What the New BMO Centre Means for Your Meeting

The new BMO Centre with a blue sky back drop in Calgary Alberta.
The new BMO Centre with a blue sky back drop in Calgary Alberta.

What the New BMO Centre Means for Your Meeting

The expanded BMO Centre is now the largest convention centre in Western Canada and a Tier 1 convention destination. It presents A Greater Way to Gather with timeless western hospitality, client-first amenities, and accessible design woven throughout the building.

Here are the highlights of Calgary’s game-changing new convention centre and what it means for your next meeting.

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Three Purpose-Built Floors

The BMO Centre Expansion is 565,000 sq. ft. It doubles the facility’s rentable area to over 1 million sq. ft. with a combined occupancy of 33,000. Each of the three floors of the expansion caters to a specific type of meetings audience.

Floor 1 – Exhibition Halls

The first floor includes more than 100,000 sq. ft. of new exhibition space across two halls. These spaces can be combined with the existing five halls to create 350,000 sq. ft. of contiguous exhibit space.

Floor 2 – Meeting Rooms

The second floor has 38 meeting rooms ranging from 300 sq. ft. to 5,000 sq. ft. The rooms are divided into “neighbourhoods” so each event can have their own private area. Every room has a service desk and back-of-house access and each neighbourhood has it’s own adjoining washroom.

Floor 3 - Ballrooms

The third floor features two new ballrooms totalling 70,000 sq. ft. The larger of the two is the 50,000 sq. ft. Champions Ballroom which offers sweeping views of the Rocky Mountains off to the west. The smaller 20,000 sq. ft. Percheron Ballroom is named after the breed of hard-working draft horses and this room promises to be just as hard-working.

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Guests look out expansive windows in the Champions Ballroom

Enjoy the views from the expansive windows in the Champions Ballroom (photo credit: Colin Way)

people gather in The Exchange lobby at the BMO

The Exchange offers incredible opportunities for connection (photo credit: Colin Way)

The Exchange – A Central Gathering Space

The heart of the expansion is a dramatic central gathering space called The Exchange, anchored by Canada’s largest indoor fireplace that spans the second and third floors. The lobby-style space creates the feeling of gathering around the campfire as a place for warmth and the exchange of ideas.

Other features of The Exchange include:

  • Plenty of natural light through an expansive skylight.
  • The Exchange Bar which can be activated for events.
  • A performance stage dubbed ‘The Grandstand’.
  • A grand staircase that leads to a balcony called the ‘The Opera Box’, perfect for giving speeches.
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People gather in the plaza under The Pavilion Lights

The outdoor plaza lit up by The Pavilion Lights (photo credit: Calgary Stampede/Kevin & Kendal Photography)

the entrance to The Brand Room at the BMO Centre

The Brand Room offers a one-of-a-kind western meeting space (photo credit: Calgary Stampede/Kevin & Kendal Photography)

Unique Design Features

“Western done right”. Simply put, that captures the design aesthetic of the new BMO Centre. Think charred wood walls, leather armchairs, ceiling lights inspired by the cracks in a barn roof. The design features provide a unique, but mostly blank canvas for meeting planners to put their stamp on. Here are three features that will wow delegates:

  • Outdoor Plaza - A 40,000 sq. ft. year-round gathering space on the expanded building’s south side.

  • Pavilion Lights - Thousands of programmable LED lights that display an animated lighting program on the underside of a 170-ft. high curved canopy that stretches 328 ft. out from the building.

  • The Brand Room – A one-of-a-kind 3,000 sq. ft. meeting space on the second floor, inspired by the Calgary Stampede’s “Big Four” founders. The space features custom leather doors, charred wood walls, and copper accents. It is complemented by an 11,000 sq. ft. covered outdoor balcony that offers sweeping views of Stampede Park year-round.


Public Art Collection

The new BMO Centre has so many custom art pieces that it doubles as an art gallery. There are 85 pieces inside and another 14 outside. The two largest pieces are:

  • The Spirit of Water - A 70-ft. tall sculpture composed of more than 200 vertical steel tubes that form a dramatic “splash” of water. The Spirit of Water was created by renowned UK artist Gerry Judah and will serve as a gathering place in the expansion’s plaza.

  • The Neon Cowboy - A beacon for concerts, hockey games, Olympic events, and rodeos on the outside of the Stampede Corral for decades. The Neon Cowboy has now been reimagined at a nearly 1:1 scale on the interior main floor.

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The Spirit of Water sculpture at Stampede Park

The Spirit of Water serves as a central outdoor gathering place (photo credit: Colin Way)

The Neon Cowboy sign shines brightly in the BMO Centre.

“Meet me under The Neon Cowboy” will become a popular phrase for delegates (photo credit: Calgary Stampede/Kevin & Kendal Photography)

Accessibility & Sustainability

The new BMO Centre is a space that's inclusive of all guests and built with leading sustainability practices.

Accessibility Features

  • Universal washrooms with barrier-free stalls and adult change tables
  • Accessible elevators
  • Contrasting materials for easy navigation
  • Automatic door controls
  • Dedicated service animal relief area
  • Tactile cues on handrails
  • Cane detectable barriers
  • Warning strips at stair locations
  • Multi-layered signage with braille


Sustainability Features

  • Connected to Calgary’s, 100% wind-powered C-Train network
  • An organic composting program that will reduce landfill waste by 80%
  • Natural lighting
  • Indoor water use reduction
  • On-site stormwater management
  • Energy saving LED lighting
  • Responsible landscaping
  • Fresh, locally grown produce and Alberta-raised beef
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The Concierge Information Desk is located on the light-filled first floor.

The Concierge Information Desk is located on the light-filled first floor.

The Guest Experience Team awaits guests at the Concierge Desk.

The Guest Experience Team is ready to help with any client, exhibitor, or visitor need.

Concierge Program

Any meeting planner knows that service staff can make or break an event. The BMO Centre’s Guest Experience Team are ultimate hosts trained by Charles MacPherson, a global authority on hospitality. This team is divided into three areas focused on providing unrivaled experience to: clients, exhibitors, and visitors.

The Concierge Information Desk is an incredible resource for events and conferences. Located on the first floor, the team there will be available for wayfinding, recommendations, and service requests.

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