Calgary’s bright future – a billion reasons why

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Calgary’s bright future – a billion reasons why

With an investment of more than CAD$1bn into events and hospitality over the next few years, Calgary is emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic with eyes set firmly on the future. Sharing that there are a billion reasons to hold your event in Calgary”, the Western Canadian hub city is ready to welcome the world safely and in style. Here’s a roundup of some of the “billion reasons” and how they are continuing to ensure Calgary is a world-class city for meetings and events.

The BMO Centre Expansion

Already Calgary’s largest venue, the BMO Centre at Stampede Park is undergoing a CAD$500m expansion, set to be open by mid-2024. Designed with the latest in safety, security, and technology, Western Canada’s largest convention centre will be the cornerstone of Calgary’s new Culture & Entertainment District. The convention centre will have more than one million square feet (92,900sqm) of total floor space, featuring large interior spaces, flexible breakout areas, and instant connectivity for hybrid event needs.

Rendering of the new BMO Centre at Stampede Park

Calgary Event Centre

The Culture & Entertainment District will be Calgary’s next great gathering place for residents and visitors alike. In addition to hosting the BMO Centre, the district will also be home to the new Calgary Event Centre, a world-class venue for events of all types and sizes and the new home of the NHL Calgary Flames.

Conceptual rendering of the Calgary Event Centre and Stampede Trail

Stampede Trail Festival Street

The Culture & Entertainment District’s main street will enable future commercial and retail development. Get ready for sidewalk patios, local boutiques, and much more to entertain event attendees in-between sessions.

Stephen Avenue Upgrades

The iconic pedestrian walkway and Calgary’s premiere hospitality and retail destination, running in front of the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre in the heart of downtown, is set with a new vision. Home to the highest concentration of historic buildings in the city, Stephen Avenue will be reimagined to ensure endless entertainment options.

Conceptual rendering of the new Arts Commons

Arts Commons Transformation

The largest performing arts centre in Western Canada, Arts Commons, will see an expansion and modernization of the existing 52,000sqm facility. This off-site venue, directly connected to the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre, will boast an elevated event experience with upgraded amenities and technology.

Key Economic Sectors & Upcoming Events

International associations are taking notice of Calgary, not just for the conference infrastructure, but for the overall attendee experience. Calgary is well known as Canada’s energy hub, and the entrepreneurial spirit helps lead the nation in many other key economic sectors including agribusiness, life sciences, clean tech, and transportation and logistics. Tourism Calgary can connect meeting and convention organisers with sector leaders in business and academics, acting as a catalyst for enhancing face-to-face events.

The next few years will see many international associations bringing their events to Calgary, including the World Petroleum Congress in 2023, Rotary International Convention in 2025, and the International Union of Crystallography in 2026.  

Calgary downtown skyline

Calgary is investing more than CAD$1bn into infrastructure for planners hosting their event here – between the CAD$500m BMO Centre expansion on Stampede Park, the CAD$550m Event Centre, upgrades to Stephen Avenue, the new Culture & Entertainment District and more – there is a lot going on in the Stampede City. These upgrades, along with the capacity from the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre, position Calgary to become the largest meeting and convention destination in Western Canada by 2024. To view more of the billion reasons to host your event in Calgary, click here.

Featured image: rendering of the new BMO Centre at Stampede Park

Conference & Meetings World is published for the international conference and meetings industry. It tackles the issues facing organisers of international events. The editorial is independent, fresh and news driven, with a global reach.

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