Calgary TELUS Convention Centre turning 50

March 26, 2024
Leadership General Business Team Calgary
3 Calgary TELUS Convention Centre 1000 x 750

Kurby Court is the chief executive officer of the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre, which was the first convention centre in Canada.

Photo credit: Wil Andruschak © Postmedia Network Inc.

Joel Schlesinger © Postmedia Network Inc.

What a long, dynamic journey it’s been for Calgary’s TELUS Convention Centre.

The city’s premier gathering place for conventions is celebrating 50 years in business this year, marking a successful evolution from a nascent concept in 1974 to a linchpin of economic activity in downtown Calgary.

“It was the first convention centre in Canada,” says Kurby Court, the chief executive officer of the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre. “It was truly visionary, essentially the blueprint for convention centres in Canada today.”

Over five decades, it has hosted thousands of gatherings and millions of people — providing a safe space for ideas to bloom while serving other vital civic roles, including as a vaccination centre during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Calgary TELUS Convention Centre has evolved with the times and will continue to do so in the future. Its role will be no less important with the opening of the expanded BMO Convention Centre this spring at the Calgary Stampede grounds, Court adds.

The BMO Centre will be a Tier 1 convention centre, competing with Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, while the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre will remain an essential Tier 2 convention centre for the city, he says.

“Our clients call us a ‘boutique’ facility because we can tailor our services to their needs.”

Court further notes the facility is truly the ideal “vessel” for most events, particularly large organizations seeking to use the entire facility. It also helps to be surrounded by all the right amenities — from hotels to restaurants, culture and entertainment.

“Clients appreciate the convenience we offer, including the ability to never have to set foot outside when it’s -40C,” he notes, alluding to being connected to the city’s extensive indoor Plus-15 walkway network.

A long-time anchor for business and other public institutions, including the adjacent Glenbow Museum currently undergoing a dramatic renovation, the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre is, and will remain, a vital nexus point, Court says.

“For 50 years, we’ve been a vibrant gathering place and will continue to be that ‘ideal vessel’ for people to meet, converse and forge great, new ideas.”

This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Calgary Economic Development.

Subscribe to Our Mailing List