Apparel Textile Sourcing Canada is expanding in space and scope for its second edition.

After holding its first trade show in Toronto last August with more than 200 booths of merchandise and in excess of 1,800 attendees, ATSC said it has secured a 50 percent increase in exhibit space at Toronto’s International Centre for this year’s show, set for Aug. 21 to 23.

According to show organizers, the decision to expand was driven by positive exhibitor and visitor feedback, strong attendance and a renewed commitment from international manufacturers and industry partners such as the Canadian Apparel Federation, TesTex, WRAP, Brands for Canada and Fashion Business Inc.

Organizers said the timing also comes as Canadian imports of apparel, textiles and footwear reached an all-time high in 2016 of $1.6 billion.

Produced by JP Communications Inc., ATSC was also launched by an online business-to-business trade platform, which “fueled the massive and engaged databases of [JP’s trade platforms] and to help deliver a hugely successful event,” said Jason Prescott, chief executive officer of JP Communications.

ATSC was introduced to provide Canadian businesses with the convenience of connecting with international suppliers on their home turf, Prescott noted.

“Now, Canadian companies have the luxury of staying local and avoiding expensive and unnecessary international travel,” he said. “The event connects Canada to the world of global trade, all in Toronto.”

A comprehensive trade show and conference, ATSC 2017 will bring to Canada hundreds of apparel and textile manufacturers from around the world, including China, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, the U.S., the U.K., Mexico, Colombia and Peru. It will include a series of seminars and sessions where attendees can make global industry connections and gain the insights needed to navigate the international sourcing process.

Also new for 2017 will be a trends showcase, a fashion show and design contest featuring items available to be sourced at the event, as well as fashions from local designers and students from many of the Toronto-based fashion schools partnering with the event for the second year.

“The Canadian market presents sizable investment opportunities for producers worldwide,” Prescott said, citing reports that show the country’s annual population growth holding steady at about one percent or more than 339,000 people and Ontario’s population alone projected to grow by 30.1 percent, or almost 4.2 million for a total of more than 17.9 million, over the next 26 years.

ATSC is supported by many international governmental associations headed by the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Textile and Apparel and the Bangladesh High Commission.

Pamela Bokser, sourcing director for Giant Tiger Ltd., with more than 200 stores in Canada, said, “With an event like this, now I’m finally given the option to stay in Canada over traveling to other sourcing events abroad.”