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DIALOG Celebrates Lethbridge Agri-food Hub & Trade Centre Grand Opening Two Decades in the Making

August 15, 2023

On Thursday, August 10, Lethbridge & District Exhibition held its grand opening ceremony of the 268,000 square foot Agri-food Hub & Trade Centre – a fully integrated DIALOG project nearly two decades in the making.

Designed as a gathering place for events, business, learning, and entertainment, the Lethbridge Agri-food Hub & Trade Centre is a world-class amenity that serves as an economic driver for Southern Alberta’s agri-food tourism industry. It is a catalyst to attract new economic development, visitors, and investment to the city and region.

The Lethbridge Agri-food Hub has been 17 years in the making for DIALOG. It started with a simple phone call to review the condition of the existing facilities. A condition assessment, three masterplans, and many meetings later, the vision of the new Agri-food Hub came to fruition. While the bricks and mortar of the project is what the community may see, the collaborative process between Lethbridge & District Exhibition, the City of Lethbridge, Ward Bros Construction, and the integrated design team of DIALOG is truly where the success of the project was developed from.

—Gerry Doering, Partner, DIALOG

Lethbridge’s newest community gathering place is one of the largest of its kind in Lethbridge history, and combines rich agricultural roots, a unique geographical location within Canada’s premier food corridor, and a lasting commitment to community. The Centre is not just for those living in Southern Alberta, but for those around the province, country, and the world.

The event opened with a prayer, song, and raising of the Blackfoot Confederacy flag, which will fly permanently on site as a sign of the partnership between the Lethbridge & District Exhibition and the Blackfoot Confederacy. The grand opening featured the official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new venue, exciting announcements, and speeches from federal, provincial, and local dignitaries whose years of advocacy led to the funding from their governments that allowed this project to proceed.

The Agri-food Hub & Trade Centre has the unique opportunity to tell our story on the world stage, highlighting and celebrating our innovative, world-leading agriculture and agri-food industries. I have no doubt this space will be a catalyst for attracting investment into our area and will offer opportunities for our local producers to build international connections and market their products all over the world. At a time when food production matters more than ever, the Agri-food Hub & Trade Centre has a key role to play.

—Rachael Thomas, Member of Parliament for Lethbridge

Every table within the facility was crafted from the 230 trees that were felled on site to facilitate the build. Remarkably, some of these trees date back to 1912, planted for the International Dry Farming Congress. These tables are an incredible nod to the building’s origins, honouring its rich history and incorporating the past. All the tables – more than 100 – were made locally by The Bearded Ox Timber Co., a custom lumber furniture producer based in Lethbridge.