Showing off its $500-million makeover, the BMO Centre opened its doors as Western Canada’s largest convention venue on June 5.

More than doubling the iconic Centre’s floor space, the much-anticipated expansion puts Calgary’s entertainment scene on the world stage. The revamped venue boasts Canada’s largest indoor fireplace, a lively outdoor plaza, and service elevators that could hold a pick-up truck.

With the 2024 Calgary Stampede set for July, the timing couldn’t be better. Now equipped with more than one million square feet of state-of-the-art facilities, the BMO Centre is ready to welcome the world’s largest outdoor rodeo.

Behind the Scenes

This game-changing project called for incredible proportions. The Centre is supported by a strong structural framework with 9,000+ metric tonnes of steel.

Since demolition kicked off in October 2020, a construction crew of 600+ has been onsite, working six days a week to complete the 585,000-square-foot expansion in time for summer.

The BMO Centre’s structural scope is a highly sought-after collaboration between RJC Engineers and Seattle-based Magnusson Klemencic Associates (MKA).

“When we began design with our partners in 2019, we asked ourselves how we could design a facility that pushes the boundaries of convention centre design and experience,” says Kate Thompson, President and CEO of Calgary Municipal Land Corporation.

“We have set the tone for the coming years of development in The Culture + Entertainment District, and we are looking eagerly ahead to building on this momentum as we continue to transform this district together.”

56-tonne Spirit of Water Sculpture

Leading up to the big opening, officials from CMLC and Calgary Stampede revealed a 56-tonne sculpture called the Spirit of Water in the heart of Stampede Park.

Standing tall at 70 feet and weighing 112,000 pounds, this public art piece by UK artist Gerry Judah mimics a real-life water droplet.

rjc news BMOx Spirit of water

Selected by a local jury of seven to reimagine the outdoor space, the Spirit of Water pays homage to the Calgary Stampede's rich history while pushing creative barriers.
"The sculpture represents the power of water from above, splashing down and splashing out," says Judah. "In this case, the water, though reaching out, is still connected together as if to hold on to who we are, our histories, our values, and our dreams."

Valued at $2.25 million, the sculpture is made of 211 vertical steel tubes. RJC Engineers played a key role in the structural engineering that made this jaw-dropping art possible.

RJCers Annelise Loczy, Chris Davis and Geoff Kallweit celebrated their hard work by attending the Spirit of Water’s unveiling on May 22. This dynamic trio also attended the BMO Centre Expansion’s grand opening party on June 5, alongside our very own Kevin Zwaagstra & Lael Dilworth.