Skip to main content

Elevating Art, Objects, and People

photo: David Lipnowski

Lift Up Your WAG-Qaumajuq!

The Winnipeg Art Gallery is an iconic modernist building that houses two passenger elevators that have served the community well for over 50 years. These Gallery lifelines are now out-of-service. Will you help by contributing to this special appeal?

The elevators transport thousands of students annually up to the rooftop studios for art classes. One of Canada’s oldest gallery-run art-making programs, WAG Studio offers courses for children, teens, and adults taught by practicing artists in the breathtaking new spaces opened with Qaumajuq, the Inuit art centre.

And that’s not all. Each year, WAG-Qaumajuq welcomes thousands of visitors to its two buildings and four floors. With one in every four Manitobans facing challenges with mobility, visitors with limited mobility and families with small children rely on our passenger elevators to access the upper levels of WAG-Qaumajuq.

photo: David Lipnowski

We need you!

When our original building opened in 1971, it had the largest freight elevator anywhere in Canada. An unsung Gallery hero, the freight is used to move artworks of all sizes, and deliver some of Manitoba’s most inspiring events and programs. Here is just some of what the freight makes possible:

Larger-than-life artworks

In 2010, Columbian figurative artist Fernando Botero’s Smoking Woman, weighing in at over two tons, was installed in the galleries thanks to the freight.

Botero’s Smoking Woman. photo: KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

In 2015, the Gallery installed A Girl (2006) by Australian artist Ron Mueck. This enormous sculpture by Mueck measures just over five metres in length and would not have been viewed by Winnipeggers without the Gallery’s freight.


In 2014, the surreal installation of Salvador Dali’s 10 x 15 foot Santiago El Grande was a colossal undertaking. Watch the installation process here.

Dali’s Santiago El Grande. photo: WAG staff

Beloved community events 

The freight facilitates some of Manitoba’s best events, bringing together thousands of visitors to experience art in new ways. Take for example Art in Bloom, coming up this April, that features floral interpretations of the art throughout the Gallery, or our annual CRAFTED: Show + Sale, which celebrates handmade work by dozens of artists from across the province and the North every November.

CRAFTED: Show + Sale photo: Leif Norman

These Gallery lifelines are officially vintage – with key components of the models no longer in production. This means that regular maintenance is no longer an option, and the elevators have to be fully replaced.

We need your help! Thanks to the generosity of the Province of Manitoba and Bob Williams, every dollar you donate will have triple the impact. Your donation today will ensure WAG-Qaumajuq remains fully accessible for years to come, to visitors of all abilities, while bringing the best in art and experiences to the community.


Our freight elevator. photo: Lisa Stinner-Kun



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Plan Your Visit
WAG-Qaumajuq recognizes that land acknowledgements are part of an ongoing dialogue with Indigenous Nations, and we are grateful to live and work on these lands and waters. Institutionally, WAG-Qaumajuq is committed to acknowledging our colonial history and we are actively working to interrogate the Gallery’s colonial ways of being.

WAG-Qaumajuq is LEED certified.

WAG - Winnipeg Art Gallery Outline
Winnipeg Art Gallery—Qaumajuq
300 Memorial Blvd
Winnipeg, MB
204.786.6641 // Gallery
204.789.1769 // Shop
Email Us
Tue-Thu // 11am–5pm
Fri // 11am–9pm
Sat-Sun // 11am–5pm
Closed Mondays