In the largest single cash gift to an art gallery in Canadian history, Vancouver Art Gallery has received an historic $100-million donation from the Audain Foundation to build its new home in the city.
The “transformational” gift was announced Thursday (Nov. 4), in celebration of the gallery’s 90th anniversary.
Audain Foundation chair Michael Audain said he hopes “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.
“Vancouver has been good to our family, so we are thrilled to have this opportunity to join the City of Vancouver, the BC Government, the Chan family, and many other generous donors in making this important project a reality.”
The new Vancouver Art Gallery will be located between Cambie and Beatty streets, with a front entrance on Georgia Street, in downtown Vancouver. It will include over 80,000 square feet of exhibition space, more than double the gallery’s existing space.
“We are very grateful for this gift from the Audain Foundation which brings us significantly closer to reaching our goal,” said Anthony Kiendl, CEO and director of Vancouver Art Gallery.
“Our objective is to raise an additional $160 million from the private and public sectors — and we hope this historic donation will encourage others in our community and across the country to support our vision.”
The new gallery is designed to be “a multi-functional art centre and community space – a revitalized project that embraces change,” according to a news release.
“The new gallery will provide increased space that will support artists and the region’s cultural sector in British Columbia. The project is expected to create an estimated 3,000 construction jobs and 1,000 permanent jobs in the tourism sector.”
The building is being designed by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron together with Vancouver architects Perkins & Will, in consultation with Coast Salish artists.
The Audain Foundation gift follows a gift of $40 million by the Chan Family Foundation to establish the Chan Centre for the Visual Arts, and an initial investment of $50 million by the Province of British Columbia. The City of Vancouver’s pledge to designate a city-owned site is valued at more than $100 million. In addition, $50 million has been pledged to date by individual donors and foundations.