This is a joint news release between the Government of Yukon and the Yukon Convention Bureau.
The Government of Yukon is growing a strong, resilient economy by making investments in the infrastructure that local businesses have said will help them thrive. The Yukon Convention Bureau, in partnership with the Government of Yukon, has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the development of a new convention centre in Whitehorse.
The RFP marks a step towards addressing the demand for a modern, versatile facility to meet the needs of the Yukon’s growing event and conference market. Pre-pandemic, this industry contributed approximately $6.5 million annually to the local economy.
The establishment of a new convention centre aligns with the Yukon Tourism Development Strategy’s goal of doubling Yukon’s tourism business revenues to $525 million by 2028. Experience in other jurisdictions shows that convention centres generate a range of benefits for the community and tourism industry, resulting in local economic growth of $500 to $1000, or more, per attendee.
Proposals will outline the design, construction, and operation of a full-service convention centre that can accommodate up to 1000 attendees. They will also demonstrate a variety of uses including conferences, performances, banquets, and festivals. The evaluation will focus on strong northern experience and Yukon First Nation involvement, as well as prioritize a high standard of energy efficiency, eco-friendly operational values, and overall low carbon footprint.
A steering committee comprised of knowledgeable local stakeholders has been established to oversee the procurement. The evaluation process will consider a combination of factors including location, design attributes, financial strength, and long-term operational viability of the convention centre.
The RFP package is available to view and download from MERX.com. Hard copies are available upon request from the Yukon Convention Bureau. Submissions will be accepted until July 14, 2023.
We are excited to partner with the Yukon Convention Bureau on this landmark project, which will contribute our resilient economy. A new convention centre will strengthen the hospitality and tourism sector while creating more space for community festivals and events.
Minister of Tourism and Culture John Streicker
The Yukon Convention Bureau is excited to be taking the lead on this project in close collaboration with the Yukon Government. The business community is supportive, and has expressed a strong desire for a new, legacy establishment and convention centre after the closure of the former High Country Inn & Yukon Convention Centre facility. The federal Minister of Tourism has recognized this and is planning to contribute tourism infrastructure funding to the territory and YCB for this project. YCB is committed to the growth and development of our industry, members and community, to serve both the economic growth and local needs and demand to best serve our region in decades to come.
Yukon Convention Bureau Vice-President Eddie Rideout
The Yukon Convention Bureau, with the Yukon government’s support and involvement, will evaluate proposals and negotiate a funding agreement, a design-build construction contract, and a maintenance and operating contract with the successful proponent.
The Government of Yukon also undertook market research in the form of a Request for Expressions of Interest during Fall 2022 to determine whether there were proponents in the Whitehorse area who have land suitable for a convention centre and are interested in using that land to design, build, own and operate a new convention centre.
Communications, Tourism and Culture
Managing Director, Yukon Convention Bureau