Shaw Conference Centre

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Shaw Conference Centre
Shaw Conference Centre main entrance
Location 9797 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
T5J 1N9
Coordinates 53°32′29″N 113°29′9″W / 53.54139°N 113.48583°W / 53.54139; -113.48583
Owner City of Edmonton
Opened 1983
Expanded 2006
Construction cost
C$81.8 million[1]
($181 million in 2016 dollars[2])
Enclosed space
 • Total space 144,406 sq ft (13,415.8 m2)

The Shaw Conference Centre (colloquially called The Shaw, or SCC), is a meeting, entertainment, and convention venue located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Opened in 1983, it is managed by the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC), a not-for-profit enterprise owned by the City of Edmonton.

It is located on Jasper Avenue and built into a hill, emerging onto Grierson Hill Road and into the Louise McKinney Riverfront Park. The riverside site allows for approximately 70 per cent of the building space to be located underground, burrowed into the cliff face, concealing the fact that the building is over 10 stories high.

It is reported by EEDC that the SCC boosts Edmonton's economy by an estimated $44 million a year.[3]


Plans for a city owned trade and convention centre, originally combined with sports (arena, stadium) facilities, had been considered for a number of years. A plebiscite asking if the city should spend $14 million ($112 million today) on land and construction of a downtown sports and convention complex was rejected by voters in 1963. Edmonton citizens voted in favour of a $23 million proposal ($157 million today) in the 1968 Convention and Sports Complex plebiscite, but voted against the revised $34 million ($215 million today) funding request in the 1970 Omniplex project plebiscite.[4] The area on Grierson Hill where the Centre now resides had a coal mine operation from 1892 to 1893, one of a number along the banks of the North Saskatchewan River near the turn of the century.[5]

While voters had rejected the funding for the project, a municipal bylaw allowing the city to build was still on the books. The scope of the project was reduced when the Northlands Coliseum ice hockey arena opened in 1974, followed by the Commonwealth Stadium football facility in 1978. Edmonton City Council received support from the electorate to move forward with a more focused trade and convention centre in a special plebiscite in 1979. James Wensley was awarded the Alberta Association of Architects Citation in 1983 for his work on the facility.

In 1998, the facility was renamed the Shaw Conference Centre under a 20-year naming rights deal with Shaw Communications. The deal expires at the end of the year.[6]

On August 29, 2017, Edmonton's city council approved a plan for the EEDC to take ownership of the Edmonton Expo Centre from Northlands, effective January 1, 2018, as a condition of relieving debt owed to the city over its renovations.[7]


Shaw Conference Centre on the North Saskatchewan River valley

The Shaw Conference Centre is located on Jasper Avenue and 97th street in Downtown Edmonton and can be seen in the city's skyline. The Jasper Avenue entrance opens onto the centre's glass atrium, which in turn serves as the entrance to the multiple conference levels. [8]

The long outer walls on the centre's assembly and meeting levels offer a view of the North Saskatchewan River valley parks system; a view which stretches from the downtown core to the north campus of the University of Alberta. The centre is linked via pedway to Edmonton's Canada Place, which is the main property for federal government offices in Edmonton. Canada Place is linked, in turn, to many other buildings by way of Edmonton's pedway system, including, the Citadel Theatre, the Westin Hotel, the City Hall, the Sutton Place Hotel, and the Edmonton City Centre mall.


The function of the Shaw Conference Centre is to boost local industry. Besides hosting trade shows, meetings and conventions, the SCC is also a music and entertainment venue. It has hosted a wide variety of guests and performers in its history, including Big Sugar, Tiësto, Bobby Orr, Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam, Judas Priest, Megadeth, Metallica, Marilyn Manson, Slipknot, Stone Temple Pilots, Three Days Grace, Paul Rodgers, Scorpions, Goo Goo Dolls, Dream Theater, In Flames, Deftones, Sum 41, Jean Chrétien, Desmond Tutu, Gordie Howe, Prince Charles, The Cult, Diana Princess of Wales, Tina Turner, Slayer, Disturbed, Lamb of God and Avenged Sevenfold.[9]


  1. ^ "Shaw centre needs to grow or lose out: report". Edmonton Journal. Postmedia Network. February 7, 2011. Retrieved April 26, 2013. 
  2. ^ Canadian inflation numbers based on Statistics Canada. "Consumer Price Index, historical summary". Statistics Canada. Retrieved April 26, 2018.  CANSIM, table (for fee) 326-0021 and Catalogue nos. 62-001-X, 62-010-X and 62-557-X. And "Consumer Price Index, by province (monthly) (Canada)". Statistics Canada. Retrieved April 26, 2018. 
  3. ^ Page 23 of “Forward” Edmonton Economic Development’s 2008 Annual Report "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-02-08. Retrieved 2010-04-26. 
  4. ^ Dr. Russell Cobb (2015-01-26). "Retrofutures: Edmonton's Omniplex". Edmonton Heritage Council. Retrieved 2017-05-18. 
  5. ^ Small mine in operation 1892 - 1893 (Real Estate & Housing, pg 12, 1978)
  6. ^ Wong, Julia (2 May 2018). "Naming rights on downtown Edmonton convention centre up for grabs". Global News. Retrieved 3 May 2018. 
  7. ^ "Council approves merging Edmonton Expo Centre with Shaw Conference Centre". CBC News. Retrieved 2017-08-31. 
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-09-22. Retrieved 2010-04-27. 
  9. ^ Shaw Conference Centre - A History of Edmonton's Meeting Place, Tiffany E. Nelson, 2001

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°32′29″N 113°29′9″W / 53.54139°N 113.48583°W / 53.54139; -113.48583