“This marks a major step forward in our redevelopment process for Canada’s new convention centre,” said Jim Durrell, Chair of the OCC Board. “It is our intention through this process to partner with the best in the industry so that we complete the construction and meet every specification, on time and within budget. There is no ambiguity around this commitment to our funders and our community.”

The OCC has several objectives and key success criteria, which the successful proponents will be expected to achieve. They include: the delivery of a state-of-the-art Tier II convention centre; the creation of an iconic solution in a sustainable design and development that is energy and environmentally efficient; fully meets or exceeds every specification set out by the OCC Project Management Team; is completed on time and within budget; provides for innovative revenue sources; and serves as a catalyst in the revitalization of Ottawa’s downtown core and tourism industry.

The OCC Board and the Project Management Team will review the submissions, with the announcement of the three short-listed proponents at the end of March, 2008.

“The project is moving ahead on schedule which will enable our marketing team to book meetings and conventions for opening day in April 2011 and for years to follow,” said Patrick Kelly, President of the OCC. “The momentum of this project, thanks to the tremendous support of the Government of Ontario, the Government of Canada, , the City of Ottawa, and our many stakeholders and community partners, will see that a world-class convention centre will happen, finally, in the nation’s capital.”

The procurement process involves this week’s issuing of a ‘Request for Qualifications’, resulting in a short list of three qualified proponents who will be asked to respond to a ‘Request for Proposal’ to be issued in April, 2008. The three proposals are required to be submitted in June, 2008. The recommended partner will be selected the end of July with complete negotiations and final project agreements to be signed in September.

Demolition of the existing OCC will begin immediately after.