This past weekend, the Automotive Industries Association (AIA) of Canada pulled out all the stops to celebrate its 70th anniversary with past and present staff and members from across Canada.
In 1942, AIA (then the Canadian Automotive Wholesalers Association) held its first annual general meeting with 42 wholesalers keen on establishing one voice for the industry. Over the years, the Association’s name and membership has changed to encompass the entire automotive aftermarket from coast-to-coast; however, its mission has remained the same – to represent its membership with clear direction and one strong voice.
To celebrate AIA’s many accomplishments, approximately 500 individuals attended a gala soirée at the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel in Toronto. The evening kicked off with a cocktail reception where attendees had the opportunity to have their pictures taken on the red carpet. Members were then piped into the formal ballroom where they enjoyed sumptuous food and great entertainment. The evening also included salutes to past presidents and chairmen, some of whom were present, and to recipients of the Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Following the dinner, attendees shared some laughs while enjoying André-Philippe Gagnon impersonate famous musicians from the 1950s to present day. Guests then danced the night away to the wonderful sounds of the George St. Kitts Band.
John MacDonald, Chairman of the Board, remarked that “it was an honour to be involved in such a wonderful event and to highlight the accomplishments of my colleagues and the AIA staff. I couldn’t have hoped for a better evening and am so happy that I was able to share this celebration with my friends, family and colleagues. Friday was certainly a night that no one will forget!”
To continue the celebrations, AIA hosted a Grey Cup tailgate party on Sunday at the Real Sports Bar & Grill located in Maple Leaf Square. More than 100 members came to network, host clients, and have some fun. The event also managed to raise $400 for AIA’s charity, High Fives for Kids. Following the party, some members attended the Grey Cup game where the Toronto Argonauts triumphed over the Calgary Stampeders to win the 100th Grey Cup and take their place in Canadian history.
“This has been a fantastic weekend and an incredible way to celebrate such a huge milestone,” said Marc Brazeau, whose title changed to President and CEO of AIA last Friday. “AIA is certainly proud of its heritage and now looks forward to many more years of representing one of Canada’s most vibrant industries.”
Thank you to all those who attended and who made this weekend unforgettable. Make sure to check AIA’s Facebook page in a few days to relive the weekend through photos from the events and a video of one of André-Philippe Gagnon’s performances! You can also find the AIA tribute video and the red carpet interviews video on our website.