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Civic Centre turns 25 years old today

An aerial photograph taken while the Prince George Conference and Civic Centre was under construction in the early 1990s. The facility was officially opened on February 11, 1994.
An aerial photograph taken while the Prince George Conference and Civic Centre was under construction in the early 1990s. The facility was officially opened on February 11, 1994. City of Prince George photo

Submitted by the City of Prince George

One of Prince George’s most familiar and functional buildings for business, commerce, and entertainment hits the quarter century mark today. The Prince George Conference and Civic Centre (PGCCC) first opened its doors on February 11, 1994 as northern British Columbia’s premier meeting and conference venue. Owned and operated by the City of Prince George, the downtown destination has played a significant role in the economic and business development for the region and serves as a gathering and meeting place for numerous local, provincial, and national events and activities.

The Conference and Civic Centre hosts approximately 120,000 guests and 400 events over the course of a year. The peak year for attendance in the Conference and Civic Centre was 2015 when the venue hosted attendees of the 2015 Canada Winter Games and hit a high of nearly 245,000 event participants. The City estimates that the facility has welcomed about three million visitors to date.

Since 2001, annual revenues have increased from just under a million dollars per year to $1.7 Million annually. The estimated economic impact of the Civic Centre to the Prince George economy has risen from just over $6 Million in 2010 to more than $10 Million dollars in 2017.

In the recent past, the BC Natural Resources Forum has been the largest annual convention at the facility both in terms of delegate count (1100) and economic impact to the local economy. The Council of Forest Industries (COFI) Annual General Meeting and Conference is also one of the major events held at the PGCCC and attracts over 800 delegates. Another conference of note is the Elders Gathering in 2005, which attracted over 1500 First Nations from across BC.

The Conference and Civic Centre has seen its share of famous faces as well. Following the official opening of the facility in 1994, the Queen visited the Conference and Civic Centre while she was in Prince George for the opening of UNBC. Other noteworthy guests have included current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Chris Hadfield, Trevor Linden, George Thorogood, Spirit of the West, Delhi to Dublin, Bruce Cockurn, as well as several BC Premiers.

In the early 1990s, Prince George City Council authorized an expenditure of $12.1 Million to build the facility and the adjacent Civic Centre Plaza. Civic Centre Plaza later received several upgrades and was renamed Canada Games Plaza for the role is played as the entertainment hub of the Games.

The PGCCC is one of 11 buildings in the downtown area that is linked to the City’s District Energy System. By being connected to the DES, carbon dioxide emissions from the facility have dropped by about 150 tonnes per year. This is the equivalent of taking 32 vehicles off of the road per year.

The Prince George Conference and Civic Centre (pictured) first opened its doors on February 11, 1994 as northern British Columbia's premier meeting and conference venue. City of Prince George photo
The Prince George Conference and Civic Centre (pictured) first opened its doors on February 11, 1994 as northern British Columbia’s premier meeting and conference venue. City of Prince George photo