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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Who had December 15 for the convention centre opening?

Downtown mega-project will open its doors soon (for real this time).

Posted By on Tue, Nov 28, 2017 at 12:59 PM

The Nova Centre in downtown Halifax. - VIA HRM
  • via HRM
  • The Nova Centre in downtown Halifax.

Good news if you haven’t booked your office’s holiday party yet.

The final, absolute, this-time-no-lie opening date for the Halifax Convention Centre will take place December 15, after nearly two years of delays.

The province sent out a news release Tuesday announcing the opening ceremony. A welcome weekend for the public, featuring a series of community events and tours of the new building, will take place later in January.

“Opening our doors marks a significant milestone as we get ready to welcome thousands of new visitors and new opportunities to our city and province,” said Carrie Cussons, president and CEO of the Halifax Convention Centre in today's release.

The convention centre is part of the mega-million Nova Centre project and is being cost-shared by three levels of government. The construction albatross in HRM’s downtown was originally supposed to open in January 2016. That ambitious deadline was pushed back to September 2016, and then again delayed to spring 2017 before being extended once more to December.

“Shaped by the community input and world-class design, I’m very proud of what this facility represents,” reads a statement from Argyle Developments president Joe Ramia that borders on trolling. “I look forward to showcasing the space to our community and the thousands of new visitors that will come through the doors.”

Trade Centre Limited projections from 2010 estimated the new convention centre would house 6,800 events in its first 10 years.

According to Tuesday's press release, there are 90 conventions and events booked for the centre’s first year of operations. The first of those, the Canadian Junior Weightlifting Championships, commences January 20.

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