Welcome to the new Vancouver Art Gallery Watch Video
Dana Claxton, Headdress, 2015, LED Firebox with transmounted chromogenic transparency, Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Purchased with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts Acquisition Grants program and the Vancouver Art Gallery Acquisition Fund
Robert Davidson, Killer Whale Transforming into a Thunderbird, 2009, wood, paint, electric motor and remote control, Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Commissioned with Funds from Arts Partners in Creative Development, the Jean MacMillan Southam Major Art Purchase Fund and Gary Bell
Jeff Wall, The Pine on the Corner, 1990, transparency in light box, Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Acquisition Fund
Jin-me Yoon, Long View, 2017, chromogenic print, Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Acquisition Fund

Hearts

A transformational gift will help create a new home for the Vancouver Art Gallery at the Chan Centre for the Visual Arts.
The Vancouver Art Gallery is pleased to announce it will be the recipient of a $100 million transformational gift from the Audain Foundation, to support the creation of a new building in downtown Vancouver. The gift comes at a time when the Vancouver Art Gallery celebrates its 90th anniversary and it is the largest single cash gift to an art gallery in Canadian history. The new Vancouver Art Gallery will be a multi-functional art centre and community space. It will provide increased capacity to support artists, the cultural sector and strengthen diverse communities in British Columbia and beyond. The project is expected to create an estimated 3,000 jobs in construction and 1,000 permanent jobs in the tourism sector. In 2018, The Vancouver Art Gallery celebrated a major milestone with a visionary $40 million gift from the Chan Family Foundation. This inspirational act of generosity by the Chan Family provides funding toward the new purpose-built facility. In recognition of this extraordinary gift, the Vancouver Art Gallery’s new location will be named the Chan Centre for the Visual Arts.
Brian Jungen, Cetology, 2002, plastic chairs, Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Purchased with the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts Acquisition Assistance Program and the Vancouver Art Gallery Acquisition Fund
Paul Wong, In ten sity, 1978 (detail), text panels, photo panels and single-channel video and 5-channel black and white video installation, Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Acquisition Fund

Minds

Can an artwork change the way you understand the world?
Art, artists and creativity are at the centre of everything we do.
  • Commissioning artists to create major new works.
  • Artist studios and accommodation to host visiting artists.
  • Doubling our exhibition space.
  • Innovative visible storage enabling growth of the permanent collection.
A Letter From the CEO & Director
Family FUSE Weekend, March 2017, with Charlene Vickers’ work, Accumulations of Moments Spent Underwater with the Sun and Moon series, 2015–16 in the background, Photo: Anita Bonnarens
Jan Wade: Soul Power Members Morning, July 2021, Photo: Scott Little

Possibilities

Could we come together in ways we've never tried before?
We will reflect our communities and be an active participant in them.
  • Connecting with local and global audiences through the Centre for Art and Communication telepresence studio.
  • A visual arts curriculum in the new Centre for Early Childhood Education.
  • A home for the Institute of Asian Art.
  • Programs to foster creative thinking and problem solving for all ages and demographics.
  • Improving accessibility and supporting education through partnerships.
SPOTLIGHT: Sandeep Johal, artist working on mural commission for Vancouver Art Gallery lobby, October 2021
Rendering of the exterior of the new Vancouver Art Gallery building © Herzog & de Meuron

Understanding

How do we understand this place - its history, its future?
We will celebrate Indigenous culture through respectful and collaborative relationships and programs.
  • Creating a community house for Indigenous programs and celebrations.
  • Commissioning a collective of Host Nations artists to contribute to building design.
  • Establishing year-round exhibitions of Indigenous art.
  • Engaging as a member of our leadership team an Indigenous art historian and curator as the first Smith Jarislowsky Curator of Canadian Art.
Ian Wallace, Clayoquot Protest (August 9, 1993) I, 1993–95, chromogenic print, acrylic on canvas, Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Gift of the Artist
Howie Tsui, Retainers of Anarchy, 2016 (detail), algorithmic animation sequence, 5-channel video projection, 6-channel audio, Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Purchased with proceeds from the Audain Emerging Artists Acquisition Fund

Opportunities

Can we create a healthier planet through creative acts?
We will be leaders in environmental sustainability.
  • Building the first Passive House art gallery in North America.
  • Reducing energy consumption and our carbon footprint.
  • Providing easy access to mass and active transportation networks.
  • Using mass timber construction.
Rendering of the exterior of the new Vancouver Art Gallery building © Herzog & de Meuron

Doors

What if an art centre could transform the world?
The Vancouver Art Gallery at Chan Centre for the Visual Arts will be made accessible to British Columbians and the world. “The project for the new Vancouver Art Gallery has a civic dimension which can contribute to the life and identity of the city, in which many artists from various cultural backgrounds live and work. The symmetrically stacked building therefore calls for a textured human scaled facade which makes the tall upright structure approachable. A copper-coloured woven metal facade protects the wooden soffits and structural elements below; both wood and copper are equally present and visible. The copper skin has a veil-like quality; a texture and lightness which, like traditionally woven textiles, changes its appearance depending on the vantage point of the observer and the time of the day, creating a dynamic visual experience.” states Simon Demeuse, partner in charge of the project for Herzog and de Meuron. “The design reveals the complex intelligence of the Coast Salish people, their skill in mathematics and historical knowledge.” notes artist and art design consultant Debra Sparrow, “The numerous transformations that the weave will undergo as sunlight strikes it at different angles and times of the day are comparable to the transformative abilities of the Coast Salish people.”

Q & Art

Why is the Vancouver Art Gallery moving?
Building a new gallery will create an optimal platform to deliver arts and culture to millions of visitors from BC and around the world.
When will we break ground and when will the new building be completed?
We are planning to break ground in 2022 and the building will take four years to complete.
Where will the new Vancouver Art Gallery be located?
The new Vancouver Art Gallery will be located at the Chan Centre for the Visual Arts at Larwill Park at the intersections of West Georgia, Cambie, Dunsmuir and Beatty streets—just a few blocks east of the Gallery’s current home.
What will happen to the current Vancouver Art Gallery?
Vancouver Art Gallery does not own the current facility, which is the responsibility of the province of British Columbia.
How much will it cost and how much is left to raise?
The total cost is $400M which includes building costs, purpose built community partner spaces and art commission. To date the Vancouver Art Gallery has raised $240M and through the ART Opens Campaign, we are looking to raise an additional $80M through philanthropy and a further $80M from Government and Community Partners.
How big will the new building be and why is the Vancouver Art Gallery bigger?
The new Vancouver Art Gallery will encompass 330K square feet. We will double our exhibition space and increase educational and learning opportunities through purpose-built facilities that will serve over 100K children and youth and over one million visitors each year.
How do I get involved?
Please contact the Development Office at development@vanartgallery.bc.ca or 604.662.4700 x2406.

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A Letter from Anthony
Kiendl, CEO & Director

Dear friends,

Today, the Vancouver Art Gallery is embarking on a new path.

An art gallery is much more than a physical space. It is the heart of our community. It offers dynamic experiences rooted in place, yet networked through our community’s social fabric, connecting our past, present and future, our cultures and languages, our hopes and fears.

An art gallery is also a think tank. It creates pathways to understanding. It encourages creative thinking and offers new perspectives that allow us to see our world differently, to challenge the status quo and to discover innovative solutions to problems.

The new Vancouver Art Gallery at the Chan Centre for the Visual Arts will provide a compelling platform from which the gallery experience evolves, offering a new cultural space for the 21st century. It will have the capacity to share our growing collection and temporary exhibitions, and act as a creative hub enabling artists across all media and cultural perspectives. We affirm art as the centre of everything we do, for its power to transform lives and worlds. In the words of artist Robert Filliou, “art is what makes life more interesting than art.”

The Gallery will bring together artists and our communities, through exhibitions, and by offering residencies for artists, with purpose-built studios and temporary accommodation for visiting artists. It will honour the First Peoples of this land and include a community house from which Indigenous programs will be offered to the public. It will maintain ongoing conversations with broad and diverse communities – giving, learning, inspiring and nurturing – and feature space dedicated to collaborations with community partners. It will embody environmental sustainability as the first Passive House public art gallery in North America. The gallery will also offer an on-site, art-based centre for early childhood education for children aged 18 months to five years. In these many ways, the gallery will become enmeshed in our everyday lives.

Today, the Vancouver Art Gallery is poised to strengthen and enhance our communities. With new leaders about to join our outstanding team, and with a renewed purpose, we will build on these and other partnerships, and establish new ones to celebrate our cultures. These leaders and partners will help our creative communities thrive, and reach out to every corner of the province and country to attract new local, national and international audiences.

I am confident in the future of the Gallery. I invite you to join me on this path to embrace our creativity and witness the power and potential of art in our lives. I hope you will join us!

CEO and Director
Vancouver Art Gallery