BMO Centre: the largest convention centre in Western Canada, set to Open in June

BMO Centre Western Canada

Calgary’s BMO Centre will be Western Canada’s largest convention space after its highly anticipated opening on June 5th. The 565,000 square-foot expansion to the current facility will feature 38 meeting rooms, two world-class ballrooms, a unique meeting space with private 11,000 square foot balcony, and Canada’s largest indoor fireplace, and over one million square feet of exhibition space, which will be so large, it could fit six pro NFL football fields.

Western Hospitality

The tradition of western hospitality is at the heart of the BMO Centre expansion. Nods in the building’s design are meant to capture Calgary’s prairie landscape and heritage. The Exchange, a new central gathering space, includes a dramatic indoor fireplace clad in blackened steel and copper – Canada’s largest at 21 meters high – capturing the essence of sitting around a campfire and exchanging ideas.

The culinary experience at BMO Centre draws inspiration from the communal kitchens of western ranches, where long days ended around plentiful tables. Led by award-winning Chef Nicholas Pena-Alvarez, who has worked in Michelin star kitchens, the new menu is centered around fresh, locally-grown produce as well as world-famous Alberta beef (fun fact: there are more cattle than people in Alberta).

Accessibility Features:

Accessibility has been a cornerstone of the BMO Centre expansion. Exterior features include widened sidewalks, intuitive wayfinding patterns to replace physical signage, and a designated service animal relief area.

Inside the facility, the incorporation of universally-inclusive design standards such as wide hallways, automatic door controls, universal washrooms with barrier-free stalls and adult change tables and cane detectible barriers ensures that the facility is accessible for all.


A focal point of the outdoor plaza will be a public art installation by UK-based artist, Gerry Judah. The 70-foot high, 112,000-pound “Spirit of Water” is a steel sculpture composed of over 200 vertical steel tubes cascading downwards to create the appearance of a splash of water. “Spirit of Water” is a symbolic representation of the power of water. According to Judah, it also serves as a metaphor for Calgary as a growing city that remains connected to its history, values and dreams.

Outside, the building’s large swooping canopy has built-in LED lights that can be programmed for a dynamic light show. Art found inside the BMO Centre will be curated by the Calgary Stampede and highlight the destination’s western spirit.

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