Projects

BMO Convention Centre Expansion, Calgary

The BMO Convention Centre in Calgary, Canada is being expanded to transform it into a leading global convention venue.

Project Type

Convention centre expansion

Location

Calgary, Canada

Estimated Investment

C$500m ($373.2m)

Start of Construction

2020

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The BMO Convention Centre in Calgary, Canada, is being expanded to transform it into a leading global convention venue.

The C$500m ($373.2m) expansion will allow the convention centre to become the largest conference facility in western Canada and the second-largest in the country, upon completion.

The project is being developed by Calgary Stampede and Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC). It is an important part of the city’s Rivers District Master Plan and will establish the region as a culture and entertainment district of Calgary.

It will qualify the city to host global meetings and conventions, as well as bring jobs, attract investment and development, and promote tourism in the area.

The design for the expansion was unveiled in June 2020, while demolition of the existing structures will begin in October 2020. The project will break ground in April 2021, with overall completion expected in June 2024.

The expansion project will create 1,862 direct jobs during construction and 1,757 permanent jobs once complete.

BMO Convention Centre location

BMO Convention Centre is situated in Stampede Park, south of downtown Calgary in Alberta, Canada.

The developers are also working on a proposed 600-room hotel adjacent to the centre. The hotel will serve the needs of the convention venue’s clients, as well as visitors of the Calgary Stampede, Arts Commons, the Scotiabank Saddledome, the new Central Library, and other cultural and entertainment facilities in the vicinity.

BMO Convention Centre expansion details

The expanded BMO Convention Centre will span across one million square feet, increasing its total rentable space by more than two times.

“The developers are also working on a proposed 600-room hotel adjacent to the centre.”

The event plaza section will include the main entry plaza, pavilion event space, café and the stairs. The exhibit hall level will feature the exhibit hall, two pre-functions and retail space, while the meeting room level will feature meeting rooms, an event terrace, a pre-function area, pre-function terrace and a hub. The ballroom level will house the ballroom, a pre-function area and a junior ballroom.

The facility will be able to host large national and international events with a new exhibition hall spanning across 102,500ft² and a new 68,000ft² meeting room. In addition, 100,000ft² of space known as Hall F is being constructed on the north-eastern side of the site and is expected to be completed in 2020.

The centre will have 350,000ft² of contiguous exhibit space, while the ballroom will extend across 50,000ft². A market café and HQ hotel connection, as well as four public art sites, will also be part of the development.

The event spaces and public areas in the facility will feature modern technology for quick connectivity. The facility will also include flexible breakout areas and outdoor spaces for visitors, and a space of 118,500ft² dedicated for back of house service area.

Background and construction timeline

BMO Convention Centre has been serving as the city’s premier location for meetings, trade shows, and conferences since 1982.

It underwent two expansions in 2000 and 2009, and currently includes 250,000ft² of exhibition space, 7,000ft² of meeting space and a 12,000ft² ballroom.

As per the construction timeline of the project, concrete foundation work will be completed in February 2022, while structural steelworks will be finished in October 2022. The building envelope is expected to be completed by May 2023. The internal finishes will be done by December 2023, followed by substantial completion of the building by March 2024.

Financing for the expansion project

The project will receive a contribution of C$166.6m ($124m) from the Government of Canada under the New Building Canada Fund, while Alberta and the City of Calgary will provide financing of C$166.6m ($124m) each via the Calgary Rivers District Community Revitalization Levy.

The Calgary Exhibition and Stampede will provide funding of C$3.9m ($2.9m).

Contractors involved

The project has been designed by a team of Stantec, Populous and S2 Architecture.

The project team also includes convention centre operations specialist HLT Advisory and project management services provider M3 Development.

PCL Construction received a contract to provide construction management services.

Hall F is being delivered by Gibbs Gage and Stuart Olson.

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