RBC Winnipeg Convention Centre Expansion

Winnipeg, Canada

Project Size:

286,000 square feet

Project Status:

Completed 2016

LEED Status:

Certified LEED New Construction Silver


Civic Design, Convention Center Design

Associate Architect:

Number 10 Architectural Group & LM Architects


Convention centre expansion paying off

Winnipeg Sun, 02/05/2018

Grey Cup gala glitz and glamour: Bash showcases convention centre expansion

Winnipeg Free Press, 11/28/2015

Selinger impressed after sneak peek at convention centre expansion

Winnipeg Free Press, 11/12/2015

Selected Awards

2017 Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC)

Manitoba/Northwestern Ontario Steel Design Award

2016 Commerce Design Winnipeg

Grand Prize

Small moves make great impact on the civic experience and connectivity of Manitoba’s most important convention facility. An expanded exhibit hall, covering 2 city blocks and spanning above York Avenue, features a signature City Room space with expansive views of downtown Winnipeg. The room’s intricately detailed ballroom ceiling adds drama to the space, both inside the room and visible from the surrounding urban district. At the street level, a second new event space further transforms the facility’s presence with a luminous ceiling design that unites the interior space with the outdoor public realm.

Site and Program
The convention center expansion anchors a $2 billion package of investments in civic infrastructure and attractions in downtown Winnipeg. The project nearly doubles the size of the existing facility, providing a magnetic gathering space with flexibility to accommodate a greatly increased variety of public and private events. The 135,000-sf exhibit hall can function as a large contiguous space, or partitioned into multiple halls to suit different event sizes. The center of the exhibition hall transforms into the 44,000-sf City Room, featuring floor-to-ceiling window walls on both ends of the room which capture eastern and western views and the activity of York Avenue below to blend the event with the life of the city.

A second major event space, a 24,000-sf ballroom, looks directly onto York Avenue at the street level, opening up exciting possibilities for indoor/outdoor events such as street festivals and public fairs. Flexible pre-function spaces wrap around the ballroom, providing several configuration options to address the needs of a variety of events.

Ceiling design is increasingly an area of opportunity for convention center ballrooms. The City Room’s hanging armature references the stark beauty of Winnipeg winters, with a geometric expression evoking the structure of ice crystals. Dynamically lit, covering a space of more than an acre, and framed behind urban-scale windows that angle outward toward the street, the ceiling animates not only the event within, but also the street below, extending the room’s impact to the city at large.

In the street-level event space, the ceiling design extends from indoors to outdoors through a transparent window wall, extending the energy of the public realm into the event. As drivers and pedestrians traveling along York Avenue pass through the covered roadway created by the exhibit hall overhead, the public right-of-way comes alive with glowing ceiling light fixtures that can shift between a variety of colors to complement the mood of the event. Inside, warm wood finishes and accent lighting create a welcoming and engaging experience.