Will Support Significant Expansion of Exhibitions and Programs
Additional Gift Received from Lyn Goldman to Fund Acquisitions, New Programs
The MacKenzie Art Gallery today announced two major gifts to the art museum. The first, a $25 million (CAD) gift from an anonymous donor, is the largest such donation in the Gallery’s history. By creating a new endowment for the Gallery, this gift will annually provide, on average, 25% of the Gallery’s current annual operating budget. A second, six-figure gift, from local collector and philanthropist Lyn Goldman, will be split between the MacKenzie’s acquisitions fund and its ongoing programming and organizational needs. Part of an effort to transform the MacKenzie ahead of its 70th anniversary, these two gifts will support the museum’s capacity to develop and present creative exhibitions and programs, and to better engage 21st century audiences.
“These gifts are truly transformational for the MacKenzie Art Gallery, strengthening our investment in the Gallery’s many new initiatives,” said Anthony Kiendl, the museum’s Executive Director and CEO. “This visionary anonymous donation comes at a pivotal moment for the Gallery, as we expand our range of exhibitions and public programs and improve our onsite facilities. In particular, these gifts strengthen our capacity to be a creative hub and meeting place, fostering meaningful experiences of the world through art. I extend our sincerest appreciation to the anonymous donor — the strength of their vision will make a lasting impact on our Gallery and communities. At the same time, Ms. Goldman’s gift is insightful, contributing to immediate needs in a strategic and vital way.”
The anonymous $25 million (CAD) donation has been endowed through the South Saskatchewan Community Foundation (SSCF), which will manage the funds and disburse the earned income to the MacKenzie Art Gallery annually. The donor, while wishing to remain anonymous, is committed to ensuring future growth opportunities for the Gallery. Recognizing that raising funds for operating endowments is often an institution’s most difficult challenge, this gift helps to address the museum’s core needs.
Johanna Salloum, President of the MacKenzie Art Gallery Board of Trustees, commented: “We are incredibly grateful for these contributions, which, at their core, are gifts to the people who live and work in Regina, and across Saskatchewan as much as they are investments in the Gallery itself. The arts are a cornerstone of the cultural, educational, and economic vitality of Regina, and this level of support ensures our continued success, for the benefit of our audiences. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I want to say thank you to the anonymous donor for their generosity and support. Lyn Goldman’s additional and timely contribution demonstrates that support for the Gallery is shared among many stakeholders in our community.”
“The South Saskatchewan Community Foundation (SSCF) is proud to work to bring the MacKenzie Art Gallery and Saskatchewan donors together. We celebrate both Lyn Goldman’s gift as well as the perpetual endowment gift of an anonymous SSCF donor to the Gallery,” Interim SSCF Executive Director Cheryl Zankl said. “These generous donations, on the eve of the Foundation’s 50th anniversary, are a great example of what we strive to do: bringing donors and charities like the MacKenzie Art Gallery together.”
A long-time supporter of the MacKenzie, Lyn Goldman credits her mother with instilling a responsibility to champion public arts institutions. Her gift is made in memory of her brother, the late artist Tony Thorn. Born in Regina in 1927, Thorn received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Saskatchewan in 1947 and began to paint the following year. His paintings and carved works have been exhibited across Canada and internationally in solo and group shows, and more than 1,100 of his paintings are part of private, corporate, and public collections.
“My mother’s commitment to civic institutions and my brother’s pursuit of art both fed my own passion for art and museums,” said Ms. Goldman. “In thinking about how best to honour Tony’s memory, making a gift to the Gallery, which is so central to the community of Regina, was the obvious choice. I am thrilled to know that this will ensure that creative programs – and a diverse collection of art – will be there to inspire future generations.”
Located in Regina’s Wascana Park – Canada’s largest urban park, and home to the province’s capital – the MacKenzie is Saskatchewan’s first public art museum. Founded in 1953 as part of the University of Saskatchewan, Regina Campus (later the University of Regina), the Gallery became independent in 1990, with a mission to broaden both its programming and its audiences. Looking ahead to the MacKenzie’s 70th anniversary in 2023, the Gallery has therefore focused on a series of campaign initiatives, including bolstering its funding sources, growing its collection, and making strategic renovations to its facilities.
Recent and upcoming changes at the MacKenzie include:
- The appointment this month of John G. Hampton to the newly created position of Director of Programs. In this role, Hampton will oversee the Gallery’s curatorial and education departments, as well as strengthening the various complementary practices that engage visitors in an immersive experience.
- A refreshed focus on the work of Canada’s Indigenous artists, long a core aspect of the MacKenzie’s program. This includes the installation last month of the newly-commissioned artwork, Kâkikê / Forever (2018) by Omaskêko Ininiwak (Cree) artist Duane Linklater. Installed this summer on the facade of the Gallery’s building, Kâkikê / Forever is a text-based, site-specific work that responds to its location, drawing from unattributed Indigenous words spoken during the making of treaties, and speaks to the process of reconciliation in which the Gallery is taking an active role.
- Enhanced programs for students and families that are responsive to both the province’s history and its changing population. This includes the Initiative for Indigenous Futures (IIF) workshop with local youth participants from Scott Collegiate High School. Led by artist Skawennati and supported by Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace (ABTec), this multimedia art project encourages a dialogue around the representations of Indigenous peoples in the future.
- Upcoming capital enhancements to the Gallery’s building, including the creation of a new community program space and a café that will be accessible to visitors to Wascana Park as well as to the MacKenzie, opening later this year.
About South Saskatchewan Community Foundation (SSCF)
The South Saskatchewan Community Foundation (SSCF) serves as a bridge between donors and charities in Regina and in southern Saskatchewan. SSCF believes in facilitating Saskatchewan philanthropy, supporting local charities, and developing our community so that our home is a more vital, strong, and fair place to live, work, and play. Founded almost 50 years ago in 1969, SSCF is a long-term endowment fund for our community that pools together many visionary philanthropists’ and organizations’ funds to invest them together for a higher return. Our work with endowments equates to a more effective gift today for tomorrow.
To learn more about the variety of philanthropic gifts SSCF facilitates and more, please visit sscf.ca.