Council to Vote on New Home for Vancouver Art Gallery

A recent recommendation suggests that The Vancouver Art Gallery might be getting a new home at Cambie and West Georgia streets in case the city council approves the move proposed by staff report and the gallery comes up with $150 million. The council will be reviewing a report submitted on April 15, in which the city staff has recommended a new home for the gallery’s larger, future space at the current site of a parking lot at 688 Cambie.

The director of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Kathleen Bartels, asserted that this recommendation is just what the organization has been seeking for years. She alleged that “well, we’re absolutley thrilled,” because “we’ve just outgrown this facility in every possible way.” The gallery currently resides in a smaller place in a former provincial courthouse on Hornby Street, which is now overgrown and only able to exhibit about three per cent of its permanent collection at any given time.

This much awaited proposal in the city staff report recommends granting an overwhelming 1.8 acres of prime real estate to the gallery for 99 years. The council is anticipated to vote on the issue next week, when the real dealbreaker could be the project’s financial costs. However, Bartels asserts that acquiring a lease is a fundamental part of the step to move ahead. She pointed out that “we couldn’t do any fundraising until we had a site, and now the next phase is to secure our architect and start our fundraising plan.”

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