The Calgary Stampede unveiled the BMO Centre Expansion design in June 2020.
The newly expanded BMO Centre will provide a comprehensive, high-quality offering for meeting organizers, attendees and invited guests. The innovative new building will feature three floors of tradeshow and convention space, including new exhibition halls, two ballrooms and a central hub. The exterior showcases retail and café spaces, a pavilion and public art installations.
The BMO Centre will offer top-tier meeting and banquet space in addition to improved access and efficiency behind the scenes through state-of-the-art back of house facilities such as loading areas, food preparation space and building systems.
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BMO CENTRE EXPANSION DESIGN FEATURES
Largest convention facility in Western Canada
Over one million total square feet
102,500 sq. ft. of new exhibit hall space
68,000 sq. ft. of new meeting room space
50,000 sq. ft. of new ballroom space
A new 118,500 sq. ft. back-of-house service area
Central Hub & Atrium
Outdoor Plaza & Pavilion
Public Art Sites
Motor Coach parking
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Many industry trends and user expectations influenced the BMO Centre Expansion design.
Increasing technology requirements – With meeting goers toting multiple Wi-Fi-connected devices—on top of the usual audio-visual equipment and connectivity requirements for presentations— accommodating high bandwidth demands has become a primary (and growing) consideration.
Safety and security – Convention venues must increasingly balance the need to provide positive user experiences with the requirement to integrate tighter safety and security measures into the venue’s design and operations.
Energy efficiency and sustainable design – Designers need to consider users’ evolving needs, expectations and experiences into a venue’s design and construction materials. This includes, for example, using sustainable materials, natural lighting, and materials/layouts that accommodate modern space, sustainability and technology requirements.
The experience – Meeting planners and attendees are increasingly looking for a unique experience when choosing a convention destination—preferring those that deliver “a sense of place” that’s representative of the destination.
Early in 2019, CMLC and the Calgary Stampede issued an open Request for Proposals to identify a prime design consultant team. After carefully reviewing 12 proposals that arrived across North America, CMLC and the Calgary Stampede selected a team comprising of three architectural firms: Stantec, Populous and S2 Architecture. Together, they have extensive international experience in convention centre design, intimate understandings of the building and a strong sense of how it both fits into and enhances the local community.
Chosen for their complementary expertise — Stantec’s global involvement in transformational community projects; Populous’ innovative practices in international convention centre design and S2’s local experience in projects on the Stampede grounds and in east Victoria Park— this three-firm best-in- class design team was assembled to bring the Calgary Stampede’s vision to life.
Of course, a project of this magnitude would be impossible without a rock-solid supporting team. To round out the BMO Expansion team, CMLC and the Calgary Stampede have also enlisted convention venue operations specialist HLT Advisory Inc., project management firm M3 Development and Construction Management from PCL Construction.
“Together we will design and build a world-class facility that celebrates Calgary, captures the Stampede spirit and enlivens the city’s Culture and Entertainment District year–round.” – BMO CENTRE EXPANSION PROJECT TEAM MISSION STATEMENT