On Thursday, May 23, 2019, a crowd gathered in front of BMO Centre, where the Calgary Stampede and Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) officially announced the project team that will transform BMO Centre into a top-tier convention centre over the next five years.

BMO Centre expansion project team announcement.

Together, the Calgary Stampede and CMLC have worked on the Rivers District Master Plan since 2007, which includes the vision for the expansion of BMO Centre. The announcement of the project team for the expansion marked a momentous milestone in the actualization of this project.

After thoroughly reviewing 12 proposals from design consultant teams from across North America, the Calgary Stampede and CMLC announced at the press conference that a leading-edge team of three architectural firms—Stantec, Populous, and S2 Architecture—have been selected to design the expanded conference centre.

The three architectural firms were chosen for their in-depth international experience in convention centre design, intimate understanding of the building requirements and a strong sense of how BMO Centre fits into and enhances the Calgary community.

“The collective experience and strength of this team is testament to the importance of the BMO Centre expansion for Calgary,” says Dana Peers, President & Chairman of the Board of the Calgary Stampede. “The team at Stantec, Populous, and S2 Architecture offer un-paralleled expertise in not only the building’s design, but how it will interact and integrate with the surrounding community and Stampede Park. After years of planning, it is very exciting to bring this team on board to realize our vision.”

Dana Peers, President & Chairman of the Board of the Calgary Stampede shares his enthusiasm for the announced project team.

With funding now in place, thanks to contributions from all three levels of government, the Calgary Stampede and CMLC are able to move into the design and construction process of the project. The selected design team will begin the design process immediately.

“We’ve always been about community building, and this project is a perfect driver for the Culture & Entertainment District,” says Michael Brown, President and CEO, CMLC. “The BMO Centre expansion is a transformational project that will make significant direct and indirect contributions to the growing energy and excitement in east Victoria Park. It’s a signal to the world that Calgary is coming into its own as a first-class destination for international visitors. The Calgary Stampede is a wonderfully supportive and gracious partner in giving CMLC the honour of delivering the city’s top-tier convention centre it deserves.”

Michael Brown, President and CEO of CMLC addresses the crowd, sharing the impact the BMO Centre expansion will have for the city.

Along with the three architectural firms, convention venue operations specialist, HLT Advisory Inc.; project management firm, M3 Development and construction management firm, PCL Construction will be a part of the BMO Centre expansion team, following the design phase.

“When the expansion is completed in 2024, BMO Centre will have more than doubled its current rentable space, with nearly one million square ft. of total floor space—making it the second-largest facility of its kind in the country,” says Peers. “This is a tremendous opportunity for growth and development in the city—one that comes after years of focused planning and eager anticipation. The Calgary Stampede is extremely pleased with the project team now in place. Their success in leading projects of this magnitude not only makes them the right team to do this work, but we know they will help us deliver on our commitment to our community and continue to provide exceptional guest experiences.”

Representatives from the Calgary Stampede, CMLC and the project team gather in front of BMO Centre.

After years of planning, the Calgary Stampede is excited to begin laying down the groundwork and develop the blueprints for this monumental project, that will not only shape the future of the Calgary Stampede, but the broader Calgary community as we transition into a world-class conference destination.

This project will contribute to the Calgary Stampede, CMLC and the City of Calgary’s vision of redevelopment of the east end of Calgary’s downtown, and diversification of Calgary’s economy through increased trade and tourism in the area.

It is estimated that the BMO Centre expansion will also support more than 1,800 year-round jobs in Alberta during construction and will create more than 1,700 full-time jobs once completed, more than 1,500 of which will stay in Calgary.

As an organization, we are proud to be working with so many great partners on this project that understand the Calgary Stampede’s vision and the impact that the project will have in our community.

We look forward to the near-future and watching the BMO Centre expansion officially come to life. In order to minimize disruption to BMO Centre operations and to allow for the expansion to begin, work began this spring on the construction of an additional space; Hall F. The construction of Hall F, which will boast an additional 100,000 sq. ft., is being managed by Calgary construction firms Gibbs Gage and Stuart Olson. Hall F is on track to be completed in spring 2020. Construction on the BMO Centre expansion itself is slated to begin in spring 2021.