BMO Convention Centre / Populus

BMO Convention Centre / Populus

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Text description provided by the architects. Calgary’s BMO Centre at Stampede Park is ready to welcome the world, officially becoming Western Canada’s largest convention centre with the grand opening of its 565,000 sq. ft. expansion. Following decades of planning and four years of construction, the over 1M sq. ft. Tier 1 convention facility opens its doors for the first time, not only creating an architectural landmark for Calgary but making gatherings even greater with the ability to host a scale of convention the city hasn’t been able to previously accommodate. “For four years, we have been promising that the expanded BMO Centre will offer Calgarians, southern Albertans and visitors to our city a greater way to gather. Today, it is with immeasurable pride that we open the doors to the BMO Centre at Stampede Park,” said Joel Cowley, CEO of the Calgary Stampede. “The BMO Centre expansion was built for Calgary and southern Alberta, with the vision of creating a world-class facility both in terms of design and the ability to provide exceptional guest experiences through our signature western hospitality. With the interest we’ve seen from the meetings and conventions industry before the doors have even opened, we know that this facility is going to have a positive impact on Calgary’s economy by bolstering the tourism and hospitality sectors. We built this for our future, and we look forward to realizing the success of the expansion in the decades to come.”

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The expansion’s first major event, the Global Energy Show, is already loading into the expansion’s exhibition halls in preparation for their June 11 event, and there are another 500 conventions and events booked into the expansion post-opening to date. This also translates to filling restaurants, shops, rideshares and other attractions that make Calgary unique. The economic impact on Calgary will equate to approximately upwards of $100 million a year and provide thousands of jobs. The building, designed by leading design team Stantec, Populous and S2 Architecture, represents the next generation of convention facilities, one that promises best-in-class guest experience, boasts precedent-setting design architecture and serves as a gathering place for convention attendees and the local community alike.

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“When we began design with our partners in 2019, we asked ourselves how we could design a facility that pushes the boundaries of convention centre design and experience, and every decision we made from that point on was with that goal in mind,” said Kate Thompson, President and CEO of Calgary Municipal Land Corporation, Development Manager for the project. “CMLC is incredibly proud to have delivered this project on time and budget and to have delivered on the world-class promise we and our partners set out to achieve. With the completion of this catalyst project, we have set the tone for the coming years of development in The Culture + Entertainment District, and we are looking eagerly ahead to building on this momentum as we continue to transform this district together.”

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After more than 124 years of working together, the Calgary Stampede and BMO have renewed their partnership for another 10 years, through until the end of 2033. As a part of this agreement, BMO has extended the naming rights of the BMO Centre to the BMO Centre expansion, which will welcome guests from our community and around the world. BMO has been a long-time supporter of the Calgary Stampede. In 1899 BMO became the official bank of the Calgary Exhibition, predecessor to the Stampede, and has been an official sponsor since 1914. From sponsoring prizes like a $5 bank account for best dressed and best window decorations in downtown Calgary during the 1923 Stampede to hosting square dancing and street entertainment outside of their Stephen Avenue location in the early days, to hosting Stampede historical displays in BMO bank branches across the city in 2018 and 2019, BMO has always been a champion of the Calgary Stampede and community spirit.

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“Developing strong partnerships within our communities is at the heart of what BMO does to boldly grow the good in business and life,” said Mike Bonner, Head of Distribution, Canadian Personal and Business Banking, BMO. “It’s an honour to be the naming sponsor of BMO Centre and to celebrate our partnership dating back to 1884 as the oldest business relationship in Western Canada. This landmark facility will serve as a gathering place for the community and have a strong impact on the economy, further showcasing BMO’s commitment to driving progress for a thriving economy, sustainable future and inclusive society for Calgary and beyond.”

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