CMLC stepping aside as project manager, turning focus to district-wide development and integration
At a meeting of Calgary City Council today, the City approved amendments to the Event Centre’s project agreements that enable the project to resume. Work on the Event Centre was put on pause in April to allow the project’s contributing partners—the City of Calgary and Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC)—to find viable solutions to project-related uncertainties around budget, site access and project management.
Since 2019, CMLC has led the project as development manager, working closely and collaboratively with the partners. To better align project management with cost accountability, CMLC—in consultation with the City and CSEC—has elected to step aside as development manager.
“Our decision to hand over management of the project follows numerous open talks with the partners and careful consideration of the best role for each of us to play,” says Kate Thompson, CMLC President and CEO. “We suggested many options and are supportive of where we landed with this new governance structure. This transition will enable greater oversight by CSEC who, under the new structure, will be responsible for cost accountability as well as project delivery. In the coming weeks, our team will work with the partners to ensure a smooth transition and restart on the project work.”
CMLC began serving as development manager when the Event Centre got the go-ahead nearly two years ago, stewarding the project through its various pre-design phases while heading up a steering committee with representation from CMLC, CSEC and the City of Calgary. Under the new structure, project management and cost accountability will be CSEC’s responsibility, while the City will continue to provide oversight on the publicly funded portion.
CMLC intends to liaise with the partners at critical junctures and ensure the design and execution align with the Rivers District Master Plan. CMLC remains committed to realizing the 20-year vision for Calgary’s Culture + Entertainment District—of which the Event Centre is a key component—and overseeing $1-billion in other city-building and infrastructure projects including the BMO Centre expansion, the Victoria Park/Stampede station rebuild and 17th Avenue extension, Stampede Trail festival street and Arts Commons Transformation. The BMO Centre and 17th Avenue projects are both underway—on budget and on schedule for completion in 2024 and 2023, respectively.
“Ultimately, CMLC’s primary interest is to see a great Event Centre realized for our city and to continue to steward the development of Calgary’s Culture + Entertainment District,” adds Kate. “In our experience, success on a project of this magnitude is achieved by linking together accountability with project decision-making. This new structure will enable that alignment and give CSEC the oversight needed to see the project through to successful completion.”
In the coming weeks, CMLC will work with the City and CSEC on the project management transition.