Creating Here and Now

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The Beaverbrook Art Gallery Unveils Expansion Plans.

beaverFREDERICTON, NB – The Beaverbrook Art Gallery officially announced a major expansion project; one that not only includes additional state-of-the art exhibition galleries and public engagement spaces, but also increased financial support for programming, and increased endowment funds for operations. This exciting initiative, which represents the culmination of six years of work as part of the ongoing, national $25 million Beaverbrook Campaign, is a major step forward in furthering the Gallery’s mission of “bringing art and community together in a dynamic cultural environment dedicated to the highest standards in exhibitions, programming, education and stewardship.”

Gallery Director/CEO and Chief Curator, Terry Graff, announced today: “Thanks to the valuable support of all levels of government and the amazing generosity of private donors, we are extremely proud to unveil our inspiring expansion plans for transforming the Beaverbrook Art Gallery into a twenty-first century experience. Building on the extraordinary legacy of Lord Beaverbrook and responsive to our audience and to developments in contemporary art and culture, we are fusing social and cultural goals with architectural goals to significantly enhance our public programs and our identity as a world-class art gallery, community meeting place, and landmark destination.”

Allison McCain, C.M., Chair of the Gallery’s Board of Governors, states: “Since the opening of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in 1959, generations of families have enjoyed its many programs and services, and numerous people have contributed to its success by investing their time, their resources, and their talents. Today, community support for the Gallery is stronger than ever as we announce several outstanding private donations and government contributions that will be used to expand and enhance the existing building and programs, propelling the Gallery into a vibrant and prosperous future.”

“Make this gallery your gallery. Let us say, our gallery. Make it our playground, our delight, our source of inspiration.”– Lord Beaverbrook, 1959

Designed by the award-winning firm of MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects Limited of Halifax, the expanded facility will consist of a new pavilion attached to the existing building, and is projected to add 14,000 square feet of space spread over three levels. Included in this capital project are the creation of two voluminous exhibition galleries for rotating exhibitions and for showcasing the Gallery’s permanent collection while offering stunning views of the natural beauty of the St. John River and of one of Fredericton’s primary green spaces; a dedicated space for presenting the Gallery’s prized, monumental Salvador Dalí painting, Santiago el Grande; designated spaces for prints and drawings, art by youth, and Canadian folk art; and a new outdoor sculpture courtyard. In addition, new public engagement spaces will include the Bruno Bobak Artist-in-Residence studio, which will facilitate greater interaction with artists and the art-making process; the RBC Learning Centre, designed for versatile use and configuration to support Gallery and external programming; and a contemporary café that will provide refreshments as well a space for creative work. Further, along with these new additions, dramatic upgrades to existing spaces are also planned.

At a special event, the Beaverbrook Art Gallery gratefully acknowledged and thanked all levels of government for their support of this important project; the lead donors for their leadership and generosity; and many others who have made valued contributions. The Government of Canada, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s Innovative Communities Fund is contributing $1.5M to the project; while the Province of New Brunswick, through the Regional Development Corporation (RDC), has committed $5M in matching funds for the Gallery’s growing endowment; and the City of Fredericton is providing $500,000. Lead gifts from private donors include $3.5M from Jim, Arthur and John Irving and their families for the establishment of the Harriet Irving Gallery; over $2M from Elizabeth A. and Richard J. Currie, O.C., for the Elizabeth A. Currie Gallery on the Green; $2M from an anonymous donor for the River Gallery; and $1.120M from the Harrison McCain Foundation, McCain Foundation and McCain family members for the re-launch and continuation of the Marion McCain Exhibition of Contemporary Atlantic Art.

Construction is scheduled to begin this fall, and will take an estimated two years to complete. Additional information about the expansion plans of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, as well as the continued fundraising activities of the Beaverbrook Campaign, is available here.


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