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 November 08, 2004
Construction Underway For Vancouver Convention Centre Expansion

 Construction is now underway on the $565 million expansion of the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre (VCEC). The VCEC expansion is made possible by a funding partnership of the
Province of British Columbia, the Government of Canada, and Tourism Vancouver. Tourism Vancouver is contributing $90 million and the federal and provincial governments are each contributing up to $222.5 million. Revenue contributions from the VCEC will add a further $30 million.

The Honourable Gordon Campbell, Premier of British Columbia and the Honourable John Les, Minister of Small Business and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the convention centre were joined by the Honourable David L. Emerson, Minister of Industry, the Honourable Stephen Owen, Minister of Western Economic Diversification and Minister of State (Sport), Stuart McLaughlin, Deputy Chair of Tourism Vancouver, Senator John Austin and Mayor Larry Campbell of Vancouver for a groundbreaking ceremony November 8th. "Today we're taking a major step toward providing the extra space that's needed to keep Vancouver among the top convention destinations in the world," said Premier Campbell. "This expansion, combined with the project's incredible Coal Harbour location and increasing exposure as we prepare for 2010, will further strengthen Vancouver's reputation as a world-class convention destination."

"With construction underway, we look forward to realizing the benefits of the new and expanded convention space. Vancouver is Canada's Asia-Pacific gateway, and the Government of Canada's funding for this project will be a key contributor to the economic growth of British Columbia and will enhance our trade opportunities," said Minister Emerson.

"The expanded convention centre will further enhance Vancouver's international reputation as a destination of choice and will help build a stronger tourism industry," said Minister Owen. "In supporting this expansion project, the Government of Canada also shows how it is moving forward on its commitments to the 2010 Winter Games."

"Today demonstrates the partnership that makes Vancouver such a strong competitor in the international meeting and convention arena - industry and government working together," said Mr. McLaughlin. "Combined with our exceptional industry standards and the wonderful pre- and post convention travel opportunities throughout British Columbia, we have a meetings destination that is moving from strength to strength."

All environmental permits necessary for the 102,600 square metre project were recently granted, clearing the way for construction to begin. The project is to be completed by 2008.

The expanded VCEC will generate a significant increase in tourism and is striving to meet the highest environmental standards for convention centres worldwide. The Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre will also serve as the broadcast centre for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

The expansion project will more than triple the Convention Centre's available space, adding an additional 35,470 square metres of function space to the VCEC's existing 12,400 square metres.

Vancouver Convention Centre Expansion Project Ltd. is wholly owned by the Province of British Columbia and is responsible for the expansion of the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Through the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund (CSIF), the Government of Canada works with provincial, territorial and municipal governments, as well as with the private sector, to meet strategic infrastructure needs throughout the country. The CSIF supports large-scale strategic infrastructure projects that improve quality of life and further sustainable growth. The fund also contributes to the Government of Canada's New Deal for Cities and Communities, which will help make Canada a world leader in developing vibrant, creative and prosperous cities and communities.

The Government of Canada has contributed $12 billion to over 20,000 infrastructure projects in Canada's communities. This has helped leverage over $30 billion from all partners. In British Columbia, the Government of Canada has committed a total of $1.25 billion in infrastructure projects since 1994.