Well folks, it’s happened. After a teaser yesterday, the Vancouver Art Gallery announced this afternoon that is has received the single largest private cash donation in Canadian history. We’re not talking millions, or even tens of millions… we’re talking about $100 million. Here’s why they got it, and where they got it from.
If you didn’t know, the Vancouver Art Gallery is moving into a new, state-of-the-art (no pun intended) space in the coming years. And in doing so, it’s hoping to become one of the most prestigious art museums not just in Canada, but around the world. The new Vancouver Art Gallery will be a part of the new Chan Centre for Visual Arts building, following a $40M donation from the family in 2019.
Located between Cambie Street and Beatty Street, and along Georgia Street, the new building will have some 300,000 square feet to work with. And, roughly 80,000 of that will be dedicated to the new Vancouver Art Gallery, more or less doubling the size of the current building. There will also be a theatre, visible art storage, a library and research centre, and more going in at the same time.
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But that’s already been in the works for quite some time- today was the big one. The Audain Foundation, which is the same group behind the Audain Art Museum in Whistler, announced that it was donating an astounding $100m to help the new gallery come to life. Michael Audain, Chairman of the foundation, released a statement alongside the announcement-
“Important art has been created on this coast for thousands of years, while today Vancouver’s visual artists are recognized for their accomplishments around the world. Yoshi (Karasawa) and I are happy to help build a new Vancouver Art Gallery because we love British Columbia and our artists. We hope the splendid new building will work well to exhibit the work of our leading artists as well as introduce youngsters to the wonders of art…”
Between private donors and public initiatives, the new Vancouver Art Gallery has raised some $240m towards the initiative, alongside the land they’ll receive from the City of Vancouver, which is valued at around $100m. Even still, they’re hoping to raise another $160m in the coming months, with the intent of starting construction sometime in 2022.
For more information on this historic donation, you can check out the press release in full right here.