Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art renovation to create new gallery and programming spaces

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      The Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art is planning a major renovation and expansion for its 10th anniversary next year.

      The facility will undergo a $1.5 million overhaul to repurpose its space at 639 Hornby Street, adding a new 640-square-foot exhibition gallery and a 650-square-foot program space where offices now sit on its mezzanine level.

      The work is schedule to begin in December, in time for completion in April 2018, followed by a formal opening on June 14, when the gallery hosts a 10th anniversary gala.

      Other planned improvements include a redesign for the lobby and a covering for the facility's 250-square-foot terrace. There will also be upgrades to the gallery’s lighting, heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system. 

      “The general public has expressed a desire to connect with Indigenous peoples in order to actively participate in the process of reconciliation,” said Alexandra Montgomery, director and CEO of the Bill Reid Gallery, in a press statement today. “An expanded exhibition and program schedule will better support the reconciliation process by increasing awareness of Indigenous art and culture, and providing the opportunity to facilitate conversations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.” 

      The space is named for B.C. master goldsmith, carver, and sculptor Bill Reid, who died in 1998 and helped build public interest in and awareness of Northwest Coast art.

      The gallery’s makeover was funded  in part by the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Canada Cultural Spaces Fund and the City of Vancouver’s Cultural Infrastructure Program, as well as the Province of British Columbia through its Canada 150: Celebrating BC Communities and their Contributions to Canada grant program and several private donors.

      Vancouver-based Merrick Architecture, the original designers of this purpose-built gallery, will oversee the project.

      Right now, the gallery is hosting the exhibit Intangible: Memory and Innovation in Coast Salish Art, in which Coast Salish art traditions take on a bold contemporary edge, until December 10.

      Roxanne Charles’s Silently Suffocated, part of the current Intangible at the Bill Reid Gallery.