Vancouver Art Gallery reports record-breaking year

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      The Vancouver Art Gallery announced a record-breaking 2017-18 year at its AGM last night.

      It’s reporting 600,000 visitors attended exhibitions and programs at the facility and its public art site.

      That record surpasses 2016/2017 visitation by close to 100,000 people.

      Those numbers were boosted by two hit exhibits over the fiscal year: 2017’s Claude Monet’s ​Secret Garden​ and February 2018’s ​Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg​, the first survey of Murakami’s work in Canada.

      “Looking back, this has been, by all accounts, a milestone year for the Gallery marked by exceptional programs, record attendance and revenue,” VAG director Kathleen S. Bartels said in a press statement yesterday. “We are grateful to the dedication of staff and the support of Trustees, donors and corporate partners. This coupled with a groundswell of support for our collection, exhibitions and programs, in addition to an ever-growing interest in art and culture made this year one of the most successful in the Gallery’s history.”

      The gallery is also reporting a membership of 37,000.

      All of this translates into a healthy financial position for the gallery, which reported a total operational revenue of $21.4 million—$1.4 million over what was budgeted. It reported admissions of almost $5 million, memberships of $1.25 million, and retail gross sales of $3.9 million. 

      The VAG's collection has also seen significant growth over the past year, adding 240 acquisitions, bringing the  holdings to almost 12,000 works, from photography to installations to paintings. Its additions include American photographer Walker Evans, historical photography by Mattie Gunterman, and B.C. works by Charles Edenshaw, Ian Wallace, Mark Lewis, Landon Mackenzie, Roy Kiyooka, Susan Point, and Beau Dick.

      The gallery is still working towards building a new $350,000,000 landmark at West Georgia and Cambie that would double its space.