WAG donor’s Inuit Art Centre tour inspires second gift
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 04/09/2020 (1006 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A recent tour of the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s soon-to-open Inuit Art Centre has prompted an awestruck city philanthropist to add to his existing contribution to the project.
Until the end of November, Bob Williams will match donations up to a total of $500,000, the WAG announced this week.
“Once you have a tour of the building, you see what this vision is,” said Williams, who invested in Apple stock 15 years ago and is passionate about giving back to the community.
“With this building there will be nobody in the world that will be able to match Winnipeg, Manitoba, for the display of Inuit art.
“We have people coming for the polar bears, we have people coming for Assiniboine Park, we have people coming for The Forks, for the Museum for Human Rights, and now this will be one more reason to spend an extra night in Winnipeg.”
The 40,000-square-foot building is scheduled to open in a few months. It will connect to the current WAG building on all four levels and feature new exhibition and event spaces, a revamped gift shop and a new café on the main level.
“All of us at the WAG are thrilled and incredibly grateful for Bob Williams’ investment in the Inuit Art Centre,” said Stephen Borys, director and CEO of the Winnipeg Art Gallery, in a release.
“This is the second of two major gifts that he has made to the project. Bob’s genuine desire to help bring the Inuit art collection to light, combined with his passion for Winnipeg and Manitoba, make this gift especially meaningful.”
Following Williams’ initial contribution, (the amount of which was undisclosed) he toured the building and was struck by its scope and beauty and was inspired to contribute even more to the $65-million capital project that he calls “a spectacular display of Inuit art that can be seen nowhere else in the world.”
He said he’s thrilled to be able to both make a more substantial donation and also encourage others to support the project.
“Now they can take their $100 and it instantly becomes $200,” he said. “They can take their $1,500 and it instantly becomes $3000. “They can drive past the building and know they helped create it.”
Donations can be made at wag.ca.
Frances Koncan (she/her) is a writer, theatre director, and failed musician of mixed Anishinaabe and Slovene descent. Originally from Couchiching First Nation, she is now based in Treaty 1 Territory right here in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Updated on Friday, September 4, 2020 6:39 PM CDT: Adds photo