City of Winnipeg Commits $5 Million to WAG’s Inuit Art Centre
Winnipeg, Manitoba, March 23, 2016: The Winnipeg Art Gallery is overjoyed by the City of Winnipeg’s commitment of $5 million over five years to the WAG’s new Inuit Art Centre. Passed Tuesday, the City’s 2016/17 operating budget includes the first $1 million. This support is a crucial step forward for this bold and exciting initiative that will impact all Winnipeg residents.
“Thank you to the entire city council for their careful consideration of the budget,” states Dr. Stephen Borys, WAG Director & CEO. “The WAG holds in trust the world’s largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art. The Inuit Art Centre will allow this extensive cultural resource to engage audiences of all ages and backgrounds with Inuit art, culture, and history.”
“The WAG is Winnipeg’s art gallery and we could not be happier that city council understands the importance of this commitment to every Winnipegger,” add Borys.
The Centre will bring the North to Winnipeg, inviting visitors to experience Inuit stories through carvings, drawings, prints, textiles, video, and new media. The facility will also house the WAG’s nationally-recognized Studio art and learning program. More than just a building, the Inuit Art Centre will be an education and programming hub.
A unique international destination, the Centre will attract tourists from around the globe to Winnipeg and Manitoba as the Gateway to North. Changing the face of downtown Winnipeg, the initiative complements other Northern-focused attractions in the city, such as the Assiniboine Park Conservancy’s Journey to Churchill exhibit. The Inuit Art Centre will be a bridge to the northern economy for Manitoba businesses.
Providing another pathway toward reconciliation, the Centre will be a forum for Indigenous inclusion, research, and innovative ideas by global scholars. Programming opportunities will change the way children learn about the North and Canadian history. The new Studio will provide creative learning for kids across the city and beyond. The City has earmarked $1 million per year until 2020 for the Inuit Art Centre initiative, pending an annual vote. The facility will be located adjacent to the current WAG building at Memorial Boulevard and St. Mary Avenue.
“The WAG is grateful to the City of Winnipeg for its commitment to the Inuit Art Centre,” states Barry Rempel, Inuit Art Centre Campaign chair. “The budget was full of difficult decisions and we appreciate the City’s commitment to art and culture, education, downtown revitalization and reconciliation in our community.”
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Winnipeg Art Gallery
The Winnipeg Art Gallery is a cultural advocate – a lens and forum – helping people see and experience more through art. Playing a vital role in the community, engaging and enriching people of all ages and backgrounds through art and culture, the Winnipeg Art Gallery thrives as a creative, innovative, and accessible place for learning, discovery, and inspiration.