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Old Posted Jun 29, 2018, 7:44 AM
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WINNIPEG | Inuit Art Centre

Location: Winnipeg, MB
Client: Winnipeg Art Gallery
Size: 40,000 sq. ft. Addition to existing art gallery facility
Completed: 2020 (targeted)
Budget: $65 M

The new Inuit Art Centre (IAC) at the Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG) in Winnipeg, Manitoba will house the Gallery’s celebrated collection of contemporary Inuit art and provide new facilities for an expanded studio art and educational program. The 40,000 square-foot addition to the iconic existing building by Gustavo da Roza faces south toward the Manitoba Legislature building in downtown Winnipeg, and will include new galleries, a lecture theatre, research areas, and a visible art storage vault. With a collection of nearly 13,000 works of Inuit art, the WAG has had a long and continuous commitment to the research, exhibition, and publication of art by the Canadian Inuits. The IAC will be the largest exhibition gallery in Canada devoted to indigenous art.

40,000-square-foot cultural landmark

This world-class cultural landmark is designed by Michael Maltzan Architecture, one of North America’s leading firms, renowned for creating thriving spaces with virtual connections that shape how we experience the world. Maltzan was selected through an international architectural competition, which had 63 submissions from 13 countries, and is working with Manitoba’s Cibinel Architecture Ltd.

The WAG Inuit Art Centre will be connected to the main building by bridges on all levels.


The design centers on double-height visible Inuit Vault located immediately adjacent to the IAC entry on the corner of St. Mary’s Avenue and Memorial Boulevard. The vault’s curved glass walls extend from floor to ceiling and include shelving that follows the curvature of the enclosure. Additional vault storage, accessible by a stairwell connecting to the visible vault, is located in the building’s lower level. The vault interior will be accessible to curators and scholars while the public will be able to look into the storage room from the Inuit Vault Lobby. A new lecture room, café, and reading room will be adjacent to the lobby providing educational and research spaces in close proximity to the Visible Vault. The ground level design also includes minor modifications to the existing building that includes a new gallery shop.

LEVEL 1 & 2

In this dynamic theatre, live performers, educators, speakers and Elders will take the stage to share their knowledge and voices. Students will come face-to-face with exciting new learning possibilities as virtual technology connects them to classrooms across the North. From here, they can watch a carver working in Baker Lake and listen to stories being told by an Elder from Arviat.

From inside the theatre, visitors will look out to see collections and the carving porch, where artists will work in full view.


The expansive, light-filled Inuit Gallery on the building’s third level provides 8,500 square feet of open, flexible exhibition space dedicated to the display of Inuit art. The voluminous gallery is intended to reflect the natural environments of the North, the setting in which much of the art is created. The monumental, sculptural walls evoke the immense geographic features that are the background of many Inuit towns and inlets. Figural skylights in the ceiling suffuse the gallery with light from the broad spectrum of the sky creating an ethereal illumination that focuses the viewer on the Inuit Art in the gallery. An Indigenous Gallery on the upper roof level and open to the Inuit Gallery below, will honor the Inuit and other aboriginal peoples of the North providing an open space for exhibitions, public performances, private celebrations, or quiet meditation.


Education studios and classrooms are concentrated at the WAG’s penthouse level, providing students access to the large roof terrace. New education spaces include a dedicated education lobby and reception, clay studio, kiln room, and two exterior studios for summer and winter activities, such as stone carving and ice sculpting.

Last edited by Wpg_Guy; Feb 4, 2020 at 5:58 AM.
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