Exhibition Park, owned by the Province of Nova Scotia and managed by the World Trade and Convention Centre (WTCC) will be closing November 16. The venue accommodates a variety of regional consumer trade shows, including the annual Halifax International Boat Show, which typically takes place in February.
Harsh winter storms caused damage to the facility's roof, leading the government to cease operations at the 30-year old building. The province estimates that $3 million would be needed for repairs to Exhibition Park's roof and electrical infrastructure as well as an additional $6 million for other upgrades.
According to Patricia Nelder, Executive Director of the Atlantic Marine Trades Association (AMTA), the closure of the convention centre was not unexpected. "As boat show exhibitors know, the building suffered damage during the last severe winter,' says Nelder. "The AMTA has been meeting regularly with Halifax International Boat Show producer, Master Promotions, which produces many large trade shows in the Halifax Region, to make sure that there are contingency plans in place for the 2016 show.'
The province is exploring options to transfer the site. The deed, previously held by Trade Centre Limited, will transfer to the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. The department will begin discussions with interested parties about the facility's future before making a final decision.
AMTA is currently engaged in discussions with "private enterprise' regarding the continued use of the building. The association believes the closure of Exhibition Park would be a huge economic blow for the Halifax municipality.
Nelder says the AMTA will keep its members informed of any changes affecting the 2016 Halifax International Boat Show.