Mayor Bowman Announces Funding to Support Inuit Art Centre
Winnipeg is one step closer to becoming an international leader in Indigenous arts and culture with a City of Winnipeg investment into the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s (WAG) Inuit Art Centre, Mayor Brian Bowman announced today.
Beginning this year, the City of Winnipeg is investing $1 million a year over the next five years totaling $5 million in support.
“I’m committed to helping make Winnipeg an internationally recognized leader in Indigenous arts and culture,” said Mayor Bowman. “Indigenous arts and culture constitute a large part of our collective heritage as Winnipeggers and that makes Winnipeg the logical place to celebrate it. The Inuit Art Centre will play an integral role in promoting Indigenous Arts and Culture and I’m proud to be a part of that.”
The Winnipeg Art Gallery holds in trust the world’s largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art. It encompasses more than 13,000 pieces, including more than 7,400 Inuit sculptures, 4,000 prints, and 1,800 drawings, as well as hundreds of artifacts, ceramics, and textiles.
“Art is a dynamic force that can be used to build understanding and further reconciliation,” said Dr. Stephen Borys, WAG Director and Chief Executive Officer. “The City’s generous commitment comes at a pivotal time for the WAG and will ensure the Inuit Art Centre will be built. It bolsters the WAG’s commitment to showcase Indigenous art and curatorial practices, bringing you a new museum that truly reflects our community.”
The new facility will be a cultural landmark adjacent to the existing Winnipeg Art Gallery building. The four-level, 40,000-square-foot facility will include Inuit and Indigenous art galleries, studio and learning spaces, and artist-in-residence and curator-in-residence spaces.
Investing in the Inuit Art Centre builds on other efforts to support the arts, culture, and heritage sectors in Winnipeg. As part of the 2016 City of Winnipeg budget, funding to the Winnipeg Arts Council increased to $7 per capita this year. Funding support to civic museums was restored in 2014, and the Mayor’s Luncheon for the Arts is continuing this year.
“Winnipeg has a thriving arts and cultural community, and I have seen the tremendous impact it can have on our city both economically and in terms of civic pride,” said Mayor Bowman. “Together, we continue to make Winnipeg a great place to live, work, and raise a family, as well as a destination stop rather than a departure point.”