Monday, September 28, 2009

300 Memorial Boulevard - The Winnipeg Art Gallery

WAG

Place: Winnipeg Art Gallery
Address: 300 Memorial Boulevard (Map)
Architect: Gustavo da Roza
Cost: $4.5 m
Opened:
September 25, 1971


Background:



(Source)

Established in 1912 as the Winnipeg Museum of Fine Arts, the Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG) had a number homes including the Federal Building and Industrial Bureau on Main Street. On April 24, 1933, it opened on the fourth floor of the newly constructed Civic Auditorium (now the Provincial Archives Building) on Vaughan.

As the city grew, so did the gallery's collection and space became tight. It also had to compete with other public events such as fairs and concerts which restricted their hours of operation. By the 1950s they were hosting shows at other venues around the city.

In the mid 1960s the province and city were putting together the final plans together for the Centennial Centre District which would include a new museum, concert hall and the Manitoba Theatre Centre. The WAG was slated to be part of the district but the gallery's board protested that the Main Street site was "too far off the beaten track" and preferred a location near the Civic Auditorium, perhaps even the Auditorium itself.


(Source)

In 1966 a search committee proposed the triangle of land at Memorial and Colony. It was home to a closed gas station, the Cinema Centre building, the Mall Medical Building and a Sam the Cameraman store. A developer owned most of the land with plans to build an apartment complex but agreed to sell it to the gallery.

The Centennial Committee provided $1 million toward the construction costs. The federal governments put up $500,000 and the provincial government $1.25 million. Another $854,000 came from private donations.


An international design competition was held and 34 year-old University of Manitoba architecture professor and member of Number 10 Architecture Group Gustavo da Roza won. Da Roza, born in Hong Kong, received his architecture degree at the U of M. He said that the design was inspired by an iceberg, a tribute to our cold winters: "Our particular Canadian prairie environment deserves a regional quality."



In July 1971 office staff moved to the new gallery and director Ferdinand Eckhardt announced that the official opening would take place on September 25th by HRH Princess Margaret and her husband the Earl of Snowdon.

That summer was notable for labour strife in the construction industry. Strikes by both bricklayers and electricians meant that the building's completion fell three months behind schedule. There was even talk of postponing the grand opening if enough of the interior space wasn't complete.



September 24, 1971, Winnipeg Free Press

In the end, the opening went ahead. On Friday, September 24th the Royal couple had a private tour of the gallery. Strikers from both the electrical workers union and CJAY TV tried to block the entrance but members of the public who showed up to catch a glimpse of the royal couple or had passes to enter formed a barrier to keep strikers from the entrance.

The following morning at 11:00 am the royal couple arrived to a crowd of 3,000 people on Memorial Boulevard to declare the building officially open.

Restricted tours of the building took place through the weekend but then the gallery closed again so that work on the rest of the interior could be completed. It wasn't until January 18, 1972 that the gallery opened to the general public.



WAG Studio

In 1993 the Winnipeg Art Gallery purchased the Mall Medical building to its north. A $750,000 infrastructure grant helped convert it into the Winnipeg Art Gallery Studio.


In September 2010 plans were announced for a $30 m Inuit Art and Learning Centre (IALC) to be built on the site of the studio building. Originally intended to be open for its centennial celebrations in 2012, the call for proposals for an architect for the three storey, 45,000 sq. ft. centre was not issued until July 30, 2012. The IALC is expected to open in 2014.

In September 2012 the WAG's centennial celebrations began. (Also see CBC's WAG's Big Birthday Bash.)

Related:  
WAG Timeline Winnipeg Art Gallery 
Ahead by a century Winnipeg Free Press (Sept. 2012)
Winnipeg Art Gallery Winnipeg Architecture Foundation
Winnipeg Art Gallery U of M Building Index  
Winnipeg Art Gallery History WAG  
The Winnipeg Art Gallery Manitoba Calling (1937)  
The Winnipeg Art Gallery in 1912 and 1987 MHS

3 comments:


  1. خدمات النظافة بالدمام لابد ان تقدمها شركة لديها ثقة في اتمام خدمات النظافة المنزلية لان النظافة العاية لا تعطي النتيجة الفعالة التي تتم بواسطة شركة تنظيف بالدمام متخصصة لانها تهتم بكل شئ داخل المباني فلدينا شركة تنظيف فلل بالدمام تكون متخصصة في نظافة الفلل المفروشة والمستعملة واعطائها الرونق الجمالي الخاص بها لدينا شركة تنظيف شقق بالدمام متخصصة في اعمال نظافة الشقق المنزلية وشقق المكاتب والمعارض بواسطة الادوات والمواد اللازمة لعمل ذلك لدينا تخصصتنا في اعمالنا التي ترضي العميل وتخلصة من الحشرات الصغيرة التي تسبب ازعاج كبير للاسرة من خلال شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام التي لديها معدتها وموادها لعمل ذلك كما يوجد متخصص ايضا للقضاء علي الحشرات من خلال التواصل مع شركة رش مبيدات بالدمام التي تنتهيك من كل الحشرات المنزلية كما نعمل معا للواصل اليك كل الخدمات المنزلية من خلال خدمة الاثاث بواسطة افضل شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام والتعامل معها سوف يصل الي منزلك الجيد بدون اي تعب
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