The Remai Art Gallery of Saskatchewan is seeking an advance of $901,520 from Saskatoon City Council to allow time for additional fundraising to finance the costs of deferred spaces left out of the gallery project contract extended to EllisDon contractors in March 2013. The gallery announced this request October 30, 2013. The request will go before City Council on Monday, November 4.
“Although we were initially asked to raise $20 million toward the construction of the new gallery, the City has asked us to raise additional funds to cover the cost of these deferred items,” said Jason Aebig, Chair of the Remai Gallery’s Board of Trustees. “About half of the funds needed to provide for these deferred items has already been raised. This advance from the City will give us time to raise the balance.”
Cost-cutting was undertaken when the contract was extended to EllisDon. This involved “deferring” some of the project’s spaces and components. Deferral of these items allowed the contract to proceed, holding prices fixed on these items until they could be included back in the scope of the project, and allowing time for additional fundraising.
“Many of the deferred spaces were linked to revenue generation that will offset operating costs for the gallery,” said Gregory Burke, Executive Director & CEO of the Remai Gallery. “Bringing these spaces back into scope now allows us to continue planning with confidence, not only in terms of budgeting, but also in terms of commitments made to current and prospective funders.”
“Our goal is to build the best gallery we can afford,” Aebig said. “We will raise the remaining funds needed to complete construction of the new gallery, ensuring that it reflects the award-winning design of our architects, the community’s vision for the gallery, and the promises made to donors.”
Planning is underway for a public campaign that will focus on education and public programming, collection building, and the creation of an endowment to support the work of the Remai Gallery into the future.