Everyone loves Calgary. In fact, earlier this year, The Economist ranked the city as the most livable city in North America, and number five in the world. Meeting planners love it for its collection of world-class venues, walkable downtown district and easy access to the beautiful Canadian Rockies for inspiring team-building adventures. The good news for visitors and planners alike is that Calgary’s big-city energy is about to get even bigger.
BMO Centre Expansion
Calgary will soon be home to the second largest convention center in all of Canada. Downtown’s popular BMO Centre will see $500 million worth of improvements that will increase its total floor space to nearly one million square feet (more than double the rentable space it has now). The newly designed tier 1 venue is expected to be completed in 2024, and is already a catalyst for the emerging cultural and entertainment district that surrounds it. Want to make sure your attendees are close to all the action? A brand-new hotel next to the BMO Centre in Stampede Park is also expected to be announced soon.
A New Sports and Entertainment Arena
Also slated to open in 2024, a brand-new $550 million Calgary Event Centre will be built just a quick stroll away from the BMO Centre in Victoria Park. The new sports and entertainment arena will replace the current Scotiabank Saddledome, home to the NHL’s Calgary Flames, and will also include venues for special events, a dynamic outdoor festival space and infrastructure enhancements to nearby Stampede Park.
Rivers District Upgrade
Given all of these venue enhancements, the area that’s home to both the BMO Centre and the new Calgary Event Centre—known as the Rivers District—is also evolving to keep up the pace. With $150 million dedicated to the revitalization of the Rivers District’s central core, you can expect this to be the city’s new entertainment hub, complete with a pedestrian event plaza, retail, dining, shopping, mixed-use space and a buzz of energy, all within easy walking distance for your attendees.
Stephen Avenue Gets a Makeover
Calgary’s iconic pedestrian walkway is being revamped as well. Filled with shops, cafes, restaurants and bars, Stephen Avenue is already a popular place for people to meet up after work or in-between meetings at the Calgary TELUS Convention Center, which also calls the avenue home. The next few years will see the walkway redesigned to give locals and visitors alike a more modern experience.