About 60 airplanes associated with the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association recently conducted a tour of airports in Ontario and Quebec, evaluating about 30 potential sites for the organization's 2016 annual convention and fly-in.
The event is still fairly small. It was first held in 2007, and about 100 airplanes and several hundred visitors attend each year. The Bracebridge, Canada, newspaper Cottage Country Now reports that the 2011 convention in Langley, B.C. had as many as 300 people attend its banquet and more than 30 exhibitors in attendance. After a stop a Muskoka airport, Gravenhurst official Tony Rossi said that one of the reasons Muskoka is being considered is the proximity to a lake, which would allow amphibious aircraft and seaplanes to participate in the event.
The convention will be held this year in Ontario in late June. The Canadian Owners and Pilots Association alternates between eastern and western provinces each year, so with 2014 already spoken for, the next available slot for a convention in Ontario would be 2016.
According to its website, COPA was formed in 1952 when Ottawa-based pilot and aircraft owner Margaret Carson proposed that a pilot’s association be formed in Canada patterned after the AOPA in the United States. She acted as COPA’s first manager and staff (unpaid) for the first four years working out of her house.