Schools Training

$5-million Gift to Create “Major Arts Centre” at UBC

5 APR 2012
Topic : Education News

Arts philanthropist (how does one become an arts philanthropist? It sounds like something fun to pursue) Michael Audain has, through his family foundation, given a $5-million gift towards the creation of a major new centre for the visual arts at the University of British Columbia.

The facility, which quite rightly will be called the Audain Art Centre, will house UBC’s Departement of Art History, Visual Art and Theory, which has helped establish some of the country’s best known visual artists, including Jeff Wall, Ken Lum and Ian Wallace.

“Since the launch of its program in 1955, UBC has played a major role in putting Vancouver on the world map for visual arts,” Audain said in a press release.

Audain also recently donated $1.2 million to UBC’s Museum of Anthropology, which combined with the new arts centre “gift” brings the total amount of his donations to UBC to over $10 million. Talk about having a good friend!

 “UBC played a vital role in my education over 50 years ago.  This splendid new centre is an opportunity for me to recognize that, while providing a better learning environment for the next generation of art students,” he said.

Audain Arts Centre

The 2,600 square-metre Audain Art Centre will replace the existing aging facilities. It will span four storeys in Ponderosa Commons, and will include:

  • A new student housing and academic facility
  • A 230 square-metre, street-level arts gallery
  • 16 professional artists studios
  • Digital arts, new media and animation labs
  • Print media library
  • A research center
  • Academic space for 500 students, staff and faculty

“This facility will help to attract the best students and faculty and transform visual arts teaching and learning at UBC,” Gage Averill, dean of UBC’s Faculty of Arts, said (it’s a miracle he can speak with that massive smile on his face). “The Audain Art Centre will guarantee that generations of creative arts students will have the kind of leading-edge and inspirational facilities that can nurture their visual imaginations and deepen their education,” he said.

If you’re keeping score, Audain has now donated $35 million to Canadian arts organizations. Good man!

What do you think about this?