Canada RVDA Names Top Dealer

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Andy Thomson Jr. of Can-Am RV Centre in London, Ontario, was presented with the 2021 Canadian RV Dealer of the Year Award on Thursday during a virtual presentation.

Thomson appeared surprised as Melanie Taylor of RV Lifestyle Magazine announced the winner of the Walter Paseska Memorial Canadian RV Dealer of the Year Award.

“Thank you so much; this is indeed an honor,” Thomson said. “I have fond memories of Walt Paseska, who was a colleague of my father’s and would often come to dinner when in town. This is a great industry and I have been fortunate to have made many great friends along the way. Thank you to my staff, my wife and family and I welcome all to stop by our dealership if you ever find yourself in London.”

Each year, the Canada RVDA, in conjunction with RV Lifestyle Magazine and Dealer News, invites nominations from across Canada for the Canadian RV Dealer of the Year Award.  The award is dedicated to the memory of Paseska, founder of Walt’s Trailer Sales in Headingley, Manitoba, in recognition of his many years of commitment and dedication to the RV industry.

The award is presented to a candidate who has:

  • Demonstrated long-term dedication to the RV industry and promotion of the RV lifestyle by the acting dealer principal of a recognized full-service RV dealership,
  • Shown commitment and participation in the RVDA at the provincial or national level,
  • Been recognized by customers and peers as a person with the highest integrity and credibility in both work and personal life, and
  • Made a contribution to their community.

Thomson started working at Can-Am RV Centre alongside his father, Andy Thomson Sr., from the day the dealership opened in 1970. The younger Thompson would work after school and on the weekends to help ensure the dealership’s success.

Can-Am RV Centre can trace its roots back to 1967, when Andy Thomson Sr. bought a 1965 Airstream. Thomson Sr. took his family camping, including trips to Airstream Rallies across the country. At the rallies, Thomson Sr. realized an Airstream store could be a solid business venture and a great way to use his mechanical prowess and creativity to help RVers. Can-Am RV was born shortly after.

Can-Am RV has remained a family business. Thomson Jr., his sister Nancy and brother Kirk all worked there throughout high school. Thomson Jr. joined the dealership full-time once he graduated. He became a well-known hitch expert throughout the Canadian RV industry.

Today the dealership has expanded its RV lines. The dealership now has 14 service bays and one of the largest parts and accessories departments, branded as RV Outfitters.

Throughout his 50-plus years in the industry, Thomson Jr. has served on several boards, committees and volunteered with various charities. He spent nine years as a director on the Ontario RVDA board, serving as its president twice. He also served on the Canada RVDA board and became its representative on the Go RVing Canada board for five years. He served as the Go RVing Canada chairman from 2001 to 2003.

Thomson Jr.’s community involvement includes being an active sponsor of One Run and Bethany’s Hope Foundation. He participates with the Kiwanis Club and helps with decorating the community at Christmas. He is an active sponsor of Rockin Wheel, which helps raise money for neuro-traumatic injuries. During the pandemic, Thomson Jr. made sure front-line workers had access to free RV rentals to self-isolate.

Other nominees for the award were: Chardell Brydon of Jerry’s RV Trailer Sales and Jason Friesen of Voyager RV Centre.

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