The Shaw Conference Centre will have a new name starting Jan. 1, 2019 – the city’s largest event and convention space in the downtown core is being renamed the Edmonton Convention Centre.
The conference centre announced earlier this year that the naming rights previously owned by Shaw Communications was set to expire at the end of 2018 and held a request for proposals (RFP) in the spring.
It isn’t clear how many bids were received for the naming rights of the building on Jasper Avenue near 97 Street, but the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC) said it was unable to come to an agreement with any potential corporate sponsors prior to the RFP deadline.
Shaw Conference Centre general manager Richard Wong said they are open to continuing conversations with potential corporate partners.
“Perhaps if the economic climate changes or expectations in terms of what’s good for the brands, and if that strategic partnership makes absolute sense — we’ll certainly revisit that.”
The previous agreement saw Shaw Communications Inc. pay $5.5 million over the 20-year contract.
The convention centre is owned by the City of Edmonton, managed by the EEDC and the name change required city approval.
“We wanted to make sure we had it right, and one of the ways to do that was to ensure we had the name ‘Edmonton’ as a big brand,” Wong said, adding they changed the name from “conference” to “convention” in order to attract more national and international events.
“We are excited about the possibilities to use the Edmonton Convention Centre name as a platform to elevate the local community and economy,” Derek Hudson, CEO of the EEDC, said in a news release.
The Edmonton Convention Centre will be the exclusive name in all official references, including letterhead, signage and uniforms for the downtown building — not to be confused with the Edmonton Expo Centre at the old Northlands ground, which is also run by the EEDC.
Officials previously said the contract would be a 10-year deal at minimum to align the venue with other convention centres and naming rights deals across the continent.
The space was originally called the Edmonton Convention Centre from 1983 to 1997 before the agreement with Shaw Communications from 1997 to 2018.