Heather Angeard and George Acs, co-owners of Executive Event Production Inc. and producers of the West Coast Christmas Show and Fraser Valley Food Show, both said they thought they were dreaming when they first encountered the wonderful features of Tradex nine years ago.
“Our jaws were wide open because the staff at Tradex wanted to help us. No one helps like this when we host shows in Vancouver,” said Angeard.
“I remember saying to Heather the first time we had a show at Tradex that we must be in the Twilight Zone. We are dealing with real people who want to help you in every way they can. No one has a designated job. Whoever is nearby helped us. It made a huge difference,” said Acs.
Christmas-show duo has a long history in the hospitality industry
Acs and Angeard have been business partners for decades, and together they founded and produced EAT! Vancouver Food Festival, EAT! Fraser Valley Food Festival (now Fraser Valley Food Show), West Coast Christmas Show, CityTV’s Taste of the City and produced the BC Hospitality Expo.
Angeard’s first job was with a catering company for a variety of events when she was 13. Working with Acs, who she first encountered when he was with the BC Restaurant Association, has been a rewarding experience.
Acs has been involved in the restaurant, food service and hospitality industry since leaving university in 1969. He’s been owner/operator of restaurants and bars in Victoria and Whistler, including Louie Louie’s Diner, Jimmy D’s Roadhouse and The Hungarian Village. He was named BC Restaurateur of the Year three times.
For Angeard, with more than 30 years of experience in the hospitality and event industry, it was a natural progression to create and launch consumer shows with Acs.
“When Vali Marling of Tradex came to us, telling us that they wanted to do a show similar to our Eat! Vancouver and asking for our help, we said sure. Then we did the Christmas show here as well,” said Acs.
Tradex in Abbotsford makes it easy
What does he like most about Tradex? “It’s like a dream to move a show in and out. There are lots of big doors to access the show from all around. There are no elevators, you just drive in. It’s a wonderful facility.”
For Vancouver shows, logistics companies are hired, holding lots are rented and exhibitors are held there until they are called. None of that happens at Tradex,” said Acs.
Fancy foods, artisan market, Santa’s workshop, children’s choirs and more
The West Coast Christmas Show, considered Western Canada’s leading holiday season show, runs this year Friday through Sunday, Nov. 18-20 at Tradex. Angeard said “we get a small head-start on Wednesday, fluffing up Christmas trees and assembling reindeer. We have all day Thursday, and Friday morning to set up, before the show starts.”
The event brings together holiday gifts, fancy foods, personal services, a Festival of Trees, new décor ideas and products, festive seminars, culinary presentations, and the sounds of Christmas performed by local choirs and musicians.
Sugar shack, Nintendo and a trolley
This year a maple sugar shack outside the front doors of Tradex will bring back childhood memories for anyone from Eastern Canada, with the aroma of hot maple syrup and shredded ice . . . a sugary sweet festive delight.
A Nintendo trailer outside will also bring smiles to the faces who love anything new related to Pokémon.
And once again, parking is free, with parking-lot shuttle service provided by The Vancouver Trolley Company.
As Tradex celebrates 25 years, Angeard said the facility has certainly grown over the years and “it has been nice to be a part of it.”