British Columbia philanthropist Michael Audain, through the Audain Foundation, has pledged $2 million to support the expansion plans of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.
The donation was announced November 23 by AGGV board chair Ruth Wittenberg. “We are extremely grateful to the Foundation and Mr. Audain for their support. This inspiring gift will help ensure that British Columbia’s capital city will have the astonishing new home for art that it deserves.”
The gift is contingent upon the AGGV's new Next Gallery receiving the necessary funding from the Province of British Columbia during the 2017 calendar year. The AGGV is currently in talks with both the federal and provincial governments.
Commenting on the donation, Audain noted that “For many years, I considered Victoria my home town as it is where my family has deep roots. While it was an idyllic place growing up, it sadly lacked a public art gallery. I believe it is essential that the capital of our great province, which has so many distinguished artists, should have a significant public art gallery.”
Appointed to the Order of Canada and the Order of British Columbia and the recipient of four honorary degrees, Audain has been a consistent supporter of the arts community, notably serving as chair of the Vancouver Art Gallery and the National Gallery of Canada. He presently serves as chair of the Audain Art Museum, the Grizzly Bear Foundation, and the Audain Foundation, which has donated in excess of $100 million to support the visual arts.