Westerner Park’s newest facility is officially open.
The grand opening for Exhibition Hall, a 70,000-square-foot structure connecting the Stockmens Pavilion to Agricentre West was held Saturday.
“There are so many possibilities with (the facility) … and I’m very excited about the future of this space and the future of Westerner Park,” said Bradley Williams, Westerner Park CEO.
“The versatility of this room and what we can do with it will be amazing for not just Westerner Park, but for Red Deer and all of central Alberta as well.”
The $15-million multi-use facility has already housed a couple of events, including a Bellamy Brothers concert Wednesday.
“The sound in this room is incredible. There’s no echo, no bounce – it’s a very clear, very pristine sound. We’ve had some (concert) promoters through and they like the room and the sound that’s carried through here and the way it can be set up,” said Williams, adding a curtain can be dropped in the centre of the building to split the venue in half for events.
Having the grand opening ceremony was “a dream come true,” said Williams.
“We’ve been working … on this for a while. There was a lot of back and forth. It was an expensive building, obviously, so it was a question of if we can afford it, and if we can make it work.”
With every major venue – all three pavilions, the Agricentre, the Centrium and Exhibition Hall – at Westerner Park now connected, events such as the Canadian Finals Rodeo will be more convenient than ever.
“People can come and attend the trade show in (Exhibition Hall), or the events that are in the Agricentre, and if it’s (-20 C) outside, which it can be at that time of year, they don’t have to go outside to get into the rest of our buildings or to get back to the Centrium.
“At any one time, we can have three, four, five things going on in our buildings.”
A commercial kitchen will be built inside Exhibition Hall, Williams added.
The first big event being held at Exhibition Hall will be a high school graduation ceremony.