TORONTO, Ont. — The Canadian International AutoShow may be the country’s leading showcase of new cars, trucks and SUVs, but it is also an advocate for the Canadian automotive sector in general and is dedicated to helping build a strong industry.

Key to that is attracting and retaining the right workers at all levels — from the shop floors at the manufacturing plants through the dealerships and into the C-suites. This week, the AutoShow hosted 45 students from five Toronto-Area high schools as part of the Accelerate Auto program, a not-for-profit organization focused on increasing representation of Black talent across Canada’s automotive industry.

“With more than 30 automotive brands in one place, the AutoShow is an ideal place to begin recruiting needed talent that can help Canada’s automotive industry become more dynamic and diverse,” says Jason Campbell, General Manager of the AutoShow. “The AutoShow is a big supporter of programs that connect youth with the auto sector. The discussions we had with the students through Accelerate Auto point to a bright future.”

The day included presentations from leaders in the automotive industry and representatives from colleges and universities, followed by a tour of the AutoShow.

After their tour of the show, the students gathered and took part in a fireside chat featuring various industry professionals, where they got to ask lots of questions about the industry, and the amazing vehicles they had witnessed during their tour. Scotiabank provided lunch to the students before the fireside chat.

“You never know what curiosity might be sparked from a visit like this,” says Christopher Nabeta, Executive Chair of Accelerate Auto. “These students were engaged, asking lots of great questions and took in a lot of information. By seeing other Black leaders from across the industry at our event, we hope their takeaway is that there is a place for them in automotive.”

Some of the participating organizations included the Trillium Automobile Dealer Association (TADA), the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network’s (OVIN) Skills, Talent and Workforce Development which is led by the Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI), the Automotive Business School of Canada, Ontario Tech University, taq Automotive Intelligence, the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association (APMA) and Project Arrow, Canadian auto dealer magazine, prominent car dealers and others.

“I can’t thank our industry partners enough for being so welcoming and helping us deliver an exciting day for these students,” says Nabeta. “All the partners we reached out to were eager to participate, and I think it sends a strong message that this industry is ready for change, and is willing to do the work to make it a more inclusive and diverse place to work.”

The AutoShow runs until February 26th. For more information or to buy tickets, please visit Media accreditation to the 2023 AutoShow is now online and can be requested at

Stay connected with the Canadian International AutoShow on Instagram @autoshowca, Twitter @autoshowcanadaand Facebook /autoshowcanada.

About the Canadian International AutoShow, presented by The Toronto Star

Celebrating its 50th year, the Canadian International AutoShow features more than 650,000 square feet of exhibits, displays and attractions spanning the North and South Buildings of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. With annual attendance in excess of 330,000, the Canadian International AutoShow is not only the largest automotive expo in Canada, it is also the country’s largest consumer show. A leader in lifestyle, technology and all things automotive, it is a showcase for the latest cars, trucks, SUVs, concept cars, exotics, classics, muscle cars, electric vehicles, alternative fuel vehicles and autonomous vehicles.

About Accelerate Auto

Accelerate Auto is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to increasing Black representation in the Canadian automotive industry. We provide Black talent and youth with access to mentorship for skills building and peer networking to support professional growth and career development. We facilitate career pathing through the form of internships to attract more Black talent to automotive and build awareness of opportunities within the industry. We are dedicated to creating a stronger and more diverse automotive workforce.

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For more information, please contact:

Kalvin Reid
Director of Public Relations
Enterprise Canada
Twitter: @KalReid

Jennifer Okoeguale
Executive Chair, Marketing and PR
Accelerate Auto

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