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Convention Centre’s Harbour Concourse, Gallery Open

by NationTalk on September 9, 2009709 Views

For Immediate Release
September 9, 2009

Office of the Premier
Vancouver Convention Centre

Refurbished Convention Centre East Building Reopens

VANCOUVER – The expansion of the Vancouver Convention Centre is now complete with the opening this morning of the new 90 metre Harbour Concourse, the blessing of a special Coast Salish Gallery, and the reopening of the original East building at Canada Place.The $38.6 million Harbour Concourse connects the Convention Centre’s East and West buildings below street level at Canada Place and is home to the new Coast Salish Gallery, a collection of nine original art works commissioned under the Convention Centre’s thematic art program. All of the works were created by British Columbia Coast Salish artists, and were blessed by Elder Larry Grant of the Musqueam Band at today’s ceremony.

The Convention Centre’s East building also reopened today after being closed since April for renovations. The cost of refurbishing the 22 year old facility was $28 million, $2 million under budget. Both the cost of the Harbour Concourse and the refurbishment of the East building are included in the $883.2 million investment made in adding the West building which opened in April.

In reopening the East lobby this morning, Premier Gordon Campbell, Senator Yonah Martin, and Rick Baxter, Chair of Tourism Vancouver also helped unveil a signature art piece entitled “Moon Journey”. Created by artist Susan Point, the granite, floor mosaic measures approximately 10 metres in diameter. Next to it are three totem poles that occupied a space in the East building prior to its closure this Spring. The totem poles have been restored and are now in their new permanent location in the lobby.

“When British Columbia welcomes the world for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, they will see the kind of cutting-edge green technology, first-rate construction expertise and world-class facilities that our province has to offer all under one roof,” said Premier Gordon Campbell. “The expanded and refurbished Vancouver Convention Centre is going to draw thousands of visitors and inject billions of dollars into the provincial economy as people come to experience firsthand the world’s best and greenest convention facility, right here in the best place on earth.”

“This magnificent complex is an excellent investment that further builds Vancouver’s reputation as Canada’s Asia Pacific gateway,” said Senator Martin. “It’s already paying dividends in terms of attracting more and larger events, and it will help showcase Vancouver as a truly international city when we welcome the world in 2010.”

“The completion of the Convention Centre means we’re now set to welcome the world in 2010, and beyond,” added Rick Baxter, chair of Tourism Vancouver. “With meeting and event space that connects to transportation, hotels, the waterfront and downtown Vancouver, we know this new facility will be a catalyst that will attract more convention business, and showcase BC to visitors from around the world.”

The Convention Centre expansion and renovations were built to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold and EB (Existing Building) standards respectively, with environmental features that include the largest living roof in Canada, a marine habitat surrounding the buildings’ foundations, water recycling, and the use of natural light and ventilation throughout.

With the completion of the project, the entire Vancouver Convention Centre is ready to be turned over to VANOC this fall for use as the international media and broadcast centre during the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

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Media contacts:

Kim Grecia
Marketing and Communications
Vancouver Convention Centre
Ph: 604.647.7348

Bridgitte Anderson
Press Secretary
Office of the Premier
604 307-7177

Rachael Durie
Special Assistant
Office of the Honourable Senator Yonah Martin

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