New Convention Centre for Whitehorse

Prospective proponent identified for development of new Yukon convention centre

Published 17/10/2023

This is a joint news release between the Government of Yukon and the Yukon Convention Bureau.

The Government of Yukon is supporting a strong, resilient tourism sector through strategic investments expanding visitor infrastructure. As part of this mandate letter commitment for the Minister of Tourism and Culture, the Government of Yukon is working in partnership with the Yukon Convention Bureau to build a new convention centre in Whitehorse.

Following this summer’s Request for Proposals, the Chu Níikwän Development Corporation (CNLP) emerged as the highest ranked proponent with their concept for a building adjacent to the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre along the Whitehorse waterfront. Differentiating factors in favour of CNLP included venue size, overall event capacity, cost, location, Yukon First Nation involvement and long-term operational viability.

Discussions will begin with CNLP to further develop their design, establish detailed owner requirements and specifications and explore a 25-year lease. A formal announcement with design specifics and further details will be made when negotiations are complete.

The Request for Proposals called for the design, construction and operation of a full-service convention centre in Whitehorse that can accommodate up to 1,000 attendees for a variety of uses including conferences, performances, banquets and festivals.

When the Yukon Convention Centre closed, we all became very aware of how important these facilities are for Yukoners and visitors alike. After a thorough evaluation by the experts on the Technical Evaluation Committee, we are excited to move one step closer to a much-needed new convention centre. Our government is proud to partner with the Yukon Convention Bureau on this landmark project, which will strengthen the territory’s hospitality and tourism sector while creating more space for community festivals and events.

Minister of Tourism and Culture John Streicker

The Yukon Convention Bureau is excited at the prospect of a new convention centre which will lead to a range of benefits. In addition to being a visitor destination, it will be a gathering place for Yukoners to hold local events and festivals, which are currently constrained by a lack of sufficient venues. YCB is pleased to partner with the Government of Yukon to realize this goal in achieving a first class, iconic and culturally inclusive facility in northern Canada. A new convention centre will elevate Yukon as a destination for conventions and tourism industry development and provides economic benefits, employment and business opportunities throughout the Yukon.

Yukon Convention Bureau Vice-President Eddie Rideout

Quick facts

A new convention centre will lead to a range of benefits. In addition to being a place for visitors to convene in the Yukon, it will be a gathering place for Yukoners to hold local events and festivals.

Experience in other jurisdictions has shown that convention centres generate a range of benefits for the tourism industry and the community at large, generating an important economic spin-off of $500 to $1,000 or more, per attendee.

Development of such a facility aligns with the Yukon Tourism Development Strategy’s goal of doubling Yukon’s tourism business revenues to $525 million by 2028.

The Yukon Convention Bureau, with the Government of Yukon’s support and involvement, will now enter into negotiations toward a funding agreement, a design-build construction contract, and a maintenance and operating contract with the successful proponent.

Funding to build the convention centre, and the mechanisms for how it will operate, continue to be discussed and finalized with partners.

The benefits of the new convention centre will extend to other Yukon communities through hosting satellite and stand-alone meetings, incentives, conferences, events (MICE) and other activities.

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