Liq­uid­ity Wines president Ian Mac­don­ald learned about art on the job

BC Business Magazine - - Contents - This in­ter­view has been edited and con­densed

Liq­uid­ity Wines president Ian Mac­don­ald has col­lect­ing art down to a sci­ence

About 35 years ago, I had been the mar­ket­ing man­ager for Salomon, the ski bind­ing and ski boots com­pany. I went to an or­ga­ni­za­tion known as Mon­treal Cre­ative Cen­tre, in its day the cut­ting edge for cre­ative and de­sign work for ad­ver­tis­ing in Canada, and said, “I’d like to work for you guys and learn about cre­ative con­cep­tual work and ad­ver­tis­ing de­sign.” A team of over 125 very gifted artists did ad­ver­tis­ing cre­ative work dur­ing the day but would do fine art at home at night. I wasn’t re­ally buy­ing art in those days, but I was get­ting to un­der­stand and ap­pre­ci­ate it.

In 1983, I ended up in Cal­gary at a com­pany called Su­nice, one of the big­gest ap­parel brands in the coun­try. At that same time I bought a very old ware­house com­plex in Cal­gary and turned it into a busi­ness arts and cre­ative cen­tre, in­cu­bat­ing a lot of small cre­ative busi­nesses.

One of them was is­tock­photo—i was the an­gel in­vestor for that com­pany. There were also a lot of artists that used the build­ing. When I got to know an artist, I wanted to have some­thing of their work, and so I started to col­lect.

I used to go to grad­u­at­ing classes for the Al­berta Col­lege of Art and De­sign, the Emily Carr In­sti­tute, other places like that. If I saw a young artist that had some real po­ten­tial, I would say, “If you’re hav­ing a show or do­ing some­thing, let me know. I’d love to see what you’re work­ing on.” I made a con­scious ef­fort to try and pick up at least a cou­ple of new pieces of art ev­ery year. Even if I wasn’t mak­ing much money, I would put a lit­tle bit aside.

My bud­gets have grown over the years, and I con­tinue to ac­quire more pieces. I did pretty much all the de­sign work for the gallery at Liq­uid­ity with the in­ten­tion that it would be a place where I could show some of my art to the pub­lic. —as told to Fe­lic­ity Stone

THE FINER THINGS Some of Mac­don­ald's more than 80 art pieces are dis­played at his win­ery

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