The inaugural Toronto International Boat Show (TIBS) Industry Reception, held on Monday evening from 8:00 pm till 10 pm, attracted a crowd of approximately 300 marine professionals.
The event was presented by GE Capital, Yamaha Motor Canada, RBC Royal Bank, NMMA Canada, Northstar Marine Insurance and Boating Business magazine at the Allstream Centre, directly across Princess Blvd. from show venue the Direct Energy Centre, at the Toronto CNE grounds. Apart from providing TIBS exhibitors with an opportunity to network and socialize in an informal setting outside of show hours, the event provided an outstanding venue to mark the induction of marine industry veterans Marcel Dubois and Ian Bruce into Canada's Boating Hall of Fame.
“We are very pleased with the turnout at the Industry Reception, said Show Manager Cynthia Hare. “It is great to see so many exhibitors supporting this boating industry event and to share in the recognition of Ian Bruce's and Marcel Dubois' induction into Canada's Boating Hall of Fame.”
Hall of Fame inductee Bob Paterson presented the prestigious honour to Marcel Dubois, who grew Princeville, QC-based Princecraft Boats from 60 employees to more than 300 since 1984. Throughout his career, Dubois has worked on behalf of the boating industry as a board member of NMMA Canada, the Canadian Marine Manufacturer's Association (CMMA) and Allied Boating Canada (ABC). “I'm extremely honoured to receive this award,” said Dubois at the induction ceremony. “When you see the names of the previous recipients, you know that this is a very prestigious group, and one that I am fully honoured to join.”
John Kerr, President of Kerwil Publications, was on hand to honour Ian Bruce. Named an Officer of the Order of Canada this past summer, Bruce was recognized for this contributions to the sport of sailing in Canada and overseas. He has been instrumental in the design and development of high-performance watercraft, including the PS200 Laser sailboat. His work on the Laser began in the 1970s when he opened nine manufacturing plants worldwide. Bruce, who has been in the boating business for more than 40 years, has won the Prince of Wales trophy in international Fourteens twice and founded Montreal Classic Boatworks. “It has been a terrific road, one I've really enjoyed,” said Bruce upon accepting the award. “I count a whole group of friends amongst all of you and that's a real privilege. Thank you so much.”
“These men are legends in the boating industry,” commented Linda Waddell, NMMA Vice President of Northern Shows. “Their valuable contributions have meant that thousands and thousands of people have discovered the enjoyment of spending time on the water.”
“Both Ian and Marcel have proven to be true trailblazers for the boating industry,” said Al Donaldson, Executive Director of the Ontario Marine Operators Association. “The impact of their innovation, determination and love of boating will resonate for many, many years to come. We couldn't be more proud to add them to Canada's Boating Hall of Fame.”
Established in 1997, Canada's Boating Hall of Fame Award is presented annually by NMMA Canada.