Vancouver Boat Show Cancelled For 2010

The Vancouver International Boat Show (VIBS) has been cancelled for 2010 due to scheduling conflicts with a roof replacement project at host venue BC Place.

The popular event, owned by the BC Marine Trades Association (BCMTA) and produced by the National Marine Manufacturer's Association (NMMA), was scheduled to run from April 8 to 11, 2010 at BC Place with its in-water venue at False Creek Yacht Club. A BCMTA press release issued on December 2 notes “the BC Pavilion Corporation (PavCo), which owns BC Place and the Vancouver Convention Centre, is undertaking a revitalization of BC Place and for safety reasons must close the building during the construction of its new retractable roof. The cancellation is necessary due to the BC Place closure and a shortage of suitable, alternative exhibition space in Vancouver during spring 2010.”

The press release noted that exhibitors who have sent in deposits for the 2010 show will have full refunds within 30 days.

“The timeline for construction of the new state-of-the-art roof at BC Place presented a number of challenges,” said Alan Stovell, BCMTA President. “In working with BC Place staff, we decided this was the most realistic option.”

The BC Place construction schedule has the roof replacement project commencing shortly after the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games wrap up in early April 2010, and will continue until the summer of 2011. Once complete, the new roof will be the largest cable-supported, fully-retractable, fabric roof in the world at more than four hectares (10 acres). The design allows for the fabric roof to retract into the centre of the roof opening and be hidden inside a suspended, four-sided electronic video board, without compromising sightlines. The roof will be able to open or close within 20 minutes. The total cost for the retractable roof project will be $458 million.

Because the roof construction schedule will also impact the 2011 Vancouver International Boat Show, the BCMTA and NMMA worked closely with BC Place to secure an alternate venue. The 2011 show is scheduled to run February 9 to 13, 2011 at the Vancouver Convention Centre, also owned by PavCo.  “We have appreciated the assistance of the BC Pavilion Corporation in securing the Convention Centre for the 2011 show,” said Stovell. “Despite the disruptions created by the construction, we couldn't be more thrilled about the future of the stadium and Western Canada's best and biggest boating event!”

The Vancouver International Boat Show is scheduled to return to the new BC Place in February 2012. Jennifer Kastelein, show manager, is looking forward to the opportunities presented in both 2011 and 2012. “A new venue provides the chance to try different things, and we're eager to explore new ideas with the Convention Centre next year. And the new BC Place will create an ideal environment for our exhibitors!”

This is not the first time that the fabric roof of BC Place has caused grief for show organizers. A severe wind storm in January 2007 damaged panels in the original air-supported roof structure only weeks before move-in. The show did open on time, but only following around-the-clock efforts by BC Place engineers and VIBS staff.

As first announced in May 2008, the new retractable roof is expected to cut energy costs by $350,000 annually. These reductions will support ongoing provincial strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, said PavCo Chair, David Podmore.

BC Place was completed in 1983. The new roof is expected to extend the building's useful life by about 30 years.