Priority Capital Projects Calgary's Event Centre and Culture + Entertainment District improvements

More than an event centre, this project continues the momentum underway to develop Calgary’s emerging Event Centre and Culture + Entertainment District and one of our newest downtown communities. It is the next step in Calgary’s renewal as a global city and international destination, as part of a total package that supports the downtown’s revitalization and recovery.

The Project

Together with downtown’s only community rink, the 6 Street S.E. underpass, street improvements and new public gathering places, a modern event centre positions Calgary to be a host city that attracts new concerts, performances, festivals and events that all Calgarians can enjoy. 

These investments, along with ongoing development, will directly contribute to the quality of life of the 8,000 Calgarians, who will call this developing community home, and people visiting from all corners of the city.  

They contribute to Calgary’s growing public spaces and amenities downtown for more people to explore and experience. They will join the newly designed Century Gardens and Eau Claire promenade, as well as St. George’s Island and Calgary’s Riverwalk to name a few. Our growing downtown is offering more places to visit and gather that will be accessible and well used by Calgarians and those visiting from out of town.

Ensuring Calgary continues to be an affordable and attractive city where people want to live, and visit, requires thoughtful and intentional effort. This project is one of many investments that we’re making to support Calgarians, Calgary’s communities and Calgary’s downtown.

Project update – November 27, 2023

Since definitive agreements were signed in October 2023, several streams of work are progressing concurrently to ensure a timely delivery of the Event Centre Block. The project team alongside the design consultants – DIALOG and HOK – have begun the design phase of the event centre, community rink, and surrounding public plazas. This work is in its early stages and will take several months to complete.

Simultaneous to the design work underway, the Development Manager – CAA ICON – is working to finalize a schedule that will outline target milestone dates to expect over the next year or so. This is expected in the spring or summer of 2024. 

We are also gearing up to conduct early enabling works in the New Year to prepare the site for construction. This will include utility relocations, reconfiguration of 5 Street SE, and site clean-up.

As previously promised, we intend on sharing the definitive agreements once they are ready and all parties are ready to have them publicly available. As with all business agreements, the documents need to be reviewed first for proprietary and financially sensitive details before they can be released. This is ongoing and expected to take a few more weeks. 

In the meantime, our Frequently Asked Questions include additional information you may be interested in.


New mobility connection

A new 4-lane underpass under the CP train tracks with wide sidewalks at 6th Street S.E., providing pedestrian, wheeling, and vehicle connections.

Community rink

Shared facility for public booking and training facility for CSEC teams with seating for 1,000.

Outdoor and indoor gathering space

More opportunity for community events onsite and in The District.

Event centre

New City-owned building, capable of accommodating “A-class” events and additional hosting space on a 10-acre parcel of land.

Street and public realm improvements

Improvements to 5 Street S.E and 15, 17 and 25 Avenues S.E.


Commercial development parcels that can accelerate development and growth in Calgary’s downtown core and The District.

Benefits to Calgarians

  • Job Creation

    Ernst & Young prepared an Economic Impact Assessment on the full build out of the Culture + Entertainment District. The report released in January 2019, states up to 4,750 full-time jobs could be created during the construction phase of the district, with an additional 1,536 permanent jobs created once the new facilities are open.

  • Invest in Calgarians

    The Event Centre and improvements to the Rivers District is an investment in the quality of life in Calgary. The Event Centre will be a complementary anchor to the BMO Centre Expansion, and together these two modernized facilities will work with other improvements in the area to give Calgarians a vibrant year-round gathering place. It’s a place where visitors and a whole new generation of Calgarians will make lifelong memories.

  • Economic Growth

    Having already attracted more than $3 billion of private investment to date, the Rivers District has momentum. Calgary’s economy and local businesses will benefit from both Event Centre and The Rivers District construction, and activities related to future programming and operations. The result will be more events, enjoyed by more people who visit the downtown core, benefitting more businesses in the area.

Downtown recovery

A modern event centre is part of a total package that supports Calgary’s downtown recovery

It complements and supports other projects and programs that are underway, completed, and upcoming, which together, grow and build a successful and vibrant downtown for the next 40 years and beyond:


BMO Centre

Arts Commons Transformation

9 Avenue S.E. bridge

BMO Convention Centre Hotel

The Future of Stephen Avenue

Central Library

Downtown Calgary Incentive Program

Event Centre

Contemporary Calgary

Eau Claire Area improvements

6 Street S.E. Underpass

Platform Calgary

Glenbow Museum

Community Rink

Studio Bell

Green Line LRT

MNP Expansion

Upgrades to 17 Avenue S

Stampede Trail


17 Avenue S.W. upgrades

Victoria Park LRT Station upgrades


Project background

This agreement is the culmination of more than 15 months of work, as well as the lessons learned from the first round of event centre negotiations. 

Committee and third party

Event Centre Committee

Event Centre Committee

On Oct. 25, 2022, as part of Council’s Organizational Meeting a new Event Centre Committee (ECC) membership was approved by Council. This Committee will continue the work already underway by the previous Committee’s members. The Event Centre Committee is comprised of five voting members:

Three Members of Council:

  • Sonya Sharp; Councillor
  • Andre Chabot; Councillor 
  • Terry Wong; Councillor 

Two public members:

  • Deborah Yedlin; President & CEO, Calgary Chamber of Commerce
  • Brad Parry; President & CEO, Calgary Economic Development

The first ECC was held on April 4, 2022, at which time Councillor Sharp was confirmed as Chair and Deborah Yedlin as Vice Chair.

Third Party

Third Party

The City and the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation have agreed to begin formal discussions with a fresh start towards a new event centre.  We are pleased to move forward with CSEC with a collaborative approach to identify mutual interests and beneficial opportunities.

This milestone could not have happened without the efforts of the third party, whose team included Guy Huntingford, John Fisher, and Phil Swift, along with The City’s Event Centre Team and CSEC.

 We are grateful for the third-party’s efforts, which has fulfilled Council’s original direction and their mandate to determine if there is a path forward to a new Event Centre with CSEC.

Project Partners

Other capital projects