img_8658Given that it enjoys the very best location in North Vancouver, attention should be paid to the progress of the construction of the new Presentation House gallery at the foot of Lonsdale.  Over the last one hundred years, many important structures have been located at that prime location.  You sure can’t find a better view. So, what will the future look like when the gallery is built? There are still a few hurdles to jump, like raising $4.5 million.

Presentation House is a community photo-based art gallery, based for decades in a hopeless and decrepit building at 4th and Chesterfield, an embarrassment to the community that should have been bulldozed decades ago. It shared space with the North Vancouver Museum and Archives, the photos shown on the top floor of an old house that became so hot in the summer months it had to be shut down before the photos melted. Over the past 30 years, the Gallery presented exhibitions by award-winning Vancouver photographers Stan Douglas and Fred Herzog and world-renowned artists Ansel Adams, Diane Arbus and Andy Warhol. The 1902 former schoolhouse was never the right location for any professional art exhibitions. Apparently those days are finally gone.

What is appearing at the foot of Lonsdale is an architectural experiment designed by the same architects employed by property developer Michael Audain to build his new $30 million museum in Whistler. Governor General Prize-winning firm Patkau Architects has designed a building that Presentation House management say “will gleam on our city’s harbourfront.”

The new gallery’s 19,000 sq. ft. will include expanded space for galleries, preparation work area, and event and lecture space. With a cafe, bookstore and plaza, the new gallery hopes to become a “community gathering place and cultural hub.” In BC, spending by cultural tourists (at last report in 2007) was $755 million.  An evaluation of the new gallery estimates attendance in its first year at 33,000 visitors, including tourists drawn to the newly revitalized Lolo area by the new gallery and its nearby restaurants and shopping. The new gallery will offer very affordable admission fees, planned to be $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and free for youth and children.

The gallery’s business case originally outlined a financially sustaining operational plan based on enhanced fundraising and revenue-generating capacity, with no growth in the current level of municipal financial support. Developer Michael Audain of Polygon has promised $10 million of the estimated $15 million cost to build.  Presentation House spokesperson Jessica Bouchard says her organization still needs to raise $4.5 million before the planned opening in September 2017.

Meanwhile, Presentation House at 4th and Chesterfield will stay closed this summer but open again this fall and winter to display new exhibits at its present location, with a First Nations show starting in September. The building will close permanently to exhibits the spring of 2017.

Interested patron and sponsors for the new location are welcome to call phone Presentation House at 604-986-1351.  To sign up and stay up to date with news and developments, log on to http://newhome.presentationhousegallery cheap Generic

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