A “significant” donation by the Marianne and Edward Gibson Trust will make a new art museum within Simon Fraser University’s Burnaby Mountain campus possible.
The 12,000-sq-ft arts and cultural facility will be built within the base of a mixed-use building of UniverCity’s new East Gateway precinct, which includes new retail, residential, open public spaces creating a ‘Town Square’, a bus loop, and the future upper terminus of the SFU Gondola.
It will be a teaching museum, providing interdisciplinary learning and research opportunities for students, as well as featuring exhibitions, community outreach, and partnerships with other institutions and organizations.
SFU’s art collection already boasts 5,500 works of art, but less than one-fifth are displayed year-round across the campus.
“This new facility will be an exciting addition to the Burnaby campus and will enrich the cultural landscape of Metro Vancouver,” said SFU president Andrew Petter in a statement.
“This visionary gift from the Marianne and Edward Gibson Trust and family will enable students, scholars and the public to gain an appreciation and understanding of modern and contemporary art, while enabling SFU to extend its commitment to be Canada’s engaged university.”
The value of the donation by the Gibson Trust was not disclosed. Edward Gibson became a charter faculty member in 1965 before becoming the director of the SFU Gallery in 1986, until his retirement in 1997.
Much of SFU’s art collection was acquired under Gibson’s direction — collectors across Canada donated large canvases that were installed throughout the university.
However, the planned museum is roughly half the size of the 25,000-sq-ft museum that was originally envisioned during the high-level conceptual planning process for the East Gateway precinct.
Construction on the new museum is slated for a 2022 completion.