Canada’s Minister of Canadian Heritage, Mélanie Joly, visited Vancouver's Museum of Anthropology (MOA) today with some good news.
She announced that the federal government is providing $3 million in funding to the University of British Columbia museum.
This investment directly supports the newly opened Gallery of the Northwest Coast Masterworks, and has allowed the museum to purchase and install state-of-the-art exhibition equipment to showcase the 230 historic and contemporary pieces of Indigenous art from the Northwest Coast (an anonymous donation worth $7 million that was given to MOA last year).
The funding will also go toward the construction of a new public education centre inside the museum. It will include a 144-seat professional theatre, a green room, washrooms, and a multi-purpose space that can be used for lectures, workshops, and public performances.
“We really hope that this is part of a greater series of investments to support Indigenous cultures, and that Vancouverites will discover the incredible legacy of Indigenous communities,” Joly told the Straight in an interview at MOA. “We think that there is important work to be done by the government to support the reconciliation process, and of course supporting MOA’s new project is part of that ongoing investment as part of reconciliation.”
“The Museum of Anthropology has a long-standing commitment to collaborating with Indigenous artists and community members,” said Anthony Shelton, Director of MOA, in a press statement. “MOA is grateful for this generous funding from Canadian Heritage, and we look forward to the opportunity to continue to amplify Indigenous voices through these new amenities.”
This funding is provided through the Government of Canada’s cultural infrastructure program, the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund.