Patkau-designed facility will be Western Canada’s largest photography-focused gallery, inaugurating its new Lower Lonsdale home with an exhibition that takes North Vancouver as its inspiration.
VANCOUVER, BC – After almost three decades of planning and expectation, a world-class architectural and artistic landmark will be added to Vancouver’s North Shore with the opening of The Polygon Gallery at the foot of Lonsdale Avenue on November 18, 2017. The $20 million, 25,000-square-foot cultural facility will serve as the new purpose-built home to the former Presentation House Gallery, becoming the largest, independent photography gallery in Western Canada.
To coincide with its anticipated unveiling, The Polygon Gallery will mount its inaugural exhibition N. Vancouver. The most ambitious project in the Gallery’s history, N. Vancouver will pay tribute to the evolution of North Vancouver, from its earliest known history as a Coast Salish village through its industrial growth in lumber and shipbuilding to its emergence as a gateway for leisure industries devoted to its mountain settings. The exhibition brings together artists hailing from the region and beyond, and will feature commissioned works by more than 10 artists, including Andrew Dadson, Gabrielle Hill, Althea Thauberger, Stephen Waddell and Tracy Williams, paired with existing work by Stan Douglas, Greg Girard, Fred Herzog, Curt Lang, and Jeff Wall, among others.
“This gorgeous, new waterfront home will finally do justice to the artists and work we present – and become a hub for creativity and community on the North Shore,” says Reid Shier, Director & Curator, The Polygon Gallery. “We look forward to welcoming loyal, longtime supporters through its doors, and to meeting new faces who come to explore the exciting space and to see our first exhibition: N. Vancouver.”
The Polygon Gallery is as open, light-filled, and engaging as the art it presents. With a fully-glazed ground floor and exterior cantilever, offering shelter from the weather, the new building boasts a stunning Gallery lobby and gift shop, a café, and a multi-purpose exhibition and event space. In addition to administrative offices, the second level features four exhibition spaces and a large exterior terrace overlooking Burrard Inlet, the skyline of Greater Vancouver, and the city’s busy harbour.
As a renowned presenter of photography and media-based art, the former Presentation House Gallery –originally located at Chesterfield and 3rd Avenue in North Vancouver – was in need of a world-class facility. Patkau Architects designed The Polygon Gallery to the highest standards of sustainable building construction. Initial funding of $4 million was provided by the Audain Foundation and Polygon Homes, both established by developer and philanthropist Michael Audain. The City of North Vancouver, the Province, and the federal government each donated $2.5 million. Private donors helped bring the campaign to its goal of $20 million, including major investments from Brigitte and Henning Freybe, the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation, the Chan Family Foundation, TD Bank Group, and Denna Homes. Each of these donations will be honoured with gallery spaces named in their honour in The Polygon Gallery.
With more than five times the amount of space and a new endowment fund, The Polygon Gallery is well positioned to expand its programming with larger exhibitions complemented by publications and education programs that will bring the art world’s leading voices – both local and international – to North Vancouver. The Gallery will also enhance its community engagement through educational programming with local elementary and secondary schools. At its grand opening, The Polygon Gallery will proudly launch a new, annual program celebrating public artworks supported by the Burrard Arts Foundation (BAF). The first “BAF Commission” will premiere a new work, now in production, by Vancouver artist Myfanwy MacLeod (creator of The Birds twin sparrow statues in Olympic Village).
With a major investment from BMO, The Polygon Gallery will offer admission by donation.