Vancouver Art Gallery project gets funding boost from B.C.

This brings provincial contributions for the passive house project up to $100 million

Vancouver Art Gallery project rendering.

A rendering shows the revised design of the new Vancouver Art Gallery. – Herzog & de Meuron/Perkins + Will

Key Takeaways:

  • The project has also seen huge donations from the Audain Foundation, the Chan Foundation and the federal government.
  • It would be the first passive house art gallery in North America and incorporate mass timber materials into the design.
  • The province anticipates work will generate 3,000 construction jobs.

The Whole Story:

B.C. is a big patron of the arts.

Officials announced an additional $50 million in funding to help build a new home for the Vancouver Art Gallery.

This is the second investment by the province toward the new gallery. In 2008, the B.C. government provided $50 million for a total investment of $100 million This project has received more than $190 million in private donations, including $100 million from the Audain Foundation in 2021 and $40 million from the Chan Foundation in 2019.

“The Vancouver Art Gallery is a flagship cultural institution in B.C., and we are proud to provide this additional investment to make this new building a reality,” said Lisa Beare, minister of tourism, arts, culture and sport. “The new gallery will be a social, artistic and commercial hub and will enrich tourism and cultural experiences in the region for residents and visitors alike. I’m especially pleased with the collaborative partnership with four local Indigenous artists to design the building exterior. Once built, it is sure to draw global attention as the largest building to reflect Coast Salish culture in the world.”

The building façade was designed through collaboration with Coast Salish artists Debra Sparrow, Skwetsimeltxw Willard (Buddy) Joseph, Hereditary Chief Chepximiya Siyam’ Janice George and Angela George, and Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, with Vancouver architects Perkins & Will. 

The exterior of the building is informed by a Coast Salish world view through consultation with Indigenous artists from the host Nation.

According to the province, mass timber will be featured as part of the construction to reduce the building’s carbon footprint. The new gallery will be the first Passive House art gallery in North America and will be the most environmentally sustainable art museum in Canada.

The new Vancouver Art Gallery will be a multifaceted facility featuring a theatre, library and research centre, artist studios, child care, restaurants and retail space. There will be an Indigenous community space, along with five dedicated classrooms for specialized school programs and art instruction to serve more than 90,000 students annually. The project is expected to generate an estimated 3,000 construction jobs and 1,000 permanent jobs in the tourism sector.

The new Vancouver Art Gallery’s Chan Centre for the Visual Arts will also optimize capacity for safe and efficient storage of works of art in the gallery’s permanent collection, including Canada’s most important collection of works by renowned Canadian artist Emily Carr. The new gallery will be located at Larwill Park on Georgia Street in downtown Vancouver.

“The new Vancouver Art Gallery will truly be a community space for the growth of B.C.’s arts and cultural sector, the enjoyment of the public and the prosperity of the region,” said Anthony Kiendl, CEO and director of the Vancouver Art Gallery. “Combined with the support of generous donors, members and stakeholders, we are closer to realizing our vision of a new gallery that better reflects everyone in B.C. Together, we are contributing to a rich cultural environment in Vancouver, through the voices of Indigenous communities and the people from many lands who have decided to make Vancouver and British Columbia their home. The gallery will create strong links between local culture and international art and audiences.”

Federal officials have stated that they are looking to have the new gallery open in 2027. 

A rendering shows the entrance to the new Vancouver Art Gallery – Herzog & de Meuron/Perkins + Will


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