Over 85% now raised for the new $400 million Vancouver Art Gallery

Apr 24 2023, 8:37 pm

After earlier fundraising challenges, the Vancouver Art Gallery (VAG) is now making good headway in narrowing the gap of its fundraising target for its new world-class, purpose-built home.

A representative for the VAG told Daily Hive Urbanized they have now raised over $340 million of their total $400 million fundraising target to achieve the new facility at the City-owned Larwill Place city block, located next to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

This represents achieving over 85% of the fundraising target, which includes $50 million for an operating endowment subsidy for the new building.

This is up by $20 million from October 2022’s total of $320 million, when the provincial government announced $50 million in new additional funding for the project.

VAG has raised over $200 million through a mix of government, corporate, and private donations over the past 18 months, including $100 million from local developer and art philanthropist Michael Audain in November 2021, and $30 million for the Passive House green building from the federal government in June 2022.

In contrast, for the entire period between 2015 and 2019, the VAG raised about $135 million, including the initial 2008 commitment of $50 million from the provincial government, and the 2019 private donation of $40 million from the family of Christian Chan of the Burrard Group, which was the largest private donation towards the project at the time.

With such progress made in fundraising over the past 18 months, construction on the project is now expected to begin in Fall 2023.

vancouver art gallery design 2021

2021 design of the new Vancouver Art Gallery. (Herzog & de Meuron/Perkins + Will)

vancouver art gallery design 2021

2021 design of the new Vancouver Art Gallery. (Herzog & de Meuron/Perkins + Will)

larwill place temporary modular housing 610-620 Cambie Street Vancouver

The future site of the Vancouver Art Gallery (foreground) and the existing temporary modular housing (background) at the Larwill Place city block. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

It will be built on the western two-thirds parcel (West Georgia Street side) of the Larwill Place city block, replacing its longtime use as a parking lot.

In preparation for the VAG’s development, earlier this month, BC Housing confirmed to Daily Hive Urbanized residents of the existing temporary modular housing buildings on the north parcel (Dunsmuir Street side) of the city block have been informed of the closure of both supportive housing buildings by the end of July 2023. The supportive housing complex, built in 2019, was always intended to be temporary and time-limited for three to five years.

VAG will release more details on their new building project later this year.

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