Federal government provides over $29 million for new Vancouver art gallery

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The building will be the first art gallery built to Passive House standards in North America.

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The Vancouver Art Gallery will receive more than $29 million in federal funding, bringing it even closer to a new downtown location slated to open in 2027.

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The money will be used to build a new gallery – the first built to Passive House standards in North America – on city-owned property between Cambie and Beatty streets near the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

“This is truly a great moment for the project,” said Vancouver Art Gallery CEO Anthony Kiendl. “This is the first time the federal government has supported this project — a project that has been in the works for more than 15 years. It’s important to us.

A large portion of the funds, $25 million, comes from Infrastructure Canada through its Green and Inclusive Community Buildings program, while the remaining $4.3 million is funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage.

At approximately 300,000 square feet, the new building will be the largest Passive House art gallery in the world, Kiendl said: “It will truly set a precedent and provide a great learning opportunity for the industry. and designers.”

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Passive House is an internationally recognized performance building standard.

Indigenous artist Deborah Sparrow delivers remarks after the federal government announced an investment of over $29.3 million in funding for the new Chan Center for Visual Arts Vancouver, June 27, 2022.
Indigenous artist Deborah Sparrow delivers remarks after the federal government announced an investment of over $29.3 million in funding for the new Chan Center for Visual Arts Vancouver, June 27, 2022. Photo by RICHARD LAM /PNG

The building will be equipped with solar heating, triple-glazed windows and heat pumps. It will exceed zero carbon standards for energy and reduce energy consumption by at least 75% compared to a non-passive building.

The art gallery outgrew its space in the old courthouse at 750 Hornby St. and went on a long campaign to raise money for a new facility.

The new building, to be called the Vancouver Art Gallery at the Chan Center for the Visual Arts, will include a multi-use Indigenous community house, theater, public art spaces and programs for marginalized and underserved groups.

Artist's rendering of the redesigned facade of the new Vancouver Art Gallery showing the building wrapped in copper-colored metallic weave.
Artist’s rendering of the redesigned facade of the new Vancouver Art Gallery showing the building wrapped in copper-colored metallic weave. .jpg

Thanks to federal contributions, the art gallery has raised nearly $270 million for the $400 million project.

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The project has also received a significant boost from private donors, including a $100 million donation from the Audain Foundation and $40 million from the Chan Family Foundation. The BC government contributed $50 million, while the city donated the land under a 99-year lease.

Construction is expected to start in early 2023.

chchan@postmedia.com

twitter.com/cherylchan

  1. Artist's rendering of the redesigned facade of the new Vancouver Art Gallery showing the building wrapped in copper-colored metallic weave.

    The Vancouver Art Gallery hopes to start building a new downtown home next year

  2. Family Day at the Vancouver Art Gallery in February 2022.

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  3. Christian Chan and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart at Wednesday's announcement of the Chan family's $40 million donation to the Vancouver Art Gallery's new project.

    Vancouver Art Gallery welcomes $40 million gift from Chan family


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