BMO Centre has been Calgary’s primary venue for consumer and trade shows, special events, meetings and conferences since it was built in 1982. As a key component of the Rivers District Master Plan, the expansion of the BMO Centre is a critical first step toward establishing the downtown east end as Calgary’s Culture & Entertainment District.
In December 2018, the Government of Alberta and Calgary City Council announced their financial contribution to the development of an expanded BMO Centre, and in March 2019, the Government of Canada committed to contributing one third of the $500 million needed for the project through the New Building Canada Fund. The Stampede is appreciative and thanks all three levels of government for their contributions and commitment to recognizing the importance of the Stampede’s positive economic impact to southern Alberta.
The construction of a 100,000 square foot addition to the existing BMO Centre is underway. This will support the current meeting and convention business and will be up and running by June, in time for the 2020 Calgary Stampede. This is the first phase of the project, which when complete, will allow for BMO Centre to remain open during the second phase of the project scheduled to begin in late 2020, with completion expected in 2024.
The expanded BMO Centre will become the newest and largest convention centre in Western Canada, putting the expanded facility at approximately one million square feet. Spaces will include exhibition halls, meeting rooms and ballrooms. These interior spaces will be ample yet adaptable, with the capability to transform and deliver distinctive experiences.
Construction is anticipated to generate $497 million for Canada, with $402 million of that staying in Alberta. Once complete, the facility is projected to bring in an additional $223 million for the province annually and support more than 1,750 full-year jobs.
As one of the primary anchors of the emerging Culture & Entertainment District, the community will share in the benefit through booked hotel rooms, restaurants, taxis and ride-shares, exposing many to Calgary and southern Alberta for the first time. These experiences will encourage return visitors and may even be shared, inspiring others to visit as well.
As Calgary’s gathering place continues to evolve over the next five years, updates will be shared. In the meantime, please visit the BMO Centre Expansion website for up-to-date information on the project.