The Vancouver Art Gallery announced Monday that it has received nearly $30 million in federal funding, enough for its long-planned new building to proceed.
The new Passive House green building art gallery, the first of its kind in North America, will open in 2027 at West Georgia and Cambie streets, officials announced Monday morning.
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The ultra-low energy landmark building will become the new home for the VAG’s collections, and the total cost of the project is pegged at $400 million. The federal funding means the art gallery has now raised $270 towards it.
The federal money comprises $25 million from the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings (GICB) program and $4.3 million from the Department of Canadian Heritage.
The art gallery has envisioned the new building for more than a decade, and the latest announcement comes on the heels of a historic $100 million donation from Michael Audain, $40 million from the Burrard Group’s Chan family, and $50 million from individual donors.
Former premier Gordon Campbell of the BC Liberals pledged $50 million back in 2008, and the City of Vancouver is providing the land required for the new building — located across from the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.
“The new Chan Centre for Visual Arts will be a state-of-the-art cultural facility that will exemplify the best of socially inclusive and eco-friendly projects, encouraging community connections in a sustainable environment,” Dr. Hedy Fry, MP for Vancouver Centre, said in a news release.
She was present at an announcement downtown Monday morning, where she was joined by VAG CEO and director Anthony Kiendl.
“The new Gallery is poised to be a reflection of the voices of local and international Indigenous communities, and will be a place for people of all ages, cultures and backgrounds to meet and share ideas,” Kiendl said in a release.
The art gallery submitted a development permit application to the City of Vancouver in February, in a show of confidence that it’s ready to proceed with construction soon. The application was reviewed in May.
The design, by the world-renowned architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron, with contributions by local firm Perkins & Will, creates a 228 ft, 10-storey structure with the irregular appearance of differently sized stacked boxes.
It will have a total floor area of 300,000 sq ft, including 82,000 sq ft of dedicated gallery space — more than twice the space of the VAG’s existing home in the former courthouse building at Robson Square.
Other uses entail a theatre, library, artist studio, retail, restaurant, cafe, and childcare facility.
The new building is surrounded by a lower public courtyard below the structure.
With files from Kenneth Chan