Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

An inflatable cowboy looks out over visitors at the Calgary Stampede in a July 6, 2014, file photo.

Jeff McIntosh/THE CANADIAN PRESS

The Calgary Stampede Park will soon be full of hundreds of thousands of fairgoers for the 10-day party that begins Friday, but the grounds will hardly go quiet once the show is over.

From the Cirque du Soleil to the Global Petroleum Show, the 65 hectares of land just on the edge of downtown Calgary hosts about 1,800 events annually, said Warren Connell, chief executive officer of the Calgary Stampede.

"It's really not about the 10 days," he said. "The 10 days are important. They're critical to the city, to southern Alberta, obviously to us. But it is a year-round operation."

Story continues below advertisement

Plans are under way to make it even more of a year-round space so that Calgary can attract large conferences and boost the economy outside of oil and gas.

The non-profit Calgary Stampede organization opened the $61-million Agrium Western Event Centre, a 150,000-square foot space, in 2014. In June, it finished a two-year project to revitalize the 6.5-hectare Enmax Park and started work on the 10,000-square foot TransAlta Performing Arts Studios.

But the biggest project is yet to come, with plans to double the size of the BMO convention space, which at 265,000 square feet is already the biggest venue in the city.

Mr. Connell said the development will cost about $500-million, and while he has not made any formal requests for public assistance, he's been engaged with all three about the project.

The expanded space would allow the city to host conferences such as Rotary International, and compete with the major Canadian hubs of Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, Mr. Connell said. He said the expansion would create 500 full-time jobs, plus construction jobs.

Adam Legge, CEO of the Calgary Chamber, supports the project and year-round strategy.

"I applaud the Stampede for trying to make it more of a 365-type destination," Mr. Legge said.

Story continues below advertisement

"There's a lot of under-utilized property in the Stampede-Victoria Park area and I think it's really critical that they continue to try and build out their development plan to make it more of a destination, make it more lively and active."

Calgary Tourism also says the convention space is needed.

"I actually think it's critically important to our city to move into what we'll call 'A' convention space as an economic driver," said Cindy Ady, CEO of Calgary Tourism.

"We would be taking all the assets that we have that come from the Stampede – their ability to host, to put on great shows, that warm western hospitality."

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies