Best Classic Car Shows in Western Canada

By Samantha Lemna  | 
Mar 09, 2016

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We have an enduring love affair with the car. It’s a symbol of freedom and mobility and a combination of beauty and functionality. Vehicles are an integral part of our everyday life, from getting us to work, to getting our kids to their after-school activities, to letting us escape by heading down the open road. A car can trigger a powerful surge of emotions—whether it’s the memory of the first car you owned or the feel of that first road trip. It's no wonder that car shows are such a popular way to spend a weekend during the spring, summer, and fall months. Whether you're bringing your family to enjoy the entertainment and gaze at the long rows of old vehicles or you're parking your own classic car to compete for a prize, car shows have a lot to offer.

To help you plan your year, we'e pt togeter a list of the best classic car shows in Western Canada. The list offers the show name, dates, where it's being held and why you should go. 

Quicktimes Red Deer Spring Swap Meet

Held in March of every year.

Westerner Park, Red Deer, AB

One of the first bigger shows of the year, it's a great opportunity to clear out any unnecessary parts you've got lying around or to find some to fix up your new project. It's also a great place to meet other collector car owners and enthusiasts. There's always lots going on and you can get your tickets online or at the door.

Spring Thaw Show & Shine

Held in April every year.

Calgary, AB

Hosted by Nifty Fifty's Ford Club, this is the unofficial start of the show and cruising season. It's Calgary's largest single-day car event and it's open to all makes and models. It's a very popular event with thousands taking in the amazing collection of vehicles. A definite must if you love classic cars. They have a rain (or snow) out date as well, just in case the weather doesn't cooperate. 

The Original CAVAC 45th Annual Red Deer Swap

Held in early May every year.

Westerner Park, Red Deer, AB

Hosted by the CAVAC, this long-running swap is an excellent place to sell parts and memorabilia or find exactly what you're looking for. Every year, this show attracts people from across the province. You can find the latest details about the event here.

Vancouver All British Car Show

Usually held over the May long weekend. 

VanDusen Botanical Gardens, at Oak Street and 37th Avenue, Vancouver, B.C.

Over 550 British built classic cars and motorcycles are on display along with 40+ vendors and award-winning food trucks. It's been called "The Greatest Show on British Wheels" and showcases some truly incredible (and historical) cars. This delightful show is a wonderful way to spend a day (or two).

Okotoks Car Auction

Held at various times throughout the year - notably, the spring and fall.

This is the longest running collector car auction in Canada! If you're looking to sell or buy a classic or collector car, this is a great place to go. Register online, upload pictures, and set your vehicle as reserved or unreserved. Check out their website here.

Banff Rod Run/Touring Tin Show & Shine

Held in mid-June.

Banff, AB

$75 per car with proceeds going to support local charities in Banff. This is a great event for the early summer - get out an enjoy the mountains as well as some beautiful collector cars.

BritsBest Classics/Radium Hot Springs Show & Shine

Usually held over the Father's Day weekend in June.

Legends Field, Park Dr W, Radium Hot Springs, B.C.

This is a fantastic event for the whole family in Radium. It's held as part of Radium Days, which means there's lots of things to see, do, and eat! It's a great weekend trip if you're not from the area. The classic car show is well-attended and is hosted by the MG Club.

Al Azhar Shriners Vintage Car Club Annual Vintage Car Show

Held near the end of June.

Calgary, AB

This non-profit organization hosts a wonderful community event each year. There are prizes, giveaways, vendors, food trucks, music and an outdoor play area for kids. Free to the public, this is a popular event with locals. There is a $15 registration fee per car with dash plaques for the first 100 registrants. There's also a mini swap meet and awards.

Mile Zero Cruisers Summer Cruise Weekend

Held in early July.

Dawson Creek, AB

Taking over a section of downtown, this popular event attracts over 400 vehicles from the region. There's tons to do for the whole family. But book ahead - there's limited accommodation and lots of people! 

Super Run Manitoba

Held at the end of July.

Keystone Centre Grounds, Brandon, MB

This three day event attracts participants and attendees from all over Western Canada. Expect to see everything from hot rods to classic cars to antique farm equipment. Plus there are a variety of tours, vendors and events for the entire family taking place throughout the weekend. There's a meet and greet night as well as a swap meet and tradeshow. Prizes, giveaways, and awards are also given out!

Meltdown Car Show

Held at the end of July.

University Avenue & Gateway Blvd, Edmonton, AB

This is a car show for every type of vehicle from antique to muscle cars to tuners and euros. This long-running show is a great event to attend. Registration is $20 and proceeds go to the Alberta Cancer Foundation. 

Rock N' August

Held in August each year. 

St. Albert, AB

This massive event is held every year. There's tons going on and something for everyone. Multiple car shows, cruises, dances, food, vendors, concerts, and more. You can find out more information here

Eliminators Annual Riverside Run

Held mid-August every year.

Swift Current, SK

This weekend long event has been running for nearly 50 years. With cruises, a show & shine, dinner, pancake breakfast, and prizes, you'll be sure to love this event. There's also a dash plaque for the first 100 entrants and you can register online for a discount (regular registration is $30 and includes dinner). Registration at the gate or after August 1 is $40. Don't forget your non-perishable food donation - they're collecting for the local food bank as well. You can find out more info and register online here.

Vancouver Island Motor Gathering

Held at the end of August.

Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit, 4063 Cowichan Valley Highway, Cowichan, BC

This event welcomes everything from classic cars to custom hot rods and also includes motorcycles. This event fundraises for charities and routinely raises over $150,000. There are awards, vendors, prizes, food, and more. You can find out more info and register online here.

This is far from an exhaustive list - there are so many wonderful events happening around Western Canada each weekend. Big or small, they attract tons of gorgeous cars and car enthusiasts. Every year there are more events to go to - and you can head south of the border into Washington for even larger events. There are also often weeknight cruises held for classic car owners. These are often held by local A&W restaurants. You can also check out your local events page or talk to your local car club for more info about car shows near you.

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