurate, lightweight systems are being integrated into larger yachts so not only do these cruisers look smart, they actually are!”

Show goers dazzled by these sleek new boats will be forgiven if they momentarily forget that it is the boat show’s Golden anniversary. To make sure those memory lapses don’t last long the Boat Show is offering a 15% birthday discount to anyone buying admission tickets on-line at www.torontoboatshow.com.

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