BC Arts Philanthropist Gifts $5m to Emily Carr University to Benefit Future Generations of Visual Artists

Largest Individual Gift Received by the University

VANCOUVER, March 7, 2013 /CNW/ - Michael Audain's $5-million gift to Emily Carr, through the Audain Foundation for the Visual Arts, will create an enhanced visual arts learning environment offering a studio-based education reflective of the diversity and complexity of contemporary art. The Audain School of Visual Arts will be a cornerstone for the new Emily Carr Great Northern Way Campus.

The School will be a space where future generation of artists will have the facilities, tools and opportunity to gain the knowledge they need to meet and exceed their potential as visionaries. It will encompass the Faculty of Visual Art + Material Practice and house studio-based areas of study, including Painting, Ceramics, Print Media, Illustration, Photography, Sculpture and Drawing. It will attract and inspire the very best visual arts practitioners from around the world, and will be a global centre for transforming artistic paradigms.

"Emily Carr University of Art + Design is indisputably the best art school in Canada and a major reason why Vancouver has become such an internationally important centre for visual arts over the last few decades," says Michael Audain. "With this grant from our family foundation, I'm helping to kick off Emily Carr University's capital campaign. We hope that individuals and businesses quickly climb aboard with their support."

"Michael's extraordinary contribution to Emily Carr is a testament to the importance of art and the artist in creating vibrant and thriving communities," says Dr. Ron Burnett, President + Vice-Chancellor, Emily Carr. "This historic support is a transformational gift that moves us one step closer to our new state-of-the-art campus at Great Northern Way and we are grateful to Michael for his vision and generosity."

The Faculty of Visual Art + Material Practice is world-renowned for fostering leading international artistic talent — putting Vancouver and Canada on the map. Alumni and faculty work is exhibited and held in the collections of galleries such as the National Art Gallery of Canada, Vancouver Art Gallery, National Gallery London, Museum of Modern Art, New York, and Tate Modern, UK. Award-winning alumni include: Marianne Nicholson, Atilla Richard Lukas, Corin Sworn, Brian Jungen, Gareth Moore, Gordon Smith, Geoffrey Farmer, Angela Grossman, Steven Shearer, and Sonny Assu.

Distinguished faculty members are responsive to key trends in contemporary practice and are constantly developing and challenging themselves through research initiatives, exhibitions in Canada and abroad, participation in high profile events and professional activities. Select faculty include: Marian Penner Bancroft, Photographer; Paul Mathieu, Ceramicist; Landon Mackenzie, Visual Artist; Ben Reeves, Visual Artist; Dr. Ruth Beer, Visual Artist and Liz Magor, Visual Artist (alumna).

The gift is in addition to a commitment made last year by Mr. Audain to establish the Audain Distinguished Artist in Residence Program that will launch in Fall 2013.

About Emily Carr University of Art + Design
Emily Carr University of Art + Design, established in 1925, is a world leader in education and research. Encouraging experimentation at the intersection of art, design, media and technology, our learning community merges research, critical theory and studio practice in an interdisciplinary environment. Alumni and faculty are internationally recognized as award-winning creators and thought leaders who have enormous impact on both the cultural sector and economy. We engage students, industry, and society to continuously explore and think differently about creativity and how it shapes our world. Emily Carr is building a state-of-the art campus for 21st century learning at Great Northern Way. The University will be at the centre of a new social, cultural, educational, and economic engine for British Columbia. Find out more at ecuad.ca.

About Michael Audain
Michael Audain is the chairman of Polygon Homes Ltd., one of BC's leading home builders. He currently serves as Chair of the Vancouver Art Gallery Foundation and the Audain Foundation for the Visual Arts. He is past Chair of the National Gallery of Canada, the Vancouver Art Gallery and a former member of the British Columbia Arts Council. Awarded three honorary doctorate degrees, he is an officer of the Order of Canada, a member of the Order of British Columbia and the recipient of a Business Laureate of the British Columbia Hall of Fame.

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SOURCE: Emily Carr University of Art + Design

For further information:

For interview opportunities, images and b-roll, contact:

Roxanne Toronto, Communications Officer
t. 604.844.3075, m. 778-990-3075, e. roxanne@ecuad.ca

Barry Patterson, Executive Director, Communications
t. 604-844-3078, m. 604-839-3075, e. bpatterson@ecuad.ca

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