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Government of Canada Supports the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Inuit Art Centre

Funding will help to house, conserve and display Inuit art and culture

Winnipeg, August 2, 2016: Department of Canadian Heritage

The Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament (Winnipeg South Centre), on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, today announced $15 million in funding for the construction of the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Inuit Art Centre, a new 40,000-square foot, four-storey building adjoining the Gallery’s current facility. The funding is being provided through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund.

The project will include the construction of exhibition spaces, a glass-enclosed visible art vault, closed art storage; a conservation facility, art studios, a two-level interactive presentation theatre and classrooms. The glass-walled visible art vault will engage people of all ages by making the gallery’s extensive Inuit carving collection viewable from the streetscape.

The Centre will offer ongoing education in Inuit history, culture and art, in partnership with Inuit. Through its interactive experiences and collaboration with the North, the Centre will be more than a traditional museum. It will build on the timely cultural renaissance that is recognizing Indigenous art and its role in reconciliation.


  • The Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG), established in 1912, is Canada’s oldest civic gallery and holds the largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art in the world.
  • With over 13,000 carvings, drawings, prints, textiles and new media, this collection is supported by exhibitions, publications and research.
  • The WAG is mandated to play a vital role in the community, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds.
  • The Gallery’s collection includes 27,000 works ranging from Canadian and Indigenous art to European art and beyond.

“The Government of Canada is proud to invest in the creation of the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Inuit Art Centre. This unique centre will showcase Inuit art, language and culture, bringing the wonders of the North down south and giving visitors an opportunity to learn more about this majestic part of Canada.”
—The Honourable Melanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

“The Winnipeg Art Gallery is one of Canada’s leading art galleries, and I am extremely pleased that our government is supporting its newest project. Today’s announcement affirms that we are committed to helping our cultural and creative sectors thrive. I look forward to coming back to the WAG and seeing first-hand the amazing collections that will be housed in the Inuit Art Centre.”
—The Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament (Winnipeg South Centre)

“The Winnipeg Art Gallery thanks the Government of Canada for championing Inuit art and culture through their support of the development of Canada’s first Inuit Art Centre. The Centre is a game-changing initiative that will see Inuit art and stories celebrated and shared with Canada and the world. The generous support of the federal government confirms the national importance of the Inuit Art Centre’s mission and the enduring power and beauty of Inuit art and culture in today’s society.”
—Dr. Stephen Borys, Director and CEO, Winnipeg Art Gallery

Associated Links
Winnipeg Art Gallery
Inuit Art Centre
Canada Cultural Spaces Fund

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For more information (media only), please contact:
Pierre-Olivier Herbert
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Roxanne Carrière
Regional Manager, Communications
Canadian Heritage
Prairies and Northern Region

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage


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