The landscape of museum buildings across Canada is about to be given new life, as more institutions secure government and private funding to allow them to expand with sexy architecturally designed spaces.
The Art Gallery of Alberta, in Edmonton. Image: arnewde.com
Last year, the Art Gallery of Alberta in Edmonton unveiled a fractured new building by Gehry alumnus Randall Stout. Of course, there’s also the ongoing hullabaloo about the relocation of the Vancouver Art Gallery. (A report going before city council today suggests that the future VAG location at 688 Cambie Street be shared with office towers that would help pay for the site – more on that HERE.
Also, it seems that the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia may soon have a brand new building, as will the Art Gallery of Saskatchewan. In Nova Scotia, governments are investing in a feasibility study that the federal government has agreed to invest $60,000 towards. This is great news for the largest gallery in Atlantic Canada, which apparently holds some wonderful Nova Scotia folk art, as well as being home to the $50,000 Sobey Art Award.
Meanwhile, across the prairies, the Art Gallery of Saskatchewan (formerly the Mendel Art Gallery) is going ahead with its $66 million new gallery. $13 million will come from the federal government for that. The 85,000-square-foot gallery is scheduled for completion by 2015 with construction beginning in 2012. KPMB will design the building, with Winnipeg architects Carter Smith.
With Montreal’s Musee des beaux arts by Moshe Safdie and the CCA by Peter Rose, Ottawa’s National Gallery by Safdie, Toronto’s AGO and ROM by Gehry and Libeskind respectively, (not to mention KPMB’s Gardiner Museum) Edmonton’s new gallery by Randall Stout and the upcoming buildings mentioned above, Canada’s contemporary art scene will have a lot to live up to. And I’m sure it will, very well.