Calgary is one step closer to breaking ground on a new Event Centre, which advances our progress on building the Culture + Entertainment District (C+E District). All four parties have formally signed the final agreements, which gives the project a green light to begin the design and construction phase.
The signed agreements signify the partnership between The City of Calgary, The Province of Alberta, Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation, and Calgary Stampede to deliver the Event Centre project and support the continued momentum in the District that’s well underway through Calgary Municipal Land Corporation’s (CMLC) leadership of the Rivers District Master Plan. It’s a commitment that supports Calgary’s downtown revitalization and growing a vibrant and welcoming city.
More than an Event Centre, this project includes new community amenities and infrastructure— downtown’s only community rink, new public plazas and gathering places, new mobility connections and streets and public realm improvements. These community improvements make this project a generational investment in Calgary’s future— a vibrant C+E District for Calgarians to experience, a new community for more people to live in, and even more reasons for Calgary’s downtown to be a destination for visitors, businesses and investors.
“At this critical moment when we are seeing explosive population growth and increasing private sector interest in our city, the confirmation that our Culture + Entertainment District is proceeding to design and construction phases will generate strong investor confidence,” says Mayor Jyoti Gondek. “This project will create better public gathering spaces, improved transportation networks, a downtown community rink and an arena to drive events that spur hosting and tourism opportunities, along with creation of jobs in the construction, retail and entertainment sectors.”
“The completion of this project will bring benefits for all Calgarians, and we’re one step closer to its realization,” says chair of Event Centre Committee, Councillor Sonya Sharp. “We are fortunate to have partners who realize the enormous potential that this district has for Calgary as a year-round hub of sports, arts, and entertainment. It will attract commercial investment to our downtown core and contribute to our city’s vibrancy and economic growth.”
“Calgary is a city of big dreams, big projects, and big expectations. Our investment in the Rivers District is one that helps build Calgary and continues the momentum of revitalization in the downtown core,” says Premier Danielle Smith. “It’s one more shot of energy for Calgary’s culture, entertainment, and business scenes and the city and province will reap the economic benefits for decades to come.”
Beginning this fall, the development manager, CAA ICON, will begin utility and site preparations to make room for the community rink, public plazas and event centre. They will also begin work for the development permit process, which includes designing the community rink, Event Centre and public gathering spaces on the Event Centre Block. The permit process is expected to be completed in 2024, followed by construction beginning the same year.
“CSEC is proud to partner in this community effort to build Calgary’s Event Centre and Cultural + Entertainment District,” said John Bean, CSEC President and CEO. “We are happy to have the legal agreements finalized and look forward to the design and construction stage.”
“Calgary has a long history of welcoming the world, starting with the first Calgary Stampede in 1912,” says Calgary Stampede CEO, Joel Cowley. “We are proud to continue this legacy by being a partner in this historic development that will build upon the Culture + Entertainment District to attract and host people from Calgary and around the world. The Stampede has enjoyed having the Calgary Flames as a neighbour for more than 40 years and we are excited for our relationship to continue for decades to come.”
CMLC, through their role as stewards of the master plan is working with The City to deliver all supporting District infrastructure including the new 6th Street SE underpass, which is also expected to break ground in 2024. These new public amenities continue CMLC’s and Calgary Stampede’s work on building the vision of the C+E District – an accessible, active and walkable community where celebration is a way of life. CMLC will continue their work on the BMO Centre expansion, Victoria Park Station Rebuild and 17th Avenue Extension and Stampede Trail, which will all be completed in 2024. The Green Line also continues its work on moving utilities in the area, much of which will be completed by the end of 2023, to make room for the LRT tunnel and station.
“We are so pleased to see this project progressing in the District,” says Kate Thompson, President and CEO, CMLC. “This marks an incredibly exciting time for this area, and Calgary as whole, as we prepare for the completion of major projects in 2024, the addition of the new Event Centre and its supporting infrastructure is a significant step forward in realizing the vison for this dynamic community. CMLC has been delivering complex infrastructure projects for many years and we look forward to the delivery and collaboration on these new projects moving forward.”
These investments into a vibrant Calgary district will support the growth of 8,000 Calgarians who will call this developing downtown community home. The C+E District will also give more people from around Calgary and the region more opportunities to enjoy and experience one of Calgary’s newest and fastest growing communities, whether through experiencing festivals, concerts, community events, professional and amateur sports, or new connections as they travel through the area.
The City of Calgary is committed to being as open and transparent as possible. As with all business agreements, they need to be first reviewed for proprietary and financially sensitive details before The City releases the primary agreements publicly, which we expect by the end of fall 2023.
You can find more information on the Event Centre Block, the C+E District improvements and next steps on Calgary.ca/eventcentre.