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As Halifax secures funding for $130M art gallery, Victoria's $25M 'Next Gallery' concept remains financially strapped

An artist's rendering of Next Gallery, a $25 million, 41,000 square foot addition to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria's Moss Street property. Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

As Halifax secures funding for $130M art gallery, Victoria's $25M 'Next Gallery' concept remains financially strapped
CITIFIED.CA STAFF

A $25 million plan to modernize and expand the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria's Moss Street facility remains underfunded as Halifax's $130 million art gallery proposal secures enough government backing to proceed.

At a press conference held today, the Province of Nova Scotia announced its funding commitment for a 140,000 square foot arts and culture complex slated for Halifax's downtown waterfront. $80 million will be contributed by the province, while $30 million has been earmarked by the federal government. Remaining funds will be sourced by gallery operators through various financing streams and pledges.

On the opposite side of the country Victoria's 41,000 square foot Next Gallery concept has remained little more than a vision since receiving municipal approvals in late 2015. Initially budgeted at $21 million, the expansion is now expected to cost $25 million.

Funding the project remains a challenge with only $11 million having been secured, $6 million of which was pledged by the province. The federal government has not earmarked any monies towards the Next Gallery.

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The most recent multi-million dollar private pledges were received in late 2016 and earlier this month, to the tune of $2 million and $2.8 million, respectively.

Designed by Vancouver-based Lang Wilson Practice in Architecture (LWPAC), the architectural vision for the new gallery features a multi-angled stainless steel exterior with a varying "frit pattern" throughout. Glass curtain walls with concrete accents will lend an open, airy feel to the gallery entrance, a major departure from the existing building at 1040 Moss Street.
 
Other exterior materials will include metal and polycarbonate cladding that will create a multi-surfaced design tying in with the overall metallic theme. The floor plate of the new addition will total some 14,000 square feet and a ground floor glass-encased walkway will connect the historic Spencer Mansion. Parking for 26 vehicles, three scooters/motorcycles and 50 bicycles will be provided on-site.
 
A 220 seat multi-purpose theatre will be situated on the ground floor adjacent to a cafe. Expanded spaces for permanent and flex collections, together with a significant increase in storage space round out the key benefits of the new facility which will rise adjacent to the gallery's historic wing. C
 
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