$40 million lead gift from the Chan family for Vancouver Art Gallery

Photos: VAG

THE Vancouver Art Gallery is celebrating a major milestone toward the realization of a transformational new building with the announcement of a $40 million lead gift from the Chan family. This brings the Gallery’s capital campaign to $85 million in private sector funding toward the new purpose-built facility. In recognition of this extraordinary gift, the Vancouver Art Gallery’s new building will be named Chan Centre for the Visual Arts.

“This is a historic time for the Vancouver Art Gallery in its 88th year. We are all inspired by the Chan family’s extraordinary generosity, and their philanthropic passion for enriching our community,” said Kathleen S. Bartels, Director of the Vancouver Art Gallery. “With this unprecedented gift to the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Chans are demonstrating a profound investment in the future of this city and country, and one that will impact many generations to come.“

“We are also extremely grateful for the incredible generosity of the Board of Trustees and the many significant donors from across the community for helping us reach this milestone as we continue to work towards the new Vancouver Art Gallery Building,” added Bartels.

“The Vancouver Art Gallery’s new building project fits perfectly into our family’s philosophy, mandate, and charitable mission, which is to create equal opportunity for everyone to enjoy and nurture a healthy body, mind and soul,” said Christian Chan, Gallery Trustee and speaking on behalf of his family. “We truly believe in the power of art to bring people together and to bridge divides, cultural gaps, to promote social understanding, and to help people better understand themselves and others, and that is what the new Vancouver Art Gallery building will help accomplish.”

Along with the Chan Family’s lead gift to name the new building, the Vancouver Art Gallery is also celebrating $45 million in other private sector support that has been made over the last several years, including significant contributions driven by the Gallery’s Board of Trustees. In particular, the generosity of 14 individuals, families, foundations, and corporate supporters, who have contributed $1 million or more each demonstrating a wide range of support for this important project and a recognition of the incredible benefits it will bring to the entire community including tourism and as a significant economic driver.

The Vancouver Art Gallery unveiled the final designs for its 300,000-square-foot building by world-renowned, Swiss-based architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron.

Designed to serve the Gallery’s expanding collection and to present outstanding art and educational programs for its expanding audiences, the new Vancouver Art Gallery will provide a global platform for Vancouver’s and Canada’s thriving arts scene and play a vital role in establishing this city as one of the world’s foremost cities for arts and culture. Situated at Larwill Park, unifying the crossroads of Downtown, Yaletown, Gastown, east Vancouver and Chinatown, the new Gallery will fuel a hub of creative and cultural activity for local members, the public and international visitors of all ages.

“The project for the new Vancouver Art Gallery has a civic dimension that can contribute to the life and identity of the city, in which many artists of international reputation live and work. The building now combines two materials, wood and glass, both inseparable from the history and making of the city. We developed a façade out of glass logs which is pure, soft, light, establishing a unique relation to covered wooden terraces all around the building,” said Christine Binswanger, Partner in Charge, Herzog & de Meuron.

Herzog & de Meuron have designed the Vancouver Art Gallery’s new museum as a sculptural, symmetrical, upright building combining opaque and transparent surfaces, with larger volumes concentrated at the top and minimal mass at the bottom. By lifting the bulk of the structure high above the street, the design allows light and air to filter down to an active, open-air courtyard below.

“The new Vancouver Art Gallery is a vertical building, distinctly spectacular at first sight, with an arrangement that resonates with the place where it is built. It offers ample outdoor spaces that are sunny in summer and protected from rain in winter, to suit the climate and life in British Columbia. Visitors to the building will be able to perceive Vancouver’s urbanity and its amazing natural setting in many different ways”, described Herzog & de Meuron.