Skip to main content

Boreal Community Media

Thunder Bay Art Gallery gets over $1 Million in donations for waterfront move

Dec 14, 2019 07:27AM ● By Editor
Donor Jake Black hands over the first $200,000 of his four-year, $800,000 pledge for the Thunder Bay Art Gallery's planned relocation to a new building on the city's waterfront. Photo: Matt Vis/CBC

From CBC News · Thunder Bay - December 13, 2019

The Thunder Bay Art Gallery is getting closer to making the dream of a waterfront home a reality.

The art gallery, which has been pursuing a move from their current building on the Confederation College to a prime spot on the city's waterfront for about a decade, on Friday announced more than $1 million in donations.

The fundraising campaign received its largest individual donation from local ceramic artist and educator Jake Black, who pledged $800,000 over four years. He presented the first $200,000 payment on Friday.

"I was always surrounded by art experiences and I saw an opportunity that they were having a local campaign and wanted to have support from people to donate," Black said.

"That's what I did, feeling I could be as much a supporter as anybody."

An artists rendering of a new waterfront Thunder Bay Art Gallery. The waterfront location would afford the gallery more visibility, and bring in more tourism dollars, says the gallery director. Image: Patkau Architects and Brook McIlroy

The largest exhibition space in the new art facility will be called the Jacob Black Gallery.

In addition to Black's donation, the art gallery also received $250,000 from the John Andrews Foundation, which will be given a naming opportunity for another exhibition space. Corporate donations of $50,000 each from Copperfin Credit Union and Intercity Industrial Supply, which will get naming rights for the new gallery's storage vault and gift shop.

The campaign has secured 90 per cent of the estimated $33 million project cost, which includes nearly $22 million from the provincial and federal governments as well as $5.7 million from the city.  The art gallery's AWE Community has brought in $2.4 million.

Thunder Bay Art Gallery executive director Sharon Godwin said the donations have elevated their fundraising campaign.

"There are many, many people that we know that are still very interested in supporting the project," Godwin said. "We hear it all the time. We feel we're going to get there but to have this level of support from these individuals, I think is inspiring to others and will inspire others to give to the project."

Every donation counts, she added.

"Everyone gives to their capacity, which is really amazing. It means everyone can give and all the gifts we're getting will be acknowledged big time in the new gallery on our donor walls, whether it's $1 or $800,000," Godwin said.

Construction of the 37,500 square foot building is anticipated to begin in 2020.

To read the original article and see related reporting, follow this link to the CBC Thunder Bay website.

Boreal Ship Spotter - larger view here