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Vancouver Art Gallery announces major gift toward new building and reveals final designs
The Vancouver Art Gallery also unveiled the final designs for its 300,000-square-foot building by world-renowned, Swiss-based architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron.


VANCOUVER.- The Vancouver Art Gallery is celebrating a major milestone toward the realization of a transformational new building with the announcement of a $40 million lead gift from the Chan Family. This unprecedented act of generosity by the Chan Family brings the Gallery’s capital campaign to $85 million in private sector funding toward the new purpose-built facility. In recognition of this extraordinary gift, the Vancouver Art Gallery’s new building will be named Chan Centre for the Visual Arts.

“This is a historic time for the Vancouver Art Gallery in its 88th year! We are all inspired by the Chan Family’s extraordinary generosity, and their philanthropic passion for enriching our community,” said Kathleen S. Bartels, Director of the Vancouver Art Gallery. “With this unprecedented gift to the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Chans are demonstrating a profound investment in the future of this city and country, and one that will impact many generations to come."

“We are also extremely grateful for the incredible generosity of the Board of Trustees and the many significant donors from across the community for helping us reach this milestone as we continue to work towards the new Vancouver Art Gallery Building,” added Bartels.

The gift from the Chan Family —the largest-ever single private donation to an arts and culture organization in British Columbia—builds on the Family’s long-standing history of supporting education as well as arts and culture institutions and programs with the aim of enriching communities in Canada and beyond.

“The Vancouver Art Gallery’s new building project fits perfectly into our family’s philosophy, mandate, and charitable mission, which is to create equal opportunity for everyone to enjoy and nurture a healthy body, mind and soul,” said Christian Chan, Gallery Trustee and speaking on behalf of his family. “We truly believe in the power of art to bring people together and to bridge divides, cultural gaps, to promote social understanding, and to help people better understand themselves and others, and that is what the new Vancouver Art Gallery building will help accomplish.”

“This act of generosity by the Chan Family is philanthropy at its core, touching on the true essence of public good, civic engagement, and support for a significant legacy project that will bring countless benefits to all British Columbians for generations to come,” said Lisa Turner, Gallery Trustee and Co-Chair of the Gallery’s capital campaign.

Celebrating Other Significant Donations
Along with the Chan Family’s lead gift to name the new building, the Vancouver Art Gallery is also celebrating $45 million in other private sector support that has been made over the last several years, including significant contributions driven by the Gallery’s Board of Trustees. In particular, the generosity of fourteen individuals, families, foundations, and corporate supporters, who have contributed $1 million or more each demonstrating a wide range of support for this important project and a recognition of the incredible benefits it will bring to the entire community including tourism and as a significant economic driver.

Final New Vancouver Art Gallery Building Designs Unveiled
The Vancouver Art Gallery also unveiled the final designs for its 300,000-square-foot building by world-renowned, Swiss-based architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron.

Designed to serve the Gallery’s expanding collection and to present outstanding art and educational programs for its expanding audiences, the new Vancouver Art Gallery will provide a global platform for Vancouver’s and Canada’s thriving arts scene and play a vital role in establishing this city as one of the world’s foremost cities for arts and culture. Situated at Larwill Park, unifying the crossroads of Downtown, Yaletown, Gastown, east Vancouver and Chinatown, the new Gallery will fuel a hub of creative and cultural activity for local members, the public and international visitors of all ages.

“The project for the new Vancouver Art Gallery has a civic dimension that can contribute to the life and identity of the city, in which many artists of international reputation live and work. The building now combines two materials, wood and glass, both inseparable from the history and making of the city. We developed a façade out of glass logs which is pure, soft, light, establishing a unique relation to covered wooden terraces all around the building,” said Christine Binswanger, Partner in Charge, Herzog & de Meuron.

Herzog & de Meuron have designed the Vancouver Art Gallery’s new museum as a sculptural, symmetrical, upright building combining opaque and transparent surfaces, with larger volumes concentrated at the top and minimal mass at the bottom. By lifting the bulk of the structure high above the street, the design allows light and air to filter down to an active, open-air courtyard below.

“The new Vancouver Art Gallery is a vertical building, distinctly spectacular at first sight, with an arrangement that resonates with the place where it is built. It offers ample outdoor spaces that are sunny in summer and protected from rain in winter, to suit the climate and life in British Columbia. Visitors to the building will be able to perceive Vancouver’s urbanity and its amazing natural setting in many different ways," described Herzog & de Meuron.

"Together with our team of BC experts and our client, we defined the building to a much higher degree: galleries, classrooms and reading rooms, the theatre, restaurants and shops, and all the public outdoor spaces are well enhanced. The new Vancouver Art Gallery is close to reality."

Next Steps
With a generous designation of the land at Larwill Park from the City of Vancouver in place and $135 million in total private and public sector funding secured, including an initial investment of $50 million from the Province of British Columbia, the next step for the Vancouver Art Gallery Capital Campaign will be to continue its work with senior levels of government and the private sector to secure the additional funding needed to begin construction.

“We are thankful to be the beneficiaries of strong support from our partners at the City of Vancouver with all aspects of the project including the generous contribution of two thirds of the land at Larwill Park,” added Bartels. “We are pleased that the Provincial and the Federal governments remain keenly interested in this project and have been steadfast in their encouragement as we continue our private sector fundraising efforts.”






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