Message from the Director & CEO

Spring has clearly arrived at the WAG, and new partnerships and exhibitions are budding new friendships across the city and country! Over the past few months we’ve been busy nurturing relationships that will strengthen and animate
our connections to the people of Winnipeg, Manitoba, and all the way to the Arctic.

Through the Memorandum of Understanding signed in November between the Governments of Manitoba and Nunavut, the Territory’s art collection arrived at the WAG for a five-year loan. A selection of these stunning works is on display in the permanent collection galleries, and this is just a taste of what’s to come.

The City of Winnipeg made a commitment of $5 million to the Inuit Art Centre, an unprecedented gift and a critical step forward for the project. Combined with the Government of Manitoba’s pledge of $15 million, and the even higher private sector support to date, the momentum continues to build for this gamechanging initiative.

Last summer, the WAG welcomed the Manitoba Inuit Association (MIA) to new offices inside WAG Studio. Of course MIA shares more than just a space with the WAG: we have already collaborated on a number of projects, and
see this relationship expanding with the development of the Inuit Art Centre.

The WAG signed a new three-year agreement with the National Gallery of Canada with the NGC@WAG partnership. Launched in 2013, this collaboration has resulted in the production of over ten exhibitions since its inception, bringing
to Winnipeg some of the finest works in the national collection. And the prospects for some spectacular shows in the future look pretty good — including Picasso and the Impressionists.

Turning to our city’s Indigenous roots, the WAG is excited to be opening a satellite space at The Forks in June, featuring a mix of retail, art, learning, and art-making at the Johnston Terminal. The project is supported by the
Nunavut Development Corporation for the promotion of Inuit artists. And watch for our new partnership with the Assiniboine Park Conservancy this summer! With our expanded reach into key tourist, cultural, and recreational
destinations, the Gallery’s mission will be impacting the lives of millions more people each year.

As we bid farewell to the gods of Olympus, we are grateful to all who made this historic show possible. Chagall: Daphnis & Chloé provides a natural follow-up, depicting a tale by the Greek poet Longus. The NGC@WAG show is
complemented by Chagall & Winnipeg, revealing how the famed artist is connected to our city.

Turning North, the WAG is proud to be presenting the first retrospective of Oviloo Tunnillie, a towering Inuit carver who died in 2014. The exhibition brings together over 60 carvings from across North America. 

We are also thrilled to present the first major survey exhibition of Winnipeg’s own Karel Funk, an internationally-acclaimed painter known for his mesmerizing portraits. Our diverse summer line-up includes the work of another celebrated Winnipeg artist, Esther Warkov, as well as Qua’yuk tchi’gae’win: Making Good, acknowledging the residential school systems experience. At WAG Studio, our highly popular MakerLabs and OpenMake craft nights continue — plus our new Summer Rooftop Pop-Ups. There is bound to be something for you at the WAG this summer!

Stephen Borys, PhD, MBA
Director & CEO

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