Vancouver Art Gallery makes major announcements

This week, the Vancouver Art Gallery celebrated a major step forward to the development of a new home for the Gallery.  The announcement of a $40 million lead gift from the Chan Family, 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.

Vancouver Art Gallery – New Building 01 © Herzog & de Meuron Herzog & de Meuron View across Queen Elizabeth Square

“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 gift from the Chan Family —the largest-ever single private donation to an arts and culture organization in British Columbia—builds on the Family’s long-standing history of supporting education as well as arts and culture institutions and programs with the aim of enriching communities in Canada and beyond.

Vancouver Art Gallery- New Building 03 © Herzog & de Meuron Herzog & de Meuron West Georgia Street entrance

“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.”

Coinciding with the announcement of its fundraising progress, the Vancouver Art Gallery also unveiled the final designs, by world-renowned, Swiss-based architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron, for its new 300,000-square-foot building to be located at Larwill Park.

“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.

“Together with our team of BC experts and our client, we defined the building to a much higher degree: galleries, classrooms and reading rooms, the theatre, restaurants and shops, and all the public outdoor spaces are well enhanced. The new Vancouver Art Gallery is close to reality.”

With a generous designation of the land at Larwill Park from the City of Vancouver in place and $135 million in total private and public sector funding secured, the Vancouver Art Gallery Capital Campaign will continue its work with senior levels of government and the private sector to secure the additional final funds needed to begin construction.

“We are thankful to be the beneficiaries of strong support from our partners at the City of Vancouver with all aspects of the project including the generous contribution of two thirds of the land at Larwill Park,” added Bartels. “We are pleased that the Provincial and the Federal governments remain keenly interested in this project and have been steadfast in their encouragement as we continue our private sector fundraising efforts”

Look for more on the Vancouver Art Gallery’s current exhibitions and what’s coming for the future at

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