Vancouver city council will get public input on Wednesday on a proposal to move the Vancouver Art Gallery to a site at the corner of Georgia and Cambie streets.
Kathleen Bartels, director of the gallery, spent nearly two hours in front of city council on Tuesday, asking that they approve a 99-year lease on the parcel of downtown land, which is presently a parking lot.
VAG is only able to exhibit about three per cent of its permanent collection at any given time in its current Hornby Street location, Bartels told council.
No decision was made on Tuesday, but council plans to continue the debate and hear from the public on Wednesday afternoon.
Show me the money
VAG has already secured $50 million from the province and another $40 million in pledges from private donors.
But the plan is contingent on whether city council approves the recommendations and if the gallery is able to come up with at least $150 million.
James Moore, Canada’s Heritage Minister, has yet to commit federal funding, and critics like Vancouver city councillor George Affleck worry the plan will fall flat.
"Given the provincial and federal government's current concerns regarding their finances, and taxpayers' potential unwillingness to be a part of this, I'm concerned that this might be overly restrictive to the art gallery, therefore, making it almost impossible for them to achieve success," he said.
The gallery has been negotiating for years with the City of Vancouver to find a space on which to develop a larger building.
Previous suggestions and options explored include relocating to the Plaza of Nations along False Creek, or moving into the downtown Canada Post building.