Fraser Valley entrepreneur Craig Schouten cannot remember a time when he hasn’t been around cars or trucks.
“Anything with an engine has always interested me,” Schouten told Daily Hive in an interview. “My first experience with aftermarket auto was when my dad was building his custom ’65 Ford Mustang.
“Whether it was adding an aftermarket exhaust or parts to vehicles, all the way to doing a full custom build on my own truck, I have always been intrigued by the aftermarket industry as a whole.”
Schouten’s passion for everything automotive has led him to launch a new aftermarket trade show at the TRADEX in Abbotsford this summer — the Canadian Motor Show.
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The event will take place from September 29 to October 1, and will feature an estimated 100 exhibitors, industry presentations, seminars, giveaways and awards, and more. There will even be a Canadian Motor Sport cruise.
“‘Aftermarket automotive’ is any vehicle with specialty additions to improve the performance or look of a vehicle,” explained Schouten. “It is any vehicle that is not just driven off the lot and brand new.
Canadian Motor Show was inspired by Schouten’s own experience building an aftermarket vehicle. He realized that quality aftermarket businesses and suppliers across the country aren’t easily accessible to those in the industry as well as consumers.
“My vision is to make aftermarket leaders, experts, and businesses accessible through a three-day tradeshow for auto lovers to network and build the relationships I wish I could have had,” Schouten added.
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Showtimes and ticket details will be announced on Canadian Motor Show‘s social media in the near future. For now, Schouten hopes that attendees will get to make lifelong connections that will help them in their journey, no matter what road they’re on.
“Whether it’s someone wanting to further their career, an auto lover wanting to build their own vehicle, or business owners wanting to find potential partners — there will be something for everyone to walk out of the doors with,” Schouten said.
“What I enjoy most is getting to build an event from scratch. It reminds me a lot of the process and journey of building my truck. It hasn’t been easy, but the problem-solving and results of my work have been the most rewarding experience. It pushes me to keep going.”
When: September 29 to October 1, 2023
Where: Tradex Trade and Exhibition Centre – 1190 Cornell Street, Abbotsford, BC
Tickets: Details to be announced at canadianmotorshow.com