The Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) and the Calgary Stampede, as partners in the delivery of the BMO Centre expansion, announced that the project is on budget and on schedule to open for Stampede 2024.

“You can’t miss the BMO Centre expansion when you visit The Culture + Entertainment District – it has progressed so significantly since this time last year, when only a portion of the structural steel was installed. We can now clearly see the impact this incredible building will have to Calgary’s skyline and to our city’s reputation as a convention destination,” said Kate Thompson, president and CEO of CMLC.  “The scale of the building makes this a unique construction site for the project team, and there’s an incredible amount of work happening here every day. We’re grateful to all our partners for their continued dedication and pride in bringing this project to life.”

The BMO Convention and Trade Centre Expansion Project is No. 91 on ReNew’s 2023 Top100 Projects report.

Construction activity on the 565,000 sq. ft. expansion is tipping 600 workers per day, six days a week, while maintaining uninterrupted operations within the existing building. With more than 150 lifts on site, 80 per cent of the work occurring in the building is taking place at a height of at least 20 feet, and close to 30,000 sq. ft. of drywall installed daily. The building also marked two significant construction milestones in recent weeks – the building is now fully energized and weathertight, and drywall, mechanical and electrical works are well underway.

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BMO Centre expansion, June 2023. (Mark L. Johnson)

When construction is complete on the expansion, the BMO Centre will be Western Canada’s largest convention centre with over 1 million square feet, including more than 100,000 sq. ft. of new exhibition space, 38 new meeting rooms, two new ballrooms totalling 70,000 sq. ft., and gathering spaces throughout.

“The expansion of the BMO Centre gives Calgary a greater way to gather and will dramatically improve the Calgary Stampede’s hosting capacity and Calgary’s competitive position,” said Joel Cowley, CEO of the Calgary Stampede. “At completion, the building, including the existing BMO Centre facilities, has the ability to host an impressive 33,000 guests at one time. The Champions Ballroom alone – at more than four times the size of the existing Palomino ballroom – will accommodate standing room for 5,000 people. We’ve seen great interest from the meeting and conventions industry to book in this remarkable new space, and we are hard at work preparing to welcome the world and our community to our new facility just one short year from now.”

The $500-million BMO Centre expansion—generously funded in equal parts by the Government of Canada, the Government of Alberta and The City of Calgary—is already injecting new energy and jobs into the local economy, and will create a world-class, Tier 1 convention venue that boosts Calgary’s status as a global trade and tourism destination.

Featured image: BMO Centre expansion, June 2023. (Mark L. Johnson)

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