Organizers of 2016 Vancouver Island Motor Gathering are hailing the event as a success, following its latest incarnation on Sunday, held in North Cowichan for the first time.
The gathering is a family-friendly car show, allowing motorists of all makes, models and genres to come together and show off their pride and joy. It’s billed as a venue for car enthusiasts to “celebrate their passion for the automobile” and also a chance for members of the public to see a wide range of vehicles all in one place.
Hosted by the GAIN Dealer Group, the motor gathering is first and foremost a fundraiser for the David Foster Foundation, a charity dedicated to providing financial support for non-medical expenses incurred by Canadian families with children in need of life-saving organ transplants.
This year’s event also raised money for the Cowichan District Hospital Foundation.
In total $153,128 was raised, $100,000 of which was given to the David Foster Foundation and $53,128 to the hospital foundation.
“It turned out really well,” said Cindy Mui, GAIN’s marketing director. “The weather was really on our side. The show was awesome, and it’s important to remember that every cent of the money raised goes to charity.”
Mui estimated that about 10,000 people attended the gathering, which had more than 600 cars registered.
The event was held at the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit, a sprawling new facility for luxury automobile drivers, located on Highway 18. Normally the site is strictly members-only, so the motor gathering was an opportunity for many locals to get a peek at the “race track” they’ve heard so much about. Mui confirmed that the circuit is the event’s permanent home going forward.
North Cowichan councillor Tom Walker was among the car owners showing off his 1932 Ford 4 door V8, which he won in a fundraiser raffle the hospital foundation held last year. The car had belonged to William Ron McCauley and was donated to the foundation by his daughter.
Walker had been unable to attend the foundation’s annual champaign dinner and auction where the draw took place. He had purchased the ticket in his wife’s name and he said when she received a phone call about winning a car, she thought it was a scam.
The car, which has a Ford engine made in Canada, has been restored to the condition of a 1930s automobile with only minor modifications, such as signal lights. Walker said 95 per cent of the time it starts.
“The other five per cent of the time it gets in a snit, just like a car would have in the 1930s,” he said. “I thought it was important for myself and the car to be here. We’ve all got to work together to get a new hospital.”