Ottawa pledges $29.3m to build $400m Vancouver Art Gallery

Fundraising for a proposed $400-million Vancouver Art Gallery (VAG) has has now exceeded $280 million thanks to the federal government pledging $29.3 million in new funding at an event this morning.

The new money includes $4.3 million from Heritage Canada, with the remaining $25 million coming from Infrastructure Canada.

Vancouver Centre MP Hedy Fry announced the new funding, and at the end of her speech said, “maybe we can see each other next year for more money.”

The VAG has been planning for about 14 years to move from its Robson Square location to a new site on the southern two-thirds of the block bounded by Cambie, Dunsmuir, Beatty and West Georgia streets.

“Our target is still 400 million,” VAG CEO Anthony Kiendl told BIV after the announcement. “We’re just over 70 per cent there, so we’ve been continuing to raise money privately.”

In 2021, the price tag for the new gallery was pegged at $355 millionincluding a $50 million endowment fund. The VAG then upped its estimate for the project’s cost to $400 million last November, when Polygon Homes CEO and Audain Foundation chair Michael Audain and his wife Yoshi Karasawa pledged that their foundation would provide $100 million to the project.

Other big donors include the Chan family, headed by patriarch Caleb Chan, in 2019 promising to provide $40 million. Aritzia CEO Brian Hill and wife Andrea Hill pledged $5 million. Various VAG board members through the years have also pledged funding.

More to come …

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