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Province boosts support for new Vancouver Art Gallery

CANADA, October 14 - Dana Claxton, (Lakota) artist, department head, UBC Department of Art History, Visual Art & Theory, Vancouver Art Gallery Association board member and vice-chair of the BC Arts Council –

“The new building will become a permanent symbol in this amazing and dynamic city that reflects the commitment of the gallery and the B.C. government to advancing reconciliation. As an Indigenous artist and as a board member of the gallery, I marvel at the gallery's vision as the new building honours and celebrates Indigenous arts and culture throughout all significant elements of its design. It gives me great hope and pride to think about how this will translate to audiences and the public in light of our province’s promise to stand with Indigenous people on the path of reconciliation.”

Qwasen Debra Sparrow, Musqueam Knowledge Keeper and Indigenous artist/weaver –

“I am excited to be contributing to a space that will serve as a marker of the impact of Indigenous art on the nation’s cultural landscape. The new gallery will enable a new appreciation of a wide variety of art forms from around the world, enhancing our nation’s understanding of art. It has been wonderful to have worked in collaboration with the gallery to incorporate traditional Indigenous artforms into the architecture of the new building to be enjoyed by global and local citizens for generations to come.”

Skwetsimeltxw Willard (Buddy) Joseph, Elder in Residence and Squamish weaver –

“It is a great joy to have a hand in the creation of this monumental building. My role with the Vancouver Art Gallery as Elder in Residence has always been to provide support and guidance while promoting understanding and respect for Indigenous perspectives and values. I feel confident that the new building will reflect these values and promote Indigenous voices in many ways. I am grateful to be a part of the realization of this exciting new beginning for the Vancouver Art Gallery.” 

Chepximiya Siyam’ Janice George, Indigenous artist/weaver –

“Our work with the Vancouver Art Gallery has created a deep connection to the past and a vision for the future. It is important to understand that this new gallery will be the largest expression of Coast Salish art in the world. It is essential we share and appreciate the history of those who came before us and communicate that history through this collaborative work.” 

Qʷənat Angela George, Indigenous artist/weaver –

“The new Vancouver Art Gallery will continue to emphasize and celebrate Indigenous culture through educational initiatives, exhibition programming and the prioritization of Indigenous voices. The new gallery will be a welcoming space for all individuals who wish to expand their horizons and broaden their senses of self through the experience of rich and diverse art forms. Teaching and sharing allow us to acknowledge where we come from, our stories and where we are today.”

David Calabrigo, chair, Vancouver Art Gallery Association and senior vice-president corporate development and legal affairs, Canfor –

“We’re grateful for the Province’s ongoing support for the gallery’s vision to create North America’s first Passive House art gallery. The new Vancouver Art Gallery will strengthen our understanding and appreciation of the diverse communities in British Columbia, and this significant provincial funding brings us one step closer towards the realization of this monumental project.”

Michael Audain, businessman, philanthropist and donor –

“The long overdue new Vancouver Art Gallery building will establish British Columbia as a premier destination for the visual arts, while providing a space to honour our renowned arts community. The Audain Foundation is proud to join so many of our citizens and levels of government in support of the talented artists who have been creating significant art on this coast for thousands of years.”

Christian Chan, Chan Family Foundation trustee and Vancouver Art Gallery Association board trustee –

“The new Chan Centre for the Visual Arts will be a world-class cultural institution. From every step in its design, we’ve made sure the new gallery will be accessible for all people to broaden their cultural horizons and will serve to educate and enrich the lives of both local and global visitors. Art changes the way we understand the world, and the support from the Province will give British Columbians an inspiring place to reflect.”

Hank Bull, local artist and Vancouver Art Gallery board trustee –

“Over the years, as I have come to know Vancouver as my home, I have found a sense of belonging within the welcoming walls of the Vancouver Art Gallery. To feel the solid support of the Province at this critical moment is a huge affirmation. The new building will function as a gathering place for diverse communities, a laboratory for creative minds, and a place of wonder and learning. It will serve as a beacon for Vancouver, telling the world that this is a city where great art happens.”