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BMO Centre Expansion

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BMO Centre Expansion

The creation of a tier-1 venue when completed in 2024 will support larger conventions and conferences being hosted in Calgary and Southern Alberta.​​​


The project

Calgary and southern Alberta are in need of a larger event venue to support future growth in demand and to attract larger conventions and conferences to our province. The BMO Centre expansion will enhance economic diversity, trade and tourism and create jobs for Albertans through the creation of new spaces for conferences, meetings, exhibitions and consumer and trade shows. At just under a million square feet when completed, it will provide the opportunity to host large national and international events. The building will effectively double in size to become Canada’s second largest facility upon completion in the summer of 2024. It will be a catalyst for the emerging Cultural and Entertainment District.

The Government of Canada, Government of Alberta, and City of Calgary have each confirmed their support for the BMO Centre Expansion as a key infrastructural enhancement for this region.​

Current status

The BMO Convention and Trade Centre expansion is completely funded and scheduled to break ground in early spring 2019. The project funding partners, each contributing one-third to the project, are the Government of Canada, the Government of Alberta and City of Calgary.​

Project milestones

​May 28, 2018 ​The Event Centre Assessment Committee was established, with Councillor Jeff Davison as Chair, and Councillor Ward Sutherland as Vice-Chair.  Councillor Shane Keating joined as an additional member.
​June 25, 2018 ​The Terms of Reference for the Event Centre Assessment Committee were adopted. These terms include the mandate, composition and governance of the Committee.
​July 30, 2018 ​​

The Event Centre Assessment Committee adopted the following principles to be included in the Terms of Reference. They are:

  1. The Event Centre should be a gathering place for all Calgarians that includes, but not be limited to: concerts, assemblies, festivals, professional and amateur sports, linked to an outdoor gathering space.
  2. Public funds must be used for public benefit, including but not limited to improving access and availability for individuals and groups, while also providing economic benefits for the Calgary economy.
  3. The Event Centre must be a catalyst to attract further vibrancy and investment as an anchor for further development in a mixed-use neighbourhood.
  4. The Event Centre must be viable and sustainable as its own entity while contributing as part of a comprehensive master plan vision that supports The City of Calgary’s planning objectives and enhances our communities’ brand and reputation.
  5. It is understood that a proposed Event Centre could be a partnership between The City of Calgary and external parties.
  6. Although negotiations will be kept private, there will be engagement with the public throughout the process whenever possible to ensure transparency.
  7. In the event that a funding agreement for an Event Centre is reached between The City of Calgary and external groups, it must be made public and presented to Council for final decision.

The Committee also received an update from Calgary Municipal Land Corporation on public engagement related to Victoria Park.

​October 5, 2018 ​The Committee received a report from the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) that detailed the vision for the Culture & Entertainment District, with renderings of a proposed Event Centre.
​October 9, 2018 ​Council directed the Event Centre Assessment Committee, on behalf of the City, to re-engage in partnership conversations with Calgary Sport and Entertainment Corporation regarding a new Event Centre within the culture and entertainment district.
​December 14, 2018 ​Committee heard from Ernst & Young, who spoke about the methodology of an Economic Impact Assessment on the Rivers District revitalization, which include the Event Centre, Bmo Expansion, and Arts Commons renovations.
​December 18, 2018 ​Funding was announced by the Government of Alberta with the City of Calgary on December 18, 2018.​
​January 25, 2019 ​Ernst & Young presented the Economic Impact Assessment Study on the Rivers District Revitalization to Committee.  They found that “Having gathered the appropriate data for the three proposed projects, the quantitative modelling results project a positive economic impact, both during construction and in ongoing operations.” ​ Full report
​January 28, 2019 ​Council adopted a Workplan for a potential Event Centre. ​Full plan
​March 4, 2019 ​Council approved the financial strategy for all four unfunded long term projects (BMO Centre expansion, Event Centre, one phase of Arts Common, and MultiSport Field House)
​March 12, 2019 ​Funding was announced by the Government of Canada.
​Early spring 2019 ​The BMO Centre expansion is scheduled to break ground in early spring 2019.​

Council Reports