Imagine wandering the picturesque grounds of Shawnigan Lake School as you view some of the most interesting and unique classic, collectible and exotic import vehicles on the Island.
You can do that and help children and their families facing medical and financial challenges, during the Vancouver Island Concours d’Elegance and Motorcar Weekend, happening Sunday, Aug. 25 at the private school.
The sprawling event will feature two sections. One is the traditional Show and Shine, featuring everything from hot rods and domestic classics to modern vehicles, motorcycles and more. The other is the Concours d’Elegance, where you’ll find high-quality examples of European and North American restoration projects from pre-1974.
“We’re expecting a large number of rare and unique automobiles at the show … high-calibre restoration pieces that people hardly ever see,” says Cindy Mui with the German Auto Import Network (GAIN Group), which has spearheaded this event since its inception in 2012.
The by-donation event (suggested amount $5) was known for the past seven years as the Vancouver Island Motor Gathering. Growing from 85 cars in the beginning to around 600, the event has collectively raised more than $1 million for the David Foster Foundation, Cowichan District Hospital Foundation and individual families in need on the Island.
For this year the event moved from GAIN’s Vancouver Island Motorsports Circuit on the Cowichan Valley Highway to the school in Mill Bay, a decision they hope will facilitate further growth, Mui says.
“Our goal in the next few years is to expand the show to offer different types of activities, and have different focuses for the show,” she says. “Shawnigan Lake School is just stunning. It’s a gem really no one [outside its students and families] knows exists. We’re hoping to build awareness for them as well – it’s kind of like Butchart Gardens meets Hogwarts.”
The hours for the show are also being extended, so it will now run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Not only is the scope of the show being expanded, organizers hope to touch even more families in need, especially those who may not yet have connected with the foundations, Mui says.
“There may be a child out there with a rare illness who isn’t on anyone’s radar,” she says. “So this year we’re asking people to tell us about families they know of who are in need, maybe where people have had to quit their jobs to care for their child. We want people to bring awareness of these families to us so we can help.”
If you’d like to enter your custom, classic or exotic vehicle in the Concours d’Elegance or the Show and Shine ($25 fee), visit islandconcours.com/the-event/#categories and find where your car fits in. There’s 14 distinct categories in the Show and Shine and 12 in the Concours. You’ll find a registration link near the bottom of that page.
For more information about the event and the charities it supports, visit islandconcours.com. Shawnigan Lake School is located at 1975 Renfrew Rd., off Shawnigan Lake Road