Art museum in works for Whistler
Whistler mayor in discussion with the Audain Foundation about the creation of a new art museum in Whistler
October 3, 2012: Whistler, BC-- The Audain Foundation and Whistler Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden have entered talks that could see the creation of a world-class art museum to house the Audain Collection on a large piece of land across the street from the Resort Municipality of Whistler’s (RMOW) municipal hall.
“My wife and I have been looking for a place where our collection of British Columbia art could be exhibited on a permanent basis for the public’s enjoyment,” said foundation Chair Michael Audain. “The potential site we are looking at is in an excellent location adjacent to Whistler Village and is surrounded by beautiful stands of trees.”
The Audain Collection, which was a major exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 2011, contains an important collection of indigenous and contemporary West Coast art, including a large group of Emily Carr paintings.
“Whistler has a long-term plan to boost its facilities for arts and culture, so we are thrilled Michael Audain may select our community to house his outstanding collection,” says Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden. “Whistler recognizes that cultural tourism is an area of opportunity for Whistler to expand our visitor base, enhance the experience of resort guests to this unique area, and to drive tourism.”
The land under discussion is owned by the RMOW, and Audain says it could be suitable to accommodate a 2,500-square-metre museum, as well as provide park-like surroundings for outdoor art and sculpture.
“We have considered other West Coast locations, but believe Whistler would be ideal as in recent years it has become established as a four-season resort and a destination for recreation, arts, and culture,” says Audain. “Studies indicate that people are more likely to visit an art museum when they are on vacation, and we believe an art museum would complement the other world-class amenities in Whistler.”
No dollar figure has been announced for construction of the museum, which will be financed privately. “It is too early in the game; we need to complete our planning and design work before we know exactly how much the new museum could cost,” adds Audain.
About the Resort Municipality of Whistler
The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) is Whistler’s local government led by an elected council and administered by an executive team and staff on behalf of 9,824 residents and two million annual visitors. The RMOW collaborates with in-resort and external partners to create visitor experiences and enrich community life.
Whistler’s vision is to be the premier mountain resort community as it moves toward sustainability. Whistler was the proud Host Mountain Resort for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
About the Audain Foundation
The Audain Foundation has been supporting the visual arts in British Columbia over the past 15 years.