A hobby club, initially hosted by the Sylvan Lake Chamber of Commerce 10 years ago, has since grown into an institution of fellowship in Sylvan Lake.
The Sylvan Lake Customs and Classics Club has been hosting regular meetings and a yearly car show since 2006. The Club has grown from a group of around 25 members to nearly double that amount at around 48 dedicated individuals since being taken over by Gord Bredo and a group of local car enthusiasts.
Bredo was excited to discuss the origins of the club. He explained that he and other original members had volunteered for the original Chamber of Commerce-run group.
“We got a good response so we decided to start a club,” he said. “We put an ad in the paper and rented a little room in the library. We thought we would put out 15 chairs, that way if only three people came – it wouldn’t look too weird. Well we were packed and that’s how the club got going in that day.”
Since that day, the club as become a social staple for Sylvan Lakers to join together and forge new relationships based on the shared interest of classic cars. Bredo remembered the comfort of the club when he first joined the community.
“When we moved to Sylvan Lake, we didn’t know many people. Pretty soon our friendships grew because we all have something in common,” he said, adding that the it is great to be around other people who share a passion for older vehicles.
The club initially started hosting their shows at Hewlett Park, but has since moved multiple times. The first move was to the park across from the old Town Office on 50th Ave., however the growth of the club meant they would need to find a new home on the old Lakeshore Drive, where Centennial Park now sits. Once construction began on the new park, the Customs and Classics Show and Shine was finally moved to its current home on the driving range of Meadowlands Golf Course.
“We decided to move to Meadowlands and rent their driving range,” Bredo said. “We got the idea from Radium Hot Springs, they do the same thing and we thought it would be a good fit. Meadowlands thought it would be great for publicity and so we rent that space and it has been great.”
The last two years at the Golf Course, the Club saw over 200 cars and 1,000 spectators enter the gates. For Bredo, the show is about presenting the group as it is – while also entertaining those willing to donate their day.
“We have been doing our show the best we can – which has been around 200 cars and that’s where we will stay for now,” he said. “We try to do exactly what we would like. We try our best to do a good show for all the people that come to visit.”
For Bredo, being a part of the community is an important park of the Customs and Classics Club.
“We try our best to use all local business,” he said. “We are not a big volume club but we try to support the community the best we can. When we hosts shows, it’s all free for the spectators. Every year, when we have extra money we send it to local charities.”
This year, the Club celebrated its 10th year with a $1,000 donation to the Sylvan Lake Food Bank. Generally, the club donates around $500 annually to local charities, however they wanted to do something special this year.
Bredo is excited for the Club to continue to grow in Sylvan Lake and is thankful for the support they have received in the last 10 years.
“I would like to thank our local sponsors. A lot of them have been with us for the full 10 years and they are just great. Their success is our success and it is very important to help each other out,” he said.