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Expensive party for convention centre

Last spring’s party to open the Vancouver Convention Centre’s western expansion cost taxpayers $1,377,518, according to documents obtained by 24 hours.

B.C. Pavilion Corporation’s three biggest expenses were entertainment ($267,514), ballroom production/rigging ($241,000) and producer’s fee and staffing ($149,849).

“We’ve already spent nearly a billion dollars on this thing, surely they would’ve thought through to have a frugal opening if they blew the bank on the project,” said NDP PavCo critic Spencer Herbert.

The $883.2 million project, currently the 2010 Winter Olympics international broadcast center, was originally supposed to cost $495 million. The Tyee reported in September the building received only a conditional permit for the April 3-5 opening because of safety and fire alarm concerns.

Bob Mackin reports for Vancouver 24 hours.

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