Empowering women and building a love of motorsport at Canada’s premier automotive event
As Canada’s largest annual auto show, the Toronto Auto Show is a true mecca for petrolheads and the best place to learn about the cutting edge of automotive innovation, culture, and community. Women in Motorsport Canada was honored to have a presence at this year’s Toronto Auto Show, connecting with all sorts of women involved in the automotive and motorsport industry, and introducing a new generation of girls to the exciting world of cars and motorsport!
With a record-breaking attendance for 2023, the Toronto Auto Show drew crowds from all over the world, eager to witness the newest offerings from top automotive brands and get a glimpse at what’s to come in the future of cars and motorsport. After two years of hiatus due to COVID-19, we are so glad to be a part of such a vibrant community’s return. From some amazing partnerships and engaging interviews, follow this post-show coverage to learn all about the 2023 Toronto Auto Show and WIMCanada’s role in this prestigious event!
WIMCanada and LEGO | A partnership fostering young women's interest in motorsport
One of the most exciting and engaging booths at the Toronto Auto Show is undoubtedly the LEGO booth - where children of all ages are free to enjoy a spontaneous, creative outlet for fun and learning. LEGO is a fondly-remembered source of automotive and motorsport beginnings for so many, and playing with hot-rodded custom built LEGO cars is a sure-fire way to start any child dreaming of the racetrack. This year, WIMCanada has the amazing privilege to join the LEGO booth, making some magic happen with a partnership that will be sure to spark the hearts and imaginations of little girls towards a future in cars and motorsport.
As part of the LEGO booth, WIMCanada offered a great STEM-related activity for little girls at the auto show; building and racing custom balloon-powered LEGO cars! The Girl Guides of Canada joined WIMCanada to participate in this activity, building cars from scratch and learning lots alongside WIMCanada director Leanne Junnila! The weekend was full of creative builds and exciting races, in a fun-filled celebration of the joint efforts between LEGO and WIMCanada to keep bringing girls into the world of motorsport.
LEGO Lamborghini Sián
Along with WIMCanada's participation at the LEGO booth, we had to highlight the extraordinary skill of LEGO engineers and builders, creating a 1:1 replica of the Lamborghini Sián supercar! The car is made of over 400,000 LEGO Technic pieces, many of which forming hexagonal shapes that pay homage to Lamborghini's storied history with the implementing the six-sided shape in their vehicles. While this replica doesn't have the hybrid system nor the 6.5 litre V12 engine of the original supercar, it does feature the same alloy wheels as the production vehicle! This amazing model was a favorite of the WIMCanada team and many of the participants at the LEGO booth!
WIMCanada director interviewed by REV TV Canada
Another huge highlight of WIMCanada's presence at the Toronto Auto Show was having our director, Leanne Junnila featured on REV TV Canada, a 24/7 motorsport-focused network featuring the best of Canadian and global motorsport. REV TV is a spectacular source for live racing content, whether it be rally, formula, or motocross. They highlight exciting knowledge from motorsport industry insiders and are on the cutting edge of automotive and motorsport news!
The interview was conducted by Todd Lewis, the host of REV TV's culture segment. Todd has interviewed countless faces in motorsport, highlighting the people, passion, and traditions of a sport that connects so many and continues to capture the interest of fresh fans every day. In his interview with WIMCanada director Leanne Junnila, Todd delved into the origins of WIMCanada, along with the victories and challenges associated with bringing women into the world of motorsport. Leanne had this to say:
"It's starting to come together now - more people are starting to know that WIMCanada exists. So we're just starting to have more live events, we're working on an e-racing strategy, and we're starting to do more STEM education activities for little kids - to try and get little girls interested in motorsport as an option for STEM careers."
Additionally, Leanne spoke about WIMCanada's collaboration with LEGO at the auto show, highlighting the positive attention and turnout at the booth.
"I'm so honored and proud to be doing this collaboration with LEGO this weekend. I grew up playing with almost nothing but LEGO and so, to be able to do that professionally this weekend is like a career highlight - We are building LEGO racecars, we are racing them in the LEGO booth - All the girls just had a blast this morning."
Finally, Todd discussed the importance of grassroots foundations in motorsport, including the multitude of career paths that may be overlooked in the industry, especially from the lens of female representation. When considering a career in motorsport, the pathway can sometimes seem prohibitive and daunting to newcomers. Leanne responded by illustrating one of the goals of WIMCanada:
"- to try and set up sort of a ladder system so that people have a path forward, so if you want to start as a volunteer in motorsport, and you want to learn how to be a flag marshall - how do you progress from your local track to being a flag marshall at a Formula One race, to being a flag marshall at international events? - and so, how do you start just having an interest locally and how do we boost you up the ladder so you can be successful - any path you want to follow, how can I help the next generation get there?"
WIMCanada thanks REV TV for this amazing feature, and we encourage you to tune into REV TV or go online for the full interview!
The 2023 Toronto Auto Show was an amazing experience for WIMCanada and the team to join the motorsport community in encouraging women of all ages to get involved in motorsport! We were so proud to be a part of this prestigious event, and we hope to see many of your friendly faces again at future WIMCanada events, from auto shows and exhibitions to motorsport events and races! Don't forget to subscribe to the WIMCanada newsletter for future updates on events and all things related to Women in Motorsport!