Vancouver Art Gallery takes new-building proposal to public forums

The Vancouver Art Gallery is hosting two public-information sessions next week about its drive for a new building at a new location. The facility says it is looking to both answer questions from the community, as well as guage feedback.

The first will take place downtown at the Robson Square Theatre on Wednesday night (July 7) from 7 to 9 p.m., with doors opening at 6 p.m. for a casual open house.

The second session takes the debate to the East Side, at the Cultch Historic Theatre on Thursday (July 8) from 5 to 7 p.m., with doors opening at 4.

Each event features a high-profile panel moderated by Michael A. Goldberg, professor emeritus from UBC's Sauder School of Business. The panel includes VAG board chair David Aisenstat; VAG relocation committee chair and local developer Michael Audain; architect Richard Henriquez; artists Ken Lum and Mark Soo; former city director of planning Ray Spaxman; Vancouver developer Stanley Kwok; and Centre A gallery director Hank Bull.

As the Straight has reported in the past few months, the VAG wants to move out of its old courthouse space at Robson Square and erect a new "landmark" building on the empty, city-owned lot across from the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. The price tag could reach $350 million. Gallery officials have said the institution has simply outgrown its old building. (See Cost for Vancouver Art Gallery replacement pegged at $350 million and Plan to relocate Vancouver Art Gallery gets mixed reaction at public meeting.)