3 firms picked to design $500M BMO Centre expansion

3 firms picked to design $500M BMO Centre expansion

The $500-million expansion of Calgary's BMO Centre will be planned and designed by three national and international architectural firms, officials announced on Thursday.

The Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC), which is acting as development manager for the project on behalf of the Calgary Stampede, says the project team was selected from among 12 proposals submitted by firms all over the world.

The three firms chosen to jointly build the expansion are Edmonton-based Stantec; S2 Architecture, which has studios in Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver; and Populous, a large global firm with offices in Kansas City, Brisbane and London.

"The BMO Centre expansion is a transformational project that will make significant direct and indirect contributions to the growing energy and excitement in east Victoria Park," said CMLC president Michael Brown.

"It's a signal to the world that Calgary is coming into its own as a first-class destination for international visitors. The Calgary Stampede is a wonderfully supportive and gracious partner in giving CMLC the honour of delivering the city's top-tier convention centre it deserves."

CMLC and the Calgary Stampede have also hired the venue operations specialist HLT Advisory Inc. and project management firm M3 Development. Construction management will be done by PCL Construction.

The three-firm design team will begin detailed design work right away, CMLC said.

The BMO Centre is already the largest convention centre in the city. But its current size of 500,000 square feet limits which conventions it can accept.

The Calgary Stampede has previously said the venue turns down 11 to 14 large conventions each year.

"When the expansion is completed in 2024, BMO Centre will have more than doubled its current rentable space, with nearly one million square feet of total floor space — making it the second-largest facility of its kind in the country," said Dana Peers, president of the Calgary Stampede.

Work got underway in the spring to construct an additional space, known as Hall F, to help reduce the disruption of the planned expansion.

Calgary-based firms Gibbs Gage and Stuart Olson are managing the construction of the 100,000-square-foot addition just north of the existing centre. Construction on Hall F is expected to be complete in the spring of 2020.