AIA Canada celebrates its 75th anniversary

Jean-François Champagne, President of AIA Canada.

By Alex Dugas

Ottawa, Ontario — November 28, 2017 — You know how the old saying goes: you only turn 75 once! To celebrate this exceptional milestone, the Automotive Industries Association (AIA) of Canada held a wonderful gala in the nation’s Capital.

The association, which originally started out as the Canadian Automotive Wholesalers’ Association in 1942, gathered over 300 members at the Westin hotel in Ottawa for an evening of presentations, networking and good cheer.

The evening’s presentations included recognition speeches for past presidents of the Association, key players and those who are helping move the industry forward today.

Ottawa city councillor Keith Egli, on behalf of the city of Ottawa and Mayor Jim Watson, presented the AIA with a plaque recognizing the AIA’s contribution to the city of Ottawa and the automotive industry over its decades of existence.

The AIA also presented its second Distinguished Service Award of the year. The latest recipient of the group’s highest honour went to Sean Corcelli, a former chairman of the association and vice president with Uni-Select. Mr. Corcelli retired earlier this year.

“This was a very well organized event which truly reflects AIA Canada’s professionalism,” said Caroline Lacasse, I-CAR Quebec Committee President.

You may also know this other old saying: Its not a proper gala until the garage band shows up. Well, the AIA has one and it made a surprise performance after the presentations.  The band consists of Randy Moore of Mister Transmission, Marnie and Steve Van Kessel of Parry Automotive, Randy Klein of Wakefield Canada, Dean Clarke of Teneco and Tony Canade of Assured Automotive. The band, which is called the AIA Garage Band, played everyone’s favourite classic hits, which prompted some groovy moves on the dance floor.

“The event was a great success,” said Jean-François Champagne, President of AIA Canada. “It’s so nice to see everyone together for an evening of fun and networking. I think one of the evening’s biggest success was the AIA Garage Band’s performance. It’s really nice to see your colleagues in a completely different light, on stage!” 

To top things off, the garage band was followed by Replay, a Beatles tribute band from Montreal, which wrapped the night up in style.

Be sure to view our photo gallery below!

AIA 75th Gala 2017

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