Glenbow receives $1-million donation for art

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Still two years from re-opening, the Glenbow continues attracting interest and investment in its future as Calgary’s premier museum.

The latest contribution is a $1-million donation from the Fischer-Cuthbertson family that will go toward commissioning four art installations as part of the Glenbow Reimagined campaign. The donors will be recognized in connection with the installations when Glenbow reopens at the JR Shaw Centre for Arts & Culture in 2026.

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“The Fischer-Cuthbertson family has been a part of Glenbow’s growth and development for several decades,” says Glenbow president & CEO Nicholas Bell. “We are thrilled that their support will provide an inviting first impression when visitors walk through our doors, creating a sense of inclusion and wonder.”

A family spokesperson said it was important to them that the under-renovation museum appeals to the public.

“Our family wanted to be a part of making people feel that they have been considered — that their comfort, interests and learning are at the heart of the reimagined Glenbow and the creation of Glenbow’s exhibitions,” says Joanne Cuthbertson. “Glenbow is a public space, and public spaces should have high regard for the public. Arriving at Glenbow, you’ll feel like you’ve come to a beautiful and welcoming place that says, ‘You’re important, and we’ve made this space for you.’”

The four art installations will be located throughout the first floor and Glenbow says it is committed to supporting artists from Treaty 7, across Canada and around the world through the commission.

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The Fischer-Cuthbertson donation is the latest major gift to the campaign for the nearly 50-year-old building’s major transformation. In October 2022, Dave Werklund and Susan Norman-Werklund donated $3.5 million and a new second-floor feature gallery will be named in honour of them. In February of that year, the family of Calgary entrepreneur, philanthropist and businessman JR Shaw donated a staggering $35 million to the Glenbow, most of which will be used to allow the museum to permanently offer free admission to visitors. Once open, it will be known as the JR Shaw Centre for Arts and Culture.

As well, other museum supporters have donated to the campaign and all three levels of government have given funding. To date, Glenbow Reimagined has raised $173 million toward its $205-million goal.

While the main building is closed for renovations, visitors can experience exhibitions at the museum’s satellite gallery, Glenbow at The Edison.

The Glenbow was founded in 1966 as an independent, non-profit museum, archive, and gallery. It has an extensive collection of more than 250,000 works of art and historical belongings from Canada and cultures around the world.

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