The last day of 2018 will also be the last day we refer to our downtown convention centre as “The Shaw.” That’s when the 20-year naming rights deal, negotiated with Shaw Communications for $5.5 million, expires and the building will revert back to its original name. Attempts to negotiate a new corporate sponsorship earlier in the year were unsuccessful.
Derek Hudson, CEO of the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation, spoke about the new moniker in a press release. “We are excited about the possibilities to use the Edmonton Convention Centre name as a platform to elevate the local community and economy,” he said, but that makes the change sound more monumental than it is. Despite the different title, it’ll be business as usual as the building serves the same purpose in the downtown core as it has for the last 35 years.
The venue, which has been host to guests like Gordie Howe and Princess Diana, as well as performers like Metallica and Tiësto, has been indispensable to Edmonton’s society and culture since it opened in 1983. The first person to perform in the building was Tina Turner back in 1983. The last event before the name changes back will be Get Together 2018, a tour of EDM artists including Diplo and ILLENIUM.
The centre made headlines earlier in 2018 when it was reported that they would replace their ailing atrium with solar cells. Although the transition will be pricey, it’s reflective of Edmonton’s commitment to sustainability; The venue will remain open during construction, which will wrap up in 2019.