RBC Convention Centre Lobby

Winnipeg Convention Centre Unveils Details of the Expansion

[Winnipeg, MB] November 13, 2012 — At an event today with partners, industry leaders and clients the Winnipeg Convention Centre unveiled detailed plans of the $180+million expansion to the 37-year-old facility.

Architects Terry Cristall, Number TEN Architectural Group and Terry Danelley, LM Architectural Group presented architectural drawings and building designs that included details of a 26,000 sq. ft. main floor ballroom; 36,400 sq. ft. main floor public lobby, concourse and registration area; and additional 69,100 sq. ft. third floor exhibit space that will connect to the existing building creating a new contiguous 147,100 sq. ft. of exhibition space that can accommodate over 700 exhibit booths.

A highlight in the centre of the third floor will be the impressive City Room which will be located above York Avenue with full windows on the east and west sides. This 46,000 sq. ft. space will easily accommodate 2,800 for a sit-down dinner and dance, or 217 exhibit booths for a tradeshow. Below on street level, York Avenue will function as a new downtown weather protected gathering place.

“The exposure of the facility interior to the street, punctuated by the large windows of the “City Room” is precedent setting. Moreover, the design adds significant depth and flexibility of use,” said Terry Cristall, senior project manager, Number TEN Architectural Group. “There is no doubt, the expansion of the Convention Centre, will add an electric vibrancy to our downtown and re-establish the Winnipeg Convention Centre as a leader in their industry.”

Not only was a new look to the building unveiled, so was a new marketing strategy that will be used to promote Winnipeg and attract new lucrative meeting and conventions to our city.

“We interviewed meeting and convention leaders, industry partners, customers, general public and internal staff to get their perception of our facility and Winnipeg,” said Klaus Lahr, President & CEO, Winnipeg Convention Centre. “We listened to our stakeholders and while the facility has worked in the past, it’s become evident that the growing list of requirements for large conventions and meetings are getting harder to accommodate. In the end, there was an overwhelming response by everyone to just get shovels in the ground”

Taking this feedback and reflecting on what is happening in Winnipeg, a new market position – Winnipeg is Canada’s Newest Convention Centre – was introduced today.

“We have over $2 billion being spent on new convention infrastructure and attractions here in Winnipeg with the new convention centre being the icing on the cake. Now is the perfect time for the convention industry in Winnipeg to work together and reposition this city as a complete destination for conventions in Canada and promote it to new markets in North America and around the world,” said Marina James, President and CEO, Economic Development Winnipeg. “In 1975, Winnipeg was the leader in purpose-built convention centres in Canada and today our city is poised to reclaim our leadership as Canada’s newest convention destination.”

“With a new airport terminal, Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Investors Group Field, changes to the Assiniboine Park and Assiniboine Park Zoo, the return of the NHL, major retailers opening shop and new full service and boutique hotels breaking ground, there’s an investment being made in Winnipeg and our future,” James added.

Industry leaders like Tourism Winnipeg are selling this new market position to ensure a consistent message is being heard about Winnipeg’s meeting and convention industry.

“The expansion of the Winnipeg Convention Centre is a critical and necessary element to increasing the attraction of meetings and conventions to Winnipeg. Without the expansion, the tourism sector cannot grow and our potential to expand our meetings and conventions business would be capped,” said James.

“We know that convention centres are economic engines that directly impact our businesses and the residents of Winnipeg. Delegates spend 4 times more than leisure visitors and on average, spend over $953 per stay on transportation, hotels, dining and shopping. An expanded convention centre means increased visitation to Winnipeg and increased employment for Winnipeggers, especially our youth.”

James added that when we bundle together a new convention centre and everything that’s new or just about to come on line here in Winnipeg, there is no city in Canada that can compete with us for new and exciting convention infrastructure and attractions.