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Whistler set to welcome world-class West Coast art museum

The Audain Foundation looking to locate museum in resort


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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.