Vancouver Art Gallery receives $100 Million Gift from the Audain Foundation

The donation, towards a new planned building, is the largest single cash gift to an art gallery in Canadian history.

The Vancouver Art Gallery has received a CA$100 million gift from the Audain Foundation to support the creation of a new building in downtown Vancouver. The donation has been reported to be the largest single cash gift to an art gallery in Canadian history.

The building is being designed by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron together with Vancouver architects Perkins & Will, in consultation with Coast Salish artists. 

Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada, © Herzog & de Meuron, Herzog & de Meuron, View across Queen Elizabeth Square

“Important art has been created on this coast for thousands of years, while today Vancouver’s visual artists are recognized for their accomplishments around the world. Yoshi and I are happy to help build a new Vancouver Art Gallery because we love British Columbia and our artists,” says Michael Audain, Chairman of the Audain Foundation. “We hope the splendid new building will work well to exhibit the work of our leading artists as well as introduce youngsters to the wonders of art. Vancouver has been good to our family, so we are thrilled to have this opportunity to join the City of Vancouver, the BC Government, the Chan family, and many other generous donors in making this important project a reality.”

The Audain Foundation gift follows a gift of CA$40 million by the Chan Family Foundation to establish the Chan Centre for the Visual Arts, and an initial investment of CA$50 million by the Province of British Columbia. In addition, CA$50 million has been pledged to date by individual donors and foundations.

The new Vancouver Art Gallery at the Chan Centre for the Visual Arts will provide increased space that will support artists and the region’s cultural sector in British Columbia, and will be the first Passive House art gallery in North America.The new facility also acknowledges its location on the ancestral and unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

The Vancouver Art Gallery at the Chan Centre for the Visual Arts will be located between Cambie and Beatty streets, with a front entrance on Georgia Street, in downtown Vancouver. It will include over 80,000 square feet of exhibition space, more than double the existing space.

In addition, there will be visible art storage, a theatre, library and research centre, artist studios, accommodation for visiting artists, and a visual arts preschool and daycare, situated around a 40,000 square foot courtyard. The building will also house the Institute of Asian Art, a new Centre for Art and Communication, and a multi-purpose Indigenous Community House.