Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay Art Gallery zeroes in on new location

A potential location has now been identified for a proposed new attraction for the Thunder Bay waterfront.

Relocation plans are still preliminary, art gallery group tells waterfront development committee

The proposed new $25 million art gallery may sit here along Thunder Bay's waterfront. (Nicole Ireland/CBC)

A potential location has now been identified for a proposed new attraction on the Thunder Bay waterfront.

Representatives of the Thunder Bay Art Gallery recently met with city officials to update them on plans for a possible relocation from the grounds of Confederation College.

Waterfront Development Committee chair Mark Bentz said the gallery delegation proposed a site near the Spirit Garden at Prince Arthur's Landing.

Prince Arthur's landing is already home to the Spirit Garden (Nicole Ireland/CBC)

"They do house a large Aboriginal art collection, and they felt that area was very attractive for them, and it's something they've been kind of working with our administration to see if the project would be feasible," he said.

Bentz said the gallery's presentation consisted of some rough sketches of what the building could look like, and how it would fit into the existing development. There was also some preliminary discussion about what the gallery may ask of the city.

Potential requests include leasing property from the city (the proposed site is on municipally-owned land).

No capital funds were requested, Bentz noted, as the project is still in the preliminary stages. He added there are federal and provincial funding programs he hopes will help.

"We don't know what part the city might play, if any, in capital," Bentz said. "It is a fine project for the waterfront, if that's where the art gallery wishes to reside. I don't see a lot of opposition around the table ... There certainly is support, but a lot of work needs to be done with regards to [financial] resources."

The new building is expected to cost about $25 million.

The Waterfront Development Committee referred the matter back to Thunder Bay city administration for recommendations.