The Winnipeg Art Gallery in the Canadian province of Manitoba is planning to build a new center for Inuit art, which will soon be home to the largest public collection of Inuit art. The municipal government of Manitoba pledged $10 million in support of the project. The news comes on the heels of the National Gallery of Canada’s announcement that the artist collective Isuma will represent the country in the 2019 Venice Biennale.
Manitoba’s Department of Sport, Culture, and Heritage will distribute the $10 million in funding over the course of the next five years. The institution estimates the construction of the 40,000-square-foot center will cost about $65 million. The venue will boast of multiple exhibition spaces, visible art storage, a conservation facility, studios, a multi-level theater, and classrooms for educational programming. With $50 million already raised, the Gallery expects to break ground on the building in 2020.
Stephen Borys, the director and CEO of Winnipeg Art Gallery, said that the center will “be a platform for Inuit who use art as a voice and language to celebrate their stories with the world.” He added, “The WAG is grateful to the government of Manitoba for stepping forward to champion this initiative that will further highlight the province as an international cultural destination.” Established in 1912, the Winnipeg Art Gallery houses 13,000 carvings, drawings, prints, textiles, and new media.