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News / February 27, 2020

News Roundup: Vancouver Art Gallery Receives $1.5 Million Gift for New Building

Plus: Canadians sign on to Artists4Bernie, there’s conflict over public art in Calgary, a new Inuit art resource launches, and more
Rendering for the new Vancouver Art Gallery. © Herzog & de Meuron. Rendering for the new Vancouver Art Gallery. © Herzog & de Meuron.

The Vancouver Art Gallery has received a $1.5 million capital campaign gift from Donald Ellis. Ellis, a Canadian art dealer, founded the Donald Ellis Gallery, which has an international presence and specializes in historical Indigenous art. The donation will go toward a new 300,000-square-foot gallery designed by Herzog & De Meuron. (Vancouver Art Gallery)

Notable Canadian artists, curators and critics have signed on to the international “Artists4Bernie” campaign. In an open letter, signatories of this “artist-led campaign” declared, “We represent a diverse coalition of people that work within art and culture from around the world, and with this letter, we would like to declare our support for Senator Bernie Sanders and endorse his candidacy for President of the United States.” (Artists4Bernie)

The Calgary Public Art Alliance sent an open letter to Calgary city council about changes to its public art program. Dated February 10, the letter states, “This administration has been quick to arrive at the decision to move the Public Art Program to an arm’s length third party without consultation or engagement with Calgarians or the city’s art community about this specific direction. This move would, in fact, counter everything we have heard from the arts community.” (Calgary Public Art Alliance)

The McMichael Canadian Art Collection launched a new website featuring Inuit art from Kinngait. Created by the McMichael, the West Baffin Eskimo Co-op and the Virtual Museum of Canada, features some 4,000 drawings, as well as 250 photographs. The name of the website means “a place for family” and is meant as “a space for Inuit and Northern communities to connect with their own art and contribute to the important work of sharing Kinngait history and culture.” (

Heng Wu is the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria’s new curator of Asian art. Wu previously worked at Nanjing Museum, China, as associate curator and chief international officer, developing and overseeing international exhibitions and programs. Wu’s appointment follows the retirement of Barry Till, who held the position of curator of Asian art for 36 years. (AGGV)