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November 19, 2012

Plans unveiled for Winnipeg Convention Centre expansion

The Winnipeg Convention Centre recently unveiled its plan for the expansion and renovation of the existing facility in the city's downtown.

The expansion involves a new 340,000-square-foot addition built on a surface parking lot, immediately south of the existing 492,000-square-foot facility.

The present facility will also receive significant structural and electrical upgrades.

It is expected that the construction will start before the end of this year, with an anticipated opening before the end of 2015.

“Manitoba has a long-standing reputation as one of the best host cities in North America and the expanded Winnipeg Convention Centre will help us continue to attract best local, national and international events,” said Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger in a release.

“This project is fundamental to our ability to showcase our province and city to the world as new attractions near completion and the remarkable transformation of Winnipeg continues.”

>>Architects Terry Cristall, senior project manager at Number TEN Architectural Group and Terry Danelley of LM Architectural Group presented architectural drawings and building designs that included details of a 26,000-square-foot main floor ballroom; 36,400-square-foot main floor public lobby, concourse and registration area; and an additional 69,100-square-foot third floor exhibit space that will connect to the existing building creating a new contiguous 147,100 square feet of exhibition space that can accommodate more than 700 exhibit booths.

A highlight in the centre of the third floor will be the City Room, which will be located above York Avenue with full windows on the east and west sides.

This 46,000-square-foot space will easily accommodate 2,800 people 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 Cristall in a news release.

“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.”

Stuart Olson Dominion Construction Ltd. had previously been awarded a $147 million contract to design and build the expansion.

Funding for the $180 million project was announced in June 2012.

Up to one-third of eligible costs, to a maximum of $46,646,667, will be contributed by the Building Canada Fund – Major Infrastructure Component.

The Province of Manitoba and City of Winnipeg are each contributing up to $51 million. The balance of funding will come from new incremental property tax revenues from an integrated hotel and commercial development adjacent to the Winnipeg Convention Centre, as well as additional revenue generated by the Winnipeg Convention Centre.

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