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June 13 2024 Jordan Walker

Featured Member: Calgary TELUS Convention Centre

a then and now image showing the old CTCC fading into the new centre

Everyone has a story they don’t read out loud. This notion, echoed by President and CEO of the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre Kurby Court, illustrates the internal values and understanding the convention centre has not only for the community, but for every employee in their organization.

With a team focused on masterfully designed events and being unapologetically humanistic in their approach, the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre team ensures the hub is a staple fixture of Calgary culture. With an impressive history hosting major events, from the XV Olympic Winter Games to welcoming iconic individuals including Prime Ministers and pop culture icons, the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre now celebrates 50 years of providing a space for Calgary communities to connect, innovate and inspire.

A vessel of connection

Upon it’s opening in 1974, the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre was the first purpose-built convention centre in the country. With the inception of the centre coming to fruition in the 1970’s in response to citizens needing a place to gather, have important conversations, and indulge in cultural entertainment. The establishment of the convention centre emphasized the importance of hosting significant conversations and becoming a primary local hub for idea generation, Kurby explains the legacy the establishment has created and continues to be part of.

“The purpose of a convention centre still exists for the same reason today: to bring everyone together and to be a vessel to hold conversations left, right, centre, comfortable, uncomfortable, stretched, unstretched and to expand that intellectual knowledge. That’s a cool thing we’ve been doing for over 50 years,” he says.

Hosting one of the very first local fundraisers in 1979, it raised over $2,000,000 in funding for what is today’s Calgary Foundation, the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre has since remained a vital part of Calgary’s downtown culture where individuals, businesses and communities alike come to convene, partake in conversations, and experience world class events and entertainment.

Calgary TELUS Convention Centre CEO Kurby Court sitting at a table with employees

Meaningful collisions

For Kurby, finding himself in the live event industry was purely an accident, he originally aspired to be a paramedic but soon altered his career course into an entirely new position at Spruce Meadows. Starting from the ground up and eventually making his way into a position as vice president, Kurby experienced a front row seat to the liveliness and sense of community that encompassed the event industry.

“What really got me going in the live event industry is no matter what you’re doing, you have collisions with people and you can positively impact people’s lives.”

Now leading the team at the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre, Kurby continues to enjoy the fast-paced nature of the event centre and the vital role it plays in bettering the lives of all Calgarians.

“The real support is behind the socioeconomic impact and what we’re doing as a community hub to help the vulnerable sector and the nonprofits that contribute to our community and social fabric,” he says.

Fostering a safe place

With care and authentic interactions at the heart of the company’s relationship with the community, the convention centre maintains a loyal commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility. As this priority remains at the forefront, the team at the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre is dedicated to finding new ways to support not only the community, but the organization as a whole.

“Our fundamental value is that we are a safe place for employees to show up and be themselves every single day. It doesn’t matter where they identify in our socio systems; they show up. This is a safe place to work and a [safe place] for delegates.”

When it comes to creating a culture conducive with inclusion and diversity, Kurby notes that the action and commitment to a constant learning experience has been essential internally.

“It’s not about ticking a box—it’s what actually makes up our culture. But even having that, there’s so much we still don’t know.”

Holding space for conversation

As members of the Chamber, Kurby acknowledges the importance of holding space for conversations within the business community and maintaining a level of interconnectivity.

“I think of the Chamber like a quilt. Each square is an area of industry that makes up our community and there's some of those that are intertwined,” he says. “The Chamber is the thread that pulls everything together.”

With a steadfast goal of continuing to build on legacies and contributing to advancing the destination as it evolves in the future, the centre aims to continue bringing forth unique and exciting events while welcoming future challenges with a sense of resilience and collaboration.

“We have all these amazing opportunities, but we have some shortcomings that we need to address,” says Kurby. “Is that a challenge? Yes, it's a challenge. Is there opportunity? Bloody right, there's opportunity.”

To learn more or book your next event at the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre, visit