Winnipeg Art Gallery celebrates groundbreaking for Inuit Art Centre

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Winnipeg Art Gallery celebrates groundbreaking for Inuit Art Centre
The Centre will be a new forum for international cultural dialogue, bringing Indigenous voices to the community, nation, and around the globe.

WINNIPEG.- After years of planning, the Winnipeg Art Gallery broke ground yesterday for the Inuit Art Centre, a new home for the largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art in the world. Set to open in 2020, Manitoba’s 150th birthday, the Centre will connect Canada’s North and South by sharing art and stories, and quadruple hands-on programing for students.

The WAG Inuit Art Centre will be a full sensory experience that brings people together through art in new and unexpected ways. By elevating art from object to experience, it will complement and augment what the 106-year Gallery delivers today. The Centre will inspire visitors with a stunning glass vault, state-of-the-art studios, virtual reality, and more.

As Canada builds roads to reconciliation, the WAG Inuit Art Centre is a path to mutual understanding and respect. The Centre will be a new forum for international cultural dialogue, bringing Indigenous voices to the community, nation, and around the globe.

A new exhibition marking this historic groundbreaking opened last night at the WAG. SakKijâjuk: Art and Craft from Nunatsiavut features the breathtaking and long-hidden work of the contemporary Inuit artists and craftspeople of the Labrador Inuit.


• Designed by Michael Maltzan Architecture with Manitoba’s Cibinel Architecture Ltd, the new 40,000-square-foot, four-storey Inuit Art Centre will be connected to the main building by bridges on all levels.

• The $65 million ($50 million committed) initiative will include the creation of exhibition spaces; a glass enclosed visible art vault; a conservation facility; art studios; a two-level interactive theatre; classrooms; a new café, and more.

• In partnership with Inuit, the Centre will be the largest single gallery space in the world devoted to Inuit art, culture, and history.

• The new cultural landmark will contribute to downtown renewal and Manitoba’s unique tourism package.

• The Centre has support from all three levels of government as well as private sector funding.

• With over 13,000 carvings, drawings, prints, textiles, and new media, the WAG holds in trust the world’s largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art. The collection is supported by an unparalleled record of Inuit art exhibitions, publications, and research.

• Established in 1912, the WAG is Canada’s oldest civic art gallery.

The Winnipeg Art Gallery is an iconic cultural institution in Manitoba. Through exhibits, educational programs and special events it enlightens tens of thousands of visitors each year. The new Inuit Art Centre will inspire greater understanding of Northern art and culture while serving as an important resource to our community. –The Honourable Brian Pallister, Premier of Manitoba

Investing in cultural infrastructure enriches our communities, making them even more vibrant and inclusive places. These spaces, like the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Inuit Art Centre, are essential to showcasing Canadian creativity to ourselves and to the world. The Government of Canada is proud to be part of WAG’s ongoing commitment to preserving and celebrating Inuit art. This investment—the most federal support ever provided through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund—will help create a world-leading Inuit Art Centre to be enjoyed for generations to come. —The Honourable Melanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

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