Northlands unveiled the name of its $150 million facility yesterday, officially starting the countdown to its opening.

The Edmonton Exposition and Conference Centre—Edmonton EXPO Centre for short—will open in December. About 220, 000 sq. ft. will be added to the existing trade show and conference space to make room for four new exhibit halls and a grand ballroom, among other features.

The EXPO Centre will span 522, 000 sq. ft. upon completion.

Andrew Huntley, Chair of the Northlands Board of Directors, said the added space will make the EXPO Centre "the premier venue in Western Canada and the largest outside of Toronto.”

Mayor Stephen Mandel echoed Huntley’s enthusiasm. “The Edmonton EXPO Centre will open the door for opportunities that weren’t previously conceivable for our city,” he said in a release.

“It will confirm our leadership position in the convention, tourism, tradeshow and entertainment industries.”

The provincial government invested $50 million in the project, and the federal government contributed $25 million.