After four years of dedicated construction efforts, Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) and the Calgary Stampede are pleased to announce the substantial completion of the $500-million BMO Centre expansion, moving the project into its final stages of operational readiness ahead of its grand opening in June.

“As development manager for this transformative project, Calgary Municipal Land Corporation is proud to have delivered the BMO Centre expansion on schedule and on budget,” said Kate Thompson, CMLC’s president and CEO. “This is a major accomplishment for CMLC and our partners, and a huge step toward achieving our vision for a vibrant and active Culture + Entertainment District. The expanded BMO Centre is second to none in its design architecture and functionality, and sets a new precedent for convention facilities. We are thrilled to hand over the keys to the newly expanded BMO Centre to the Calgary Stampede team as they prepare to operationalize the building in advance of its grand opening this June.”

The BMO Convention and Trade Centre Expansion project is No. 93 on ReNew Canada’s 2024 Top100 Projects report.

Thompson continued, “Achieving this milestone would not have been possible without the generous support of all levels of government or without the dedication and expertise of our construction manager, PCL Construction, and project manager, M3 Project Management. Our gratitude also extends to our world-class design team of Stantec, Populous and S2 for their visionary design of this architectural landmark, and to our partners at the Calgary Stampede. Our shared success today is due to all our consultants’ and contractors’ unwavering commitment and pride of work over the past four years.”

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With over two million construction hours and contributions from nearly 5,000 tradespeople, including demolition crews, steelworkers, drywall installers, and electrical and mechanical teams, the BMO Centre expansion stands as a testament to collaborative effort and commitment to excellence. At more than 565,000 square feet of new space, 10,000 metric tonnes of steel, and a staggering 2.4 million square feet of drywall, the expanded BMO Centre is now western Canada’s largest convention centre.

“The BMO Centre expansion project has been years in the making for the Calgary Stampede, from first questioning ‘Should we expand?’ to considering ‘What would an expansion look like?’ to then involving our development partners in making it happen. To reach this substantial completion milestone is monumental, as our team will now work to operationalize the building in preparation of welcoming the world to the BMO Centre at Stampede Park in just under 90 days,” said Joel Cowley, Calgary Stampede CEO. “The impact that the expanded BMO Centre will have on the Calgary Stampede and on Calgary’s tourism, convention and hospitality sector cannot be overstated. We have already seen great interest in the expanded BMO Centre and now have more than 100 incremental events booked through 2030.”

(Calgary Municipal Land Corporation)

Cowley continued, “With the opening of the BMO Centre expansion, we are excited for the future of Stampede Park and are eager to see how Calgary will continue to transform around it. Whether you are a global company looking to host a memorable convention featuring unparalleled Western hospitality, or a local Calgarian looking forward to the brand-new, world-class experiences we are now able to host in our city, we can’t wait to welcome you to this iconic space on Stampede Park. Thank you to CMLC and all our incredible project partners for helping to deliver this significant project.”

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In preparation for its operation as a 1-million-plus-square-foot facility, the Calgary Stampede team will soon begin loading in furniture, dishes, cutlery, and catering equipment to the tune of 6,500 stacking chairs, 600 round banquet tables, 500 rectangular tables, 7,680 table forks and knives, and 6,200 dinner plates.

With the opening of the BMO Centre expansion, Calgary will now have a Tier 1 Convention centre, which allows the city to compete for larger meetings and convention business. It also furthers Calgary’s position as a thriving and dynamic hub for trade and tourism, advancing the city’s economic resilience and status on the world’s stage.

The $500M expansion – generously funded in equal parts by the Government of Canada, the Government of Alberta, and The City of Calgary – will more than double the centre’s capacity for conferences, meetings and events. Across the expansion and existing facilities, the BMO Centre will be able to host up to 33,000 guests at once.

The expanded BMO Centre will host its first event – the Global Energy Show – in June 2024, an event proudly hosted at the Calgary Stampede for more than 50 years.

Featured image: (L-R) Kate Thompson, president & CEO, CMLC; Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek; and Calgary Stampede CEO Joel Cowley. (CMLC)

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