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After turning the world upside-down for 2020, COVID-19 continues to mess with schedules into 2021. Now, it’s the Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association (CSAAA) changing its plans, canceling its mid-winter trade shows.

However, it’s not all bad news. The CSAAA has a plan for new trade show-style events in the spring, with live range demos. The events will be open to firearms enthusiasts, not just firearms businesses and their employees.

In 2020, the CSAAA ran two of its Industry Trade Show events in mid-February, one in Ontario and one in Alberta. These events were only open to members of the CSAAA—you had to be an industry insider to attend. Now, those events will not run in 2021, and that’s no surprise. The coronavirus pandemic means traditional trade shows are in doubt, with even SHOT Show potentially facing serious restrictions.

Instead of the Industry Trade Show events, the CSAAA is running “Display & Play” events in May and June of 2021. There will be four of these events—one each for Alberta and Quebec, and two in Ontario. The CSAAA hopes to have dates and locations nailed down by early November.

The CSAAA says these events “will feature the world’s leading firearms, ammunition, archery and accessory brands available through Canada’s leading distributors and wholesalers on display.” At this point, we don’t have a list of exactly who’s going to be exhibiting, but that will likely be along in the months to come.

Live range demos, and open to public

The CSAAA says the products will be available for live range demonstrations at these events. Does that mean off-site range visits? At this point we don’t know, but again, those details should be along soon enough, and it’s definitely an improvement. Having the shows in the spring means it’s much easier to pull this off, too.

Finally, note that the public – or at least, interested firearms owners – can attend these Display & Play events, unlike the CSAAA’s past trade shows. Organizers say the events “will feature a public access day with a small admission charge, followed by a dealer-only day.” It will cost you a few bucks to go check out the new firearms, ammunition and other product, but that’s totally understandable if you’re getting a chance to demo some of the products.

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