Could Halifax be the next Toronto, Montréal, or Vancouver? Because it hopes so, the government of Canada has opened a new convention center there to help the destination reach its potential, it announced last month.
The Halifax Convention Centre celebrated its grand opening on Dec. 15 and already has 90 events booked for its first year of operations. The events, which include 44 national and international conventions, are expected to bring an estimated 75,000 delegates and more than $50 million in new money to the province.
"The Halifax Convention Centre will attract thousands of new visitors from around the world to our province," said Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil. "It will build on our booming tourism economy and help build a stronger Nova Scotia."
Located in downtown Halifax, the $169.2 million venue has 120,000 square feet of flexible event space -- including two distinct convention levels, an entire floor of dedicated meeting space, and an aboveground ballroom with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking downtown -- and is part of the Nova Centre, a 1 million-square-foot mixed-use development that eventually will include a hotel, financial towers, a public plaza, retail space, and parking.
"The Government of Canada is proud to celebrate the opening of the new Halifax Convention Centre, an impressive, modern facility that confirms Nova Scotia as a world-class destination," said Scott Brison, president of the Treasury Board of Canada, on behalf of Amarjeet Sohi, Canada's minister of infrastructure and communities. "Investments in innovative and green infrastructure projects like this one are vital to creating middle class jobs, and providing sustained economic growth for our communities."
Added Halifax Mayor Mike Savage, "This new center gives us the opportunity to show visitors everything that makes our city and our region unique. I know our guests will create great memories here that will inspire them to come back. It's an exciting time in Halifax."