Civic Centre 25 years old

One of Prince George's most familiar and functional buildings for business, commerce, and entertainment hit the quarter century mark on Monday.

The Prince George Conference and Civic Centre first opened its doors on February 11, 1994.

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In the early 1990s, city council authorized an expenditure of $12.1 million to build the facility and the adjacent Civic Centre Plaza, now known as the Canada Games Plaza.

The city estimates the facility has welcomed about three million visits to date and hosts about 120,000 guests and 400 events over the course of a year.

The peak year for attendance was 2015 when the venue hosted attendees of the 2015 Canada Winter Games and hit a high of nearly 245,000 event participants.

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 B.C. Natural Resources Forum has been the largest annual convention at the facility both in terms of delegate count (1,100) and impact to the local economy.

The Council of Forest Industries 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 was the Elders Gathering in 2005, which attracted over 1500 First Nations from across B.C.

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.

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