After attending the 2010 edition of this small airshow I noted that despite the perfect weather that attendance was poor. Probably only 500 spectators showed up on the Saturday of the show when I was there.
In that previous blog posting a number of theories were bandied about as to why the public were a no-show for the Air Rallye. These included the high price ($20 for adults), the economy, that the Air Rallye conflicted with the Central Canada Exhibition (Super EX), the level of disorganization at the Air Rallye, weather that was perhaps too nice, that the Air Rallye was too small and dull and also competition with the free and much larger Vintage Wings Open House and Airshow that was held at Gatineau Airport on the 4 July and which 25,000 people attended plus another free Gatineau Airshow in September that drew 15,000 people.
It looks like Flightworks, the group that has put on the Classic Air Rallye, has somewhat answered the question and also announced their plans for 2011. They say:
"The 2011 Classic Air Rallye"
We've been planning some changes for the Classic Air Rallye for the future. Not all these changes could be implemented for this year, so for 2011 only, here's what's happening."
"With the growth of the Vintage Wings show just across the river in September so close to our August date, the competition for resources - participants, volunteers, media, etc - was becoming too great. Therefore we decided to change our date to the beginning of the airshow season, in early June. The only date the Museum could accommodate us on this year was the June 18th weekend. This of course is the same date as the newly revived Hamilton show. So clearly we wouldn't be able to run the same sort of CAR as in previous years."
"So, for 2011, Flightworks is cooperating with the Museum in staging the Capital Classic Wings and Wheels show on June 18th. This will attract a large number of classic and collector cars, the reenactors, supported by an increased participation by fighting vehicles from the War Museum, and fly-in aircraft. There will not be a formal flying display, but pilots will as usual be welcome to participate and display their aircraft. And we'll be back on the first weekend in June 2012 with the full event."
This year's Wings Over Gatineau airshow will again feature a Canadian EAA convention, the Snowbirds and of course the Vintage Wings fleet. It will be held on 17 September 2011 and is in commemoration of Canada’s First and Second World War Victoria Cross Recipients. As in the past admission will be by donation.
The Classic Air Rallye indicates that they will have a regular airshow next on 2-3 June 2012. It will be interesting to see how that event pans out and whether the new date, as far from the Gatineau shows as possible, will bring the crowds back. My own guess is that even with that date spread, that they are still competing with Gatineau for price and that the past $20 admission for the Classic Air Rallye will have to come down to $10 or less if they are to draw a serious crowd to the event in 2012.