Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada—Tuesday, 29 October, 2019: The MacKenzie Art Gallery today announced the gift of $1 million to the art museum from Gordon and Jill Rawlinson, which will support the launch of Rawlco Radio and the MacKenzie Art Gallery Free Admission Days, offered twelve times a year for the next five years. This gift will aid in the museum’s capacity to present creative exhibitions and programs, and to better engage 21st century audiences.
“We are extremely grateful for the generosity of Gordon and Jill Rawlinson and Rawlco Radio,” says Executive Director and CEO of the MacKenzie Art Gallery, Anthony Kiendl. “We have spent the last several years working towards expanding and refining our exhibitions and programming, and this generous gift will strengthen our capacity to be a creative hub and meeting place, fostering meaningful experiences of the world through art. We could not be happier to have Rawlco Radio as an active partner, promoting free admission days, as well as the MacKenzie’s current offerings and events, throughout the community.”
Since June of 2019, the MacKenzie Art Gallery has charged admission to access the second floor Gallery space, which houses the Gallery’s current exhibitions. Access to the museum’s ground floor, including the BMO Learning Centre, Craft Services, and the Shumiatcher Theatre, has remained free for visitors. Rawlco Radio and the MacKenzie Art Gallery Free Admission Days will provide free access to the entire Gallery with special events twelve times a year.
“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I want to thank Gordon and Jill Rawlinson and Rawlco Radio for this gift, which, at it’s core, is a gift to the people who live and work in Regina, and across Saskatchewan as much as it is an investment in the Gallery itself,” says Nathan Schissel, President of the MacKenzie Art Gallery’s Board of Trustees. “It is people who animate the gallery as a vital community hub where encounters with art enrich the lives of countless visitors, and we look forward to the dynamic and rich addition that Rawlco Radio and the MacKenzie Art Gallery Free Admission Days will bring to the Gallery.”
“The MacKenzie Art Gallery is an incredible Regina institution,” says Gordon Rawlinson. “Jill and I are thrilled to help ensure the museum is accessible to everyone. We hope that the many free admission events will offer memorable experiences and enhance the quality of life in Regina.”
The first Rawlco Radio and MacKenzie Art Gallery Free Admission Day will take place on 16 November, 2019, and celebrates the opening of two new exhibitions: Uprising: The Power of Mother Earth – Christi Belcourt, A Retrospective with Isaac Murdoch; and Banners for New Empires – Rajni Perera and Nep Sidhu. Both exhibitions will be open for viewing with free admission from 10 AM to 5:30 PM. From 11 AM to 3 PM, a celebration of the opening will take place, in partnership with the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan as part of Saskatchewan Multicultural Week. At 11 AM, formalities will take place in the Shumiatcher Theatre, and will be followed by an artist conversation with Christi Belcourt, Nep Sidhu, and Rajni Perera, moderated by Rhonda Rosenberg, the Director of the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan. Interactive Gallery tours, art activities, and entertainment will continue until 3 PM, and include a felting workshop with Melanie Monique Rose, a finger weaving workshop and Métis storytelling activity, and a performance from the Natya Sudha Dance Group.
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 focused on a series of campaign initiatives, including bolstering its funding sources, growing its collection, and making strategic renovations to its facilities.
About Gordon and Jill Rawlinson
Gordon and Jill Rawlinson are well known for their philanthropy, especially in the areas of the arts, health and education. They have made major donations to organizations throughout the province.
About Rawlco Radio
Rawlco Radio Ltd. operates seven radio stations; three in Saskatoon, three in Regina and one in Calgary. The Regina stations are Z99 FM, Jack 94.5 FM, and 980 CJME.
About the MacKenzie Art Gallery
The MacKenzie Art Gallery is reinventing the role of the public art gallery, using art and experiences to shed new light on the world. With a permanent collection that spans 5,000 years and nearly 5,000 works of art, we encompass both the University of Regina’s vast collection and one of Canada’s largest collections of Indigenous art, the Kamplemacher Collection. Through art, education, and immersive programming, we bring fresh perspectives that transform how people experience history, themselves and each other.
The MacKenzie is located in Wascana Park, Canada’s largest urban park, and rests within Treaty Four territory, the traditional territory of the Cree, Saulteaux, Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota people, and the homeland of the Métis Nation. We are generously supported by the South Saskatchewan Community Foundation, Canada Council for the Arts, SaskCulture, City of Regina, University of Regina and the Saskatchewan Arts Board.