10 awesome things you should know about the Vancouver Convention Centre

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On April 3, 2019, the Vancouver Convention Centre’s West building marked its tenth anniversary of opening its doors to millions of people from around the world. Launched in 2009 – in time for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics – to serve the city’s growing popularity for tourism and conferences, the facility has swiftly become a Vancouver icon.

Concord's New Year's Eve Vancouver
Vancouver Convention Centre / Instagram

In honour of its tenth anniversary, here are 10 awesome things you should know about the Vancouver Convention Centre, and its celebrated West building.

1. In 2010, the Vancouver Convention Centre was awarded LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certification for the West building – the first convention centre in the world to earn the highest LEED® rating. Seven years later, the West building was awarded its second LEED Platinum certification, making the Vancouver Convention Centre the first double LEED Platinum convention centre in the world.

Hillary Clinton Vancouver
Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke at the Vancouver Convention Centre Wednesday December 13, 2017. Tickets ranged in price from $75 to $1,500 which included a copy of her latest book. 5200 people attended, it was a sold out event. Photo by Dan Toulgoet

2. Since the West building’s opening in 2009, the Vancouver Convention Centre has hosted 5,561 events. Among those are iconic high-profile gatherings like SIGGRAPH and TED, and speaking engagements from former U.S. President Barack Obama and former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton.

3. Over nine million guests have participated in events held at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Inside the kitchen at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Photo by Lindsay William-Ross

4. Their award-winning food program has powerful local and ethical roots. Everything is scratch-made on-site in the facilities’ kitchens, including all the breads and pastries. Chefs work closely with clients to design food programs for events suited to diverse global tastes and dietary preferences, including vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free. Ingredients are sourced locally as much as possible, and the kitchen uses only local organic eggs and Canadian flour.

5. In the last 10 years, the Vancouver Convention Centre has served 429,951 bottles of B.C. wine; three million dinner rolls; six million cups of locally-roasted coffee; and 600,000 scones scratch-baked onsite.

6. The Vancouver Convention Centre has been used in 66 film and TV shoots. Many of the shoots make use of the behind-the-scenes spaces the public rarely sees, like its long corridors, so you may not have even recognized the facility on the screen.

Craig Lehto, General Manager of the Vancouver Convention Centre on the roof on April 2, 2019. Photo by Lindsay William-Ross

7. The West building is beloved for its sloping green roof that is home to over 150 species. They mow the grass annually. More green stuff: So far they’ve recycled 157 million litres of blackwater (enough to fill 63 Olympic-sized swimming pools), and diverted over 6 million kgs of waste out of landfills.

Landscaping crews doing the annual mowing of the green roof at Vancouver Convention Centre in October 2018. It takes about two weeks to trim and mow the six-acres living roof. Photo by Dan Toulgoet

8. In 2025, the Vancouver Convention Centre will host the single largest meeting ever held in the city, as an estimated crowd of 48,000 will be on site to take part in the International Convention of Alcoholics Anonymous. The Convention Centre, along with BC Place Stadium, were selected for the event back in 2013.

In 2010, the Vancouver Convention Centre was the main media centre for the Olympics. Photo courtesy Vancouver Convention Centre

9. The Convention Centre served as the Main Media Centre for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, welcoming over 10,000 broadcasters and journalists from around the world.

10. The Vancouver Convention Centre has won 46 awards to date.

Outdoor yoga in 2016. Photo courtesy Vancouver Convention Centre
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Lindsay is the Managing Editor of Vancouver Is Awesome. A fifth generation Vancouverite, she was previously the Food Editor of Daily Hive, Senior Editor of Vancity Buzz, and Editor-in-Chief of LAist.com. Lindsay grew up in Vancouver and Toronto, then spent over 20 years in Los Angeles, where SHE (look no typo!) earned her Masters in English, attended culinary school, and was an English professor. Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: lindsay@vancouverisawesome.com