Meeting planners looking north will find much to their liking throughout Canada of late. Upscale facilities like the brand-new Halifax Convention Centre (opening this December), Winnipeg’s just-renovated RBC Convention Centre and the proposed expansion of Calgary’s BMO Centre are leading the way in Canada’s latest gold rush for convention visitors. Here are six Canadian convention centers to keep on your radar.
Halifax Convention Centre
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Meeting space: 120,000 square feet
This newly designed conference center is officially opening for business in December 2017 as part of Nova Centre, a 1 million-sq.-ft. mixed-used development. Located 30 minutes from the airport in downtown Halifax, HCC is the first smart building in Atlantic Canada, complete with energy-efficient structures, appliances, electrical systems and plumbing. Options for meeting planners include a 30,000-sq.-ft. ballroom, 50,000 square feet of multipurpose convention space and 40,000 square feet of meeting space.
HCC has booked more than 60 national and international events so far—including the 2018 International STEM Festival (1,450 attendees) and the 2018 Canadian Diabetes Association National Conference (1,750 attendees)—and that number is expected to continue to grow. Most recently, the Liberal Party of Canada announced its 2018 Biennial Convention will take place there, the first time that event will be held east of Montreal. The Conservative Party of Canada will also bring its 2018 National Convention to the Centre.
“Our new Centre is a catalyst for connections between Nova Scotia and the world,” says Carrie Cussons, acting president and CEO with Halifax Convention Centre Corp. “These are exciting wins for our community, and we look forward to working together to create a truly unique experience for our guests.”
RBC Convention Centre
Meeting space: 260,000 square feet
More than $180 million was spent to expand and renovate RBC Convention Centre in 2016, nearly doubling its convention space. This updated five-level facility has a street-level plaza, underground heated parking, 131,000 square feet of primary exhibition space and a specialty teleconference/videoconference center. Its 24,000-sq.-ft. ballroom accommodates up to 5,000 for banquets.