Fund­ing and Cu­ra­to­rial Fu­ture of the WAG’s Inuit Art Cen­tre

Inuit Art Quarterly - - NEWS -

Af­ter wait­ing more than a year for a fi­nal fund­ing de­ci­sion, Man­i­toba Sport, Cul­ture and Her­itage Min­is­ter Cathy Cox has con­firmed the provin­cial gov­ern­ment will pro­vide $10 mil­lion to the Win­nipeg Art Gallery’s (WAG) Inuit Art Cen­tre over five years. These funds will sup­port con­tri­bu­tions al­ready promised by the fed­eral gov­ern­ment and the City of Win­nipeg

($20 mil­lion and $5 mil­lion, re­spec­tively). A first-of-its-kind cul­tural land­mark, the 40,000-square-foot Inuit Art Cen­tre will house the WAG’s col­lec­tion of over 13,000 pieces of Inuit art as well as the sub­stan­tial Gov­ern­ment of Nu­navut

Fine Art Col­lec­tion, cur­rently on loan to the gallery, and of­fer learn­ing pro­grams de­liv­ered by In­dige­nous in­struc­tors.

In 2015 the province com­mit­ted

$15 mil­lion in fund­ing to the con­struc­tion of the Inuit Art Cen­tre, but a change in gov­ern­ment, in 2016, put that com­mit­ment in jeop­ardy. In Au­gust of last year, Premier Brian Pal­lis­ter’s gov­ern­ment told the WAG it would know by the end of the month whether or not the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment’s pledge would be up­held. That date was then shifted to the end of De­cem­ber.

Al­though the al­lo­cated funds fall $5 mil­lion short of what Man­i­toba’s pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment promised, WAG Di­rec­tor and CEO Stephen Bo­rys is pleased with the out­come.

“The Province of Man­i­toba’s com­mit­ment to the Inuit Art Cen­tre is a ma­jor step for­ward,” Bo­rys said in a state­ment. “We thank the province and look for­ward to work­ing with the gov­ern­ment and the com­mu­nity to en­sure the WAG con­tin­ues to serve all Man­i­to­bans us­ing art to con­nect, in­spire and in­form.”

The con­fir­ma­tion of fund­ing comes on the heels of the an­nounce­ment of the guest cu­ra­to­rial team that will lead the in­au­gu­ral ex­hi­bi­tion cal­en­dar for the cen­tre. Dr. Heather Iglo­liorte, As­sis­tant Pro­fes­sor of Art His­tory and Univer­sity Re­search Chair in In­dige­nous Art His­tory and Com­mu­nity En­gage­ment at Con­cor­dia Univer­sity, made

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