Even more momentum seems to be building for the purpose-built new home of the Vancouver Art Gallery (VAG).
A major announcement is scheduled for Monday, June 27 to announce new funding for the VAG, with Liberal MP Hedy Fry for the riding of Vancouver Center and VAG CEO and Director Anthony Kiendl as the two public speakers. Very few details are available at this time.
This follows the historic donation received by the VAG in November 2021 for the new building, when Michael Audain – the chairman of local development company Polygon Homes, and a renowned art collector and philanthropist – donated 100 million dollars to the effort.
The exact amount of federal funding is not known; it is unclear whether federal funding could meet all of the remainder of the $160 million needed to cover the project’s total discounted $400 million cost.
To date, the VAG has raised a total of $240 million for the new, expanded replacement art gallery building, including $100 million from Audain, $40 million from the Burrard Group’s Chan Family and $50 million from individual donors.
The provincial government’s contribution of $50 million dates back to 2008, when a promise was made by then-Premier Gordon Campbell under the BC Liberals, while the City of Vancouver provides the land needed for the new building.
The VAG has been seeking more funding from senior governments, particularly the federal government, for nearly a decade.
The art gallery will be built on the city-owned block of 668 Cambie Street in downtown Vancouver – on part of the surface parking lot at the northeast corner of the intersection of West Georgia Street and from Cambie Street, directly opposite the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.
At the time of Audain’s donation announcement, VAG officials said they were aiming to begin construction later in 2022 for a 2026 opening.
There were further signs of momentum when VAG submitted its development permit application to the City of Vancouver in February 2022, which was evidence of immense confidence in continued construction in the near future. coming. At the end of May 2022, the Planning Permits Commission reviewed the application.
With Audain’s contribution, development permit, and an impending federal funding announcement, it seems that after 15 years of various stages of visioning, planning, and fundraising, the stars are finally aligning to provide the VAG a new purpose built home by mid 2020s.
The application states that the new art gallery will be built to a passive house green building standard. This will be the first Passive House art gallery in North America.
The design, by world-renowned architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron, with input from local firm Perkins & Will, creates a 228-foot, 10-story structure with the irregular appearance of stacked boxes of different sizes.
It will have a total area of 300,000 square feet, including 82,000 square feet of dedicated gallery space – more than double the space of the existing VAG home in the former Robson Square Courthouse building.
Other uses include a theatre, library, artist’s studio, retail, restaurant, cafe and daycare.
The new building is surrounded by a lower public courtyard below the structure.
Daily Hive Urbanized will cover Monday’s federal funding announcement for the VAG.