Organisers of the Toronto International Boat Show are seeking boats and sponsors as popular Women’s Day event becomes an annual feature

Launched as a test in January, Women’s Day at the Toronto International Boat Show has proven such a success that organisers have elected to make the event an annual feature and are now actively seeking sponsors.

Designed to build confidence in female boaters by presenting practical information in a fun and supportive environment, the Women’s Day program includes a mix of classroom and hands-on programs covering subjects such as docking, navigation and backing up a vehicle with a trailer in tow.

“We received a tremendous amount of feedback from our inaugural Women’s Day at TIBS program and the hands-on sessions proved to be very popular,” says show manager, Cynthia Hare. “We had a course set up in a parking garage where the women could learn how to back up a truck with a trailer on it, for example, and we had a stress-free boat docking component on the world’s largest indoor lake. So one focus moving forward will be to build on those types of opportunities.”

Expanding the hands-on training components will create new opportunities for supporting firms who wish to be included in the program, notes Hare. “We are looking for sponsors, prize donations and female speaker referrals to complete our comprehensive day,” she says. “As an example, we are looking for another boat with a centre console powered by an electric or propane engine to be used on the indoor lake for the interactive docking sessions, so we can extend that part of the program.”

A total of 105 women attended the inaugural Women’s Day at TIBS. “It was capped because there was a limit to what we could accommodate,” says Hare. “The advance registrations sold out pretty quickly. Most of the women have been ‘first mates’ for life, and we want to take them that extra step so they can captain their own vessel.”

The second annual Women’s Day at TIBS is scheduled for Sunday January 19, 2020 from 8:30am to 5:30pm. The 62nd annual Toronto International Boat Show runs from January 17-26, 2020 at the Enercare Centre on the Toronto waterfront.