Sixteen conferences – hosting groups such as Canada’s Venture Capital and Private Equity Association and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities – have been secured to take place once the convention centre opens in 2016.
© Jeff Harper/Metro
Scott Ferguson, president & CEO of Trade Centre Limited, unveils the new Halifax Convention Centre logo at an event on Thursday.
[HALIFAX, NS] - The convention centre on Argyle Street hasn’t been built yet, but it now has a new name.
Trade Centre Limited officials joined provincial and municipal officials Thursday to reveal the brand for the new facility, now officially known as the Halifax Convention Centre.
“The key about the event business is, you don’t try to over complicate it with elements of buildings and other activities in the brand itself,” said Trade Centre CEO Scott Ferguson. “I think the Halifax Convention Centre and the icons we use represent connectivity and how we come together as a community, so I love the simplicity of it.”
Ferguson also announced that 16 national and international conferences – hosting groups such as Canada’s Venture Capital and Private Equity Association and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities – have been secured to take place once the convention centre opens in 2016.
Ferguson said the events will bring people, money and rare opportunities to Nova Scotia.
“Picture 600 venture capitalists, directly managing over $105 billion,” he said. “Just think of the opportunity that this represents for local businesses and entrepreneurs to connect with the most influential investors in this entire country.”
A representative of one of the major events set for 2018 said it was the new convention centre that tipped the scales in Halifax’s favour.
David Golcalves of STEM States Incorporated said Halifax beat out cities in South Africa, India and Russia to host the 2018 STEMfest — a two-week long festival focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
“The convention centre was a big draw card,” he said. “On top of that, the warm nature of the people…and the scientific strength of Dalhousie University and many other institutions, we naturally were drawn to what Halifax offered.”
A total of $18 million is the projected economic spinoff from delegates at the 16 conferences already booked.
The CEO of Trade Centre Limited says he’s on track to meet business projections for the new convention centre.
Scott Ferguson told the provincial legislature’s public accounts committee last June he expected to secure 20 per cent of the 142 national and international events projected for the first three years of business by the end of March 2014.
“It represents 15,000 (delegates) and we’re at 12,025 delegates as of today and we’ll reach our full 20 per cent by the end of March,” Ferguson told reporters Thursday.
Outgoing Auditor General Jacques Lapointe questioned the business projections in a report suggesting the targets were overly aggressive.
Ferguson said Thursday the success of an as-yet incomplete convention centre means the projections will be met.
“Of those 16 conferences, half of them are coming in 2016,” he said. “So that represents 35 per cent of our business projections for national business already in the hopper for a convention centre that’s not even built yet.”
Economic and Rural Development Minister Michel Samson said discussions are underway between the province and HRM to create a joint, public body to manage the convention centre.
He would not say whether that excludes Trade Centre Limited as the permanent manager of the new convention centre.